General · Language · Media · TV

Online introductory physics course – The Mechanical Universe

[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

Diagram · General · Media · TV

Beyond Hubble – adventure begins for James Webb Space Telescope

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

General · Language · Media

What the heck is superposition?

[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?

Book · General · Language · Problem

How stiff is space-time?

[Draft] If space-time is considered as a kind of material, then what properties make sense? Properties that can be observed, measured. In the context of General relativity, (aggregate) properties related to curvature and rippling. Like elasticity, stiffness. In the context of quantum physics, (discrete) properties related to quanta, energy density, charge, spin, entanglement. Like gradients,… Continue reading How stiff is space-time?

General · Language · Media · Problem

Reality of fields, language of particles – the Standard Model

[Communicating science] To understand contemporary physics, particularly quantum theory, the Standard Model is essential. This article includes an excellent video overview: • Quanta Magazine > Math Meets QFT > “A Video Tour of the Standard Model” by Kevin Hartnett, Senior Writer/Editor (July 16, 2021) (quote) Physicists would like to move beyond the Standard Model to… Continue reading Reality of fields, language of particles – the Standard Model

Diagram · General · Language · Problem

A particle by any other name?

[“What’s changed in the last ~50 years” series] Fundamental particles have properties; but not due to any constituents (cf. Feynman’s dilemma for an electron’s charge [1]). So, mathematical patterns of … localized “knots” (tangles or twists as in Möbius strips) – particular symmetries – of space-time energy? A landscape of colliding (interacting) ripples … How… Continue reading A particle by any other name?

General · Language · Media

Big sim’s – visualizing the universe!

Taking all-sky surveys / maps to another 10^n level of visualization … So much of modern cosmology depends on the discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation in 1965. Wiki: “Any proposed model of the universe must explain this radiation.” Since then, advances in the tools to measure and analyze that faint, relic radiation… Continue reading Big sim’s – visualizing the universe!

General · Language · Photo

All-sky surveys – visualizing our dynamic galaxy

Advances in all-sky surveys permit better visualization of the motions and dynamics inside our galaxy. And provide a better understanding of the evolution of the Milky Way. X-ray all-sky surveys As noted in this Space.com article, while “optical telescopes are much easier to design than X-ray telescopes … some of the most interesting objects in… Continue reading All-sky surveys – visualizing our dynamic galaxy

Book · General · Language

Helgoland? – escape from quantum island

[“Quantum foundations” series] Carlo Rovelli’s new book Helgoland – Making Sense of the Quantum Revolution is in the news cycle this week, with promo’s and reviews. (Probably more comments later.) (quote) Helgoland is a book by Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli. It is about quantum mechanics and its relational interpretation. The title refers to Werner Heisenberg’s… Continue reading Helgoland? – escape from quantum island