[“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?
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?
An article from Quanta Magazine (below) recaps the history of space-time symmetries in physics and how those symmetries have, in a sense, been simplified: Galilean (Newtonian) static, separate space and time. Relativistic “flat” space-time – Minkowski / Poincaré / Einstein. de Sitter spherical space-time: “… in the same way that the finite speed of light… Continue reading Universal symmetries – what really is broken?
This post was inspired by Don Lincoln’s YouTube video “Subatomic Stories: Is the Planck length really the smallest?” In his Q&A (where he responds to questions from prior videos), he notes a caveat about the law of conservation of energy. Energy may not be conserved … because space-time can change. He offers some links for… Continue reading When conservation of energy goes out the window?
E = mc² The Holy Grail of modern physics is a so-called theory of everything, a unified field theory, a theory which unifies all known “forces.” That is, unifies all the fundamental interactions of nature. The three “quantum” interactions (electromagnetism, weak, strong) and gravitation. A conventional sequence of theories depicts final unification as occurring at… Continue reading Making matter from light – ultra energies and unification of forces
Paraphrasing: Just a note before you go,A vision to be learnedTraveling near the speed of lightIt’s easy to get … Imagining how things would look when traveling near the speed of light is an interesting exercise. Using a freeware video game developed by MIT Game Lab (2012), this visualization (below) by The Action Lab is… Continue reading Sightseeing near the speed of light – realistic simulation
[Draft] A recent Nature article (below) was inspiration for this post. I’ve been encountering the use of topology in physics for some time. Typically the mathematics is elusive, but the notions are compelling. Wiki > Topology A continuous deformation (a type of homeomorphism) of a mug into a doughnut (torus) and a cow into a… Continue reading When is a coffee mug like a donut?
[Communicating science series] All hail vector spaces! Imagine walking into an elementary school classroom and finding kids talking about quantum states. Depicting quantum interactions using diagrams and bra-ket manipulatives, for wave functions. Someday, eh. While we may never achieve Ernest Rutherford‘s notion of a quantum theory so simple that we can explain it to an… Continue reading Quantum mechanics math basics – tasting the notation
Modern physics is full of demonstrations which confound our everyday experience. There are some oldies but goodies, like the feather and the hammer. Remember Apollo 15 (1971)? These demonstrations illustrate the limits of everyday experience and provide interesting historical lessons. • Physics World > “The legend of the leaning tower” by Robert P Crease (04… Continue reading The feather and the hammer