[Draft] [“Beyond the Standard Model” series] Background on the “crisis” This Quanta Magazine article (below) has an eye-catching title, but its gist relates to the hierarchy problem, which I discussed in a prior post. That 2017 post (and additionaL commentary) used quotes by physicists – Sean Carroll, Leon Lederman, Fermilab’s Don Lincoln (video) – and… Continue reading Reductionism in quantum physics – a naturalness mire?
[Draft] [Beyond series] 2’s day. So, what’s the evidence that the Standard Model is incomplete? This Symmetry Magazine article cites some examples of why physicists seek something beyond the Standard Model. Is it convincing? • Symmetry Magazine > “Beyond the Standard Model” by Katrina Miller (02/22/2022) – The Standard Model is a quite successful best… Continue reading Beyond the Standard Model – sliver of reality?
[Draft] [RIP series] So, this recent SciTechDaily article (below) about the “Singularity Problem” caught my attention today. Because it’s a reminder of what the much fictionalized / mythologized notion is really about. The need for a deeper understanding of nature. The representational limits (approximate character) of mathematical models. A theory’s domain of applicability.  As… Continue reading Singularities RIP?
Update July 11, 2022 Quantum advantage? – the long road ahead to making a useful quantum computer. • Wired > “Quantum Advantage Showdowns Have No Clear Winners” by Sophia Chen (July 11, 2022) – A series of recent experiments between quantum and classical computers shows the term’s ever-evolving meaning. Each claim of quantum advantage has… Continue reading Quantum computing explained – 5 levels of difficulty
[Communicating science series] The current Caltech Weekly (February 10, 2022) highlighted a vintage video series of lectures for an introductory university physics course. Originally produced in 1985, perhaps this content is covered at the high school (or even earlier) level. While cosmology and physics offer compelling narratives, modern science remains a relatively new way of… Continue reading Online introductory physics course – The Mechanical Universe
[What’s changed in the last ~100 years] A recent Scientific American article reminded me that quantum spin underlies the stability of matter – without which there’d be no life. But the article prompted another dive into the “mathematical machinery” describing the quantum state of a single electron or a single photon. The Stern–Gerlach experiment established… Continue reading Quantum superposition and spinors – a saga of electrons
Update 7-15-2022 • NASA > APOD > “Webb’s Southern Ring Nebula” (July 14, 2022) Explanation: Cataloged as NGC 3132 the Southern Ring Nebula is a planetary nebula, the death shroud of a dying sun-like star some 2,500 light-years from Earth. Composed of gas and dust the stunning cosmic landscape is nearly half a light-year in… Continue reading Beyond Hubble – adventure begins for James Webb Space Telescope
Time to jot down some notes about the Holographic Principle . Something which I’ve been encountering in articles over the years. Typically in reading about string theory and quantum gravity. And black holes. But lately, in particular, in recasting (so-called) fundamantal particles as higher dimensional localizations in space-time. So that each represents just the “surface”… Continue reading What the heck is the holographic principle?
[Preliminary – requires clarification of the distinction between classical superposition (as for mechanical waves) and superposition that occurs in quantum mechanics (quantum superposition).] The linear venue Some grocery stores still have spring scales in the fresh produce section. Let’s say, just to get the raw weight, you use the scale to weigh some oranges –… Continue reading What the heck is superposition?
Imagine asking, à la a Jay Leno “Jaywalking” segment, some random people this question: “Why is our Moon round?” Or, “Why are planets always round (including the Earth) – like spheres – and not like a cube or a boulder or potato or other irregular solid?” Science communicator Ethan Siegel answered this question in a… Continue reading Getting and staying round – why are planets and moons spherical?