General · Language · Site

Age of universe — implications?

Imagine a survey where you ask “How old is the universe?” as a multiple choice question: 1,000’s of years 100,000’s of years Millions of years Billions of years Other _______________ What would you expect as a result? Quite a mix? Well, among scientists this question is essentially settled, as indicated in some Space.com articles. “How… Continue reading Age of universe — implications?

General · Site

Surfing space-time — gravitational waves

Asymmetric gravitational interactions between two bodies produce gravitational waves.1 Such perturbations in space-time are so small that only the most massive interactions have been detected by LIGO, which uses laser interferometry and is “the largest and most ambitious project ever funded by the NSF.” While there was speculation about gravitational waves prior to Einstein’s theory… Continue reading Surfing space-time — gravitational waves

General · Site

Up in the sky — faster than a speeding LHC proton

This Space.com article “Hotspot for Cosmic Rays: Touring the Telescope Array Project in Utah” published on May 27, 2017, reminded me that while CERN’s LHC is the current champ of colliders on Earth, other particles which have been raining down on us for billions of years are colliding with Earth’s atmosphere at even higher energies —… Continue reading Up in the sky — faster than a speeding LHC proton

General · Language · Site

Is reality digital or analog?

While studying physics this past year, I noticed tension between theoretical and experimental physicists, especially between younger quantum field theoreticians and veteran particle physicists — regarding deep reality and the various formulations of quantum mechanics (addressed in another post). Revisiting some archived debates, this philosophical question (“Is reality digital or analog?”) was posed in an essay… Continue reading Is reality digital or analog?

General · Language · Site

Eigen what?

In reading about vibrations in fields and wave functions and wave packets, some words that start with ‘e’ occurred a lot: eigenvalue, eigenvector, eigenfunction, eigenvalue equation, eigenequation [1]. I needed to refresh my understanding of the mathematical models for macroscopic and microscopic systems [2]. Everyday we are surrounded by things that vibrate when excited. Some… Continue reading Eigen what?

Diagram · General · Language · Site

More about entropy — reality vibrates

I studied thermodynamics as an undergrad. Online resources really help refresh my understanding; so, here’s a summary of my notes about entropy. Hopefully these agree with how the term is used in physics. Statements Equation:  S = k ln Ω [Wiki] “The second law of thermodynamics states that an isolated system’s entropy never decreases. Such… Continue reading More about entropy — reality vibrates