General · Language · Media

Swaying quantum vacuum energy vs compelling charge

[Personal speculation] I read this article today “‘The Unknown Question’ — The End of Spacetime” (June 22, 2019) and watched the included YouTube videos. Something bothered me which I’ve been thinking about for years, namely, that even theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed sounded like he viewed the electron as like a spherical fountain (or shower head)… Continue reading Swaying quantum vacuum energy vs compelling charge

General · Language

Defining a universe — how many constants?

[Draft] [“Building a ‘verse” series] Reference: “How Many Fundamental Constants Does It Take To Explain the Universe?” by Ethan Siegel (Nov 23, 2018). Quite a large number of fundamental constants are required to describe reality as we know it … The fundamental constants … describe the strengths of all the interactions and the physical properties… Continue reading Defining a universe — how many constants?

General · Language · Media

The proton and perturbation problem

[Draft] [“Building a ‘verse” series] I’ve cited this physicist’s video elsewhere, but Perimeter Institute’s overview of her lecture includes a helpful characterization of perturbation theory in the context of understanding the proton better: “Phiala Shanahan builds the universe – with a new approach to calculations and the aid of supercomputers, Emmy Noether Visiting Fellow Phiala… Continue reading The proton and perturbation problem

General · Language

QFT – How many fields are there?

[Draft] [“Building a ‘verse” series] Ever since I started reading about Quantum Field Theory (QFT), I was interested in how physicists talk about fields. And the multiplicity of fields. And how quantum fields compare to classical fields. So, as I’ve written elsewhere, the basic notion is that every matter particle is an excitation (or localized… Continue reading QFT – How many fields are there?

General · Media · Site

Humans fit for space? — NASA’s Twins Study

[See comments for updates.] Today (among others) published an article “Are Humans Fit for Space? A ‘Herculean’ Study Says Maybe Not” which summarizes NASA’s Twins Study which was published in Science (The NASA Twins Study: A multidimensional analysis of a year-long human spaceflight). Wired: In space, fluids won’t drain, and astronauts develop red, puffy… Continue reading Humans fit for space? — NASA’s Twins Study

General · Media · Photo

Photographing a black hole?

As teased earlier this month, today the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project announced and presented the first ever photographs of a black hole — “the last photon orbit.” Another epic story of big science and an international team. The interplay of models and simulations, data capture, and complex processing. And funding. Much news coverage. Here’s… Continue reading Photographing a black hole?

General · Language

Atomic tweezers — levitated optomechanics

[Topic placeholder] I’ve been following articles for awhile about micron, nanometer, and atomic level confinement and manipulation. The development of “optical tweezers” facilitated exploration of biological particles with sizes in the micrometer and nanometer range such as viruses and bacteria and subcellular components. Optical traps also facilitated exploring properties of trapped individual molecules and atoms.… Continue reading Atomic tweezers — levitated optomechanics

Book · Diagram · General · Media · Photo

Feynman’s legacy — quantum originality

Much has been written about Richard Feynman. Many tributes and books. Feynman wrote some books as well. But the inspiration for this post is an exhibit promoted for Caltech’s 82nd Annual Seminar Day and Reunion Weekend May 16 – 19, 2019. The Mind’s Eye: Richard Feynman in Word & ImageIn work and play, Richard Feynman… Continue reading Feynman’s legacy — quantum originality