[“What’s changed in the last 50 years” series] The lightness of our being actually depends on heaviness. That is, the physics of heavier elements. Our biology, life itself. So, looking back decades to high school (or even college) chemistry class … The Periodic Table is so much more interesting now. A deeper understanding via quantum… Continue reading Stellar alchemy – more than one way to get heavy?
Epic events catch our attention. Spectacular stellar events have attracted attention since ancient times. Some events, however, cannot be observed with our eyes (visible light). Radio sources. And massive spikes in radio energy are telling astronomers something interesting. • NASA > “Hubble Tracks Down Fast Radio Bursts to Galaxies’ Spiral Arms” (May 20,2021) [Includes YouTube… Continue reading FRBs – whence galactic epic flashes of energy?
So, the short answer is yes. A useful model, at a certain scale. How can that be? The cosmos is full of stuff. Vast collections of stars, planets, rocks, dust, gas. Chunked over vast distances. Not what our everyday experience considers fluid stuff. Well, in physics and engineering, fluid dynamics embraces what typically are referred… Continue reading The cosmos is like a fluid?
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?
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?
So, today I’m celebrating the Moon. The ancient mythology and modern physics of its stabilizing influence. Both the Moon’s natural prominence in the earthly sky and its regular cycle of phases as seen from Earth have provided cultural references and influences for human societies and cultures since time immemorial. After enjoying the full moon for… Continue reading Life and the physics of having a moon
[“Quantum foundations” series] Force-less physics? No, I do NOT mean that the language of forces (electromagnetism, strong, weak, gravity) does not apply to our everyday experience or to physical descriptions. But only to a point, yes, as maybe counterproductive to deeper understanding. To getting beyond the Standard Model . To understanding how the wave function is… Continue reading A force-less physics?
[“Quest” series] This is a topic which I’ve followed for decades. A holy grail of physics: room temperature superconductivity. The physics of Cooper pairs: what makes two electrons pair up when their charge actually makes them repel each other? SciTechDaily > “Breakthrough in Understanding the Physics of High-Temperature Superconductivity” by Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (May 12, 2020).… Continue reading Quest for room temperature superconductivity
In the chapter “Beyond this horizon,” Sean Carroll discusses two related problems involving properties of empty space. Before discussing the vacuum energy problem, he profiles the so-called hierarchy problem in the cosmic energy scale. It’s about the effects of virtual particles. The energy scale that characterizes the weak interactions (the Higgs field value, 246 GeV)… Continue reading Sisyphean hierarchy