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?

Book · General · Language · Problem

Sisyphean hierarchy

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

General · Language

GR: Chicken or egg redux

One of the major sources of confusion I’ve encountered in reading about modern physics is the discussion of gravity. No surprise, eh. Classical mechanics includes both Newtonian and relativistic mechanics. In Newtonian physics, gravity is an attractive force, which acts at a distance between all objects; and can be represented as a universal gravitational field.… Continue reading GR: Chicken or egg redux

Book · Film · General · Language · TV

Magic Exclusion Principle

So, one of the things that’s always bothered me in stories (film, TV, etc.) is magical powers. Sure, that can be entertaining. These stories are engaging because of strong characters, their conflict (the essential ingredient of any great story), and the ethical dilemmas over use of such powers. We expect magic in classical fairy tales (or in Harry Potter… Continue reading Magic Exclusion Principle