Book · General · Language · Site

Whence the arrow of time?

[“Quantum foundations” series] A physicist walks into a bar, and asks the bartender, “What time is it?” The bartender is about to reply but then recognizes the customer. “You’re a physicist, correct? So, it’s a trick question.” So, what’s with time? A venerable philosophical question. A foundational question in physics. We have electronic devices, extremely… Continue reading Whence the arrow of time?

General · Language

Wine before time itself – stars older than the universe?

You’ve probably heard the saying, “We will sell no wine before its time.” While most of us rarely think about the topic when buying retail wines, the more adventurous might go for age-worthy bottles – immature wines which can taste quite better at their peak. How long do you wait? Is there a mathematical model for… Continue reading Wine before time itself – stars older than the universe?

General · Language · Media

2019 Nobel Prize in physics — our place in the universe

Yesterday the buzz started about the announcement of the 2019 Nobel Prize in physics. Here’re some samples of articles on the joint award to three scientists. A testimony to research on the cosmic microwave background radiation (and understanding of the universe’s evolution) and advances in observational astronomy. • Washington Post > “Nobel Prize in physics… Continue reading 2019 Nobel Prize in physics — our place in the universe

Book · General · Language · Media

Quantum reality, quantum worlds – new book explores quantum foundations

[“Quantum foundations” series] Introduction to this topic If Murray Gell-Mann was right that Niels Bohr brainwashed a generation of physicists to accept the Copenhagen Interpretation, either his influence has waned or he didn’t do a very good job in the first place. For in an informal poll conducted at an international meeting in 2011 on… Continue reading Quantum reality, quantum worlds – new book explores quantum foundations

General · Language

A boson by any other name would …

I generally get the difference between matter particles (leptons and quarks) and “force carrying” particles (bosons). But I still do not understand how the “exchange” of fundamental / elementary bosons (e.g., photons and gluons) bind or ‘glue’ matter particles together as well as repel matter particles — as in attraction of oppositely charged particles and… Continue reading A boson by any other name would …

General · Language · Media

Image of entangled photons?

[Topic placeholder] [Developing story] Today’s news cycle contains articles about research by some physicists at the University of Glasgow who claim to have imaged entangled photons. Looks like they used a precision laser-based, table-top optical bench system. This Cnet article is a basic summary of the research: “Einstein called it ‘spooky action.’ Here’s an image… Continue reading Image of entangled photons?

General · Language · Media

Swaying quantum vacuum energy vs compelling charge

[“Models of the quantum vacuum” series] 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… 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