So, what are axions? I’ve noticed more articles lately about axions. Why all the fuss, eh? • Wiki The axion is a hypothetical elementary particle postulated by the Peccei–Quinn theory in 1977 to resolve the strong CP problem [violation of the combined symmetries of charge conjugation and parity] in quantum chromodynamics (QCD). If axions exist… Continue reading What are axions – real or not?
So, it’s that time of year again: lots of recaps, lists of top this-and-that. Even milestones, discoveries, or breakthroughs in science. Here’s a YouTube video highlighting some progress in physics: • YouTube > Quanta Magazine > “The Year’s Biggest Breakthroughs in Physics” (Dec 23, 2020) YouTube description: This year, two teams of physicists made profound… Continue reading 2020 highlights
In quantum physics, mathematically discontinuous changes – or jumps – between quantum states are popularly referred to as quantum leaps (remember the TV series). As to whether quantum leaps are instantaneous (zero time) or not – as well as random (without any harbinger) – is an open question in physics. This article below recaps additional… Continue reading Are quantum jumps instantaneous?
[“What’s changed in the last ~50 years” series] As noted elsewhere, this blog is sort of a personal journey, a way to explore topics in physics, and milestones and achievements in the field. Advances in quantum physics. Open areas of research. Unresolved questions. And, in particular, the theme of what’s changed in the last ~50… Continue reading Is supersymmetry dead?
My holiday card this year in the cosmic greetings, Santa-in-Space series. In the bubble … at various scales … Notes • Space.com > “NORAD tracks Santa Claus in cosmic trip to the International Space Station” by Tariq Malik (December 24, 2020) • YouTube > NORAD > Analytical Graphics > “NTS 2020 ISS” (Dec 21, 2020)… Continue reading Cosmic greetings – Santa-in-Space – in the bubble
So, occasionally I run across articles which mention quantum dots; but more frequently I notice this technology promoted in higher quality flat screen displays and TVs. Photo-luminescent nanotechnology. This Phys.org article (below) reminds me that the technology is critical in quantum information processing, e.g., quantum computing. And as Wiki notes, modeling quantum dots showcases the… Continue reading Quantum dots – not just for TVs
Lots of media news this week, as the ISS celebrates 20 years [on November 2] of continuous human presence aboard the orbiting laboratory. • Overview of operations [PDF] The ISS is approximately 260 miles above the surface of the Earth, just a bit farther than the distance between Washington, D.C. and New York City. The… Continue reading Celebrating 20 Years of Human Presence on the ISS
Yes, Virginia, there is a black hole in the center of our Milky Way . What might be expected if you asked, à la a Jay Leno “Jaywalking” segment, some random people this question: “Where’s the nearest black hole?” Well, tallying those that know what a black hole is  … those that know what… Continue reading Yes, Virginia, there is a black hole in the center of our Milky Way
NASA’s outreach efforts over the decades have touted the benefits of space science in our (macroscopic) everyday lives. Technology. How about quantum physics? A recent YouTube video by Sabine Hossenfelder (below) is a useful start in answering the question: How does our “big and warm” everyday experience evince quantum effects? (from transcript) … the weird… Continue reading Connecting everyday experience with quantum effects
This Quanta Magazine article (below) is a helpful visual recap of whether the cosmos is “flat” or not. Does the cosmic landscape of stars and galaxies extend / expand in all directions like an endless piece of paper? Or another “flat” geometry – “by cutting a chunk out of Euclidean space and gluing it together.”… Continue reading Does the universe have a shape?