[“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
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
[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
[“Quantum foundations” series] Demons in physics? Well, historically as fanciful ways to explore theories using skilled marvels – an illuminating rather than malevolent context. Pure imagination, not imagineering, eh. Physicist James Clerk Maxwell created a thought experiment in 1867. His idea involved a fantastical “finite being” able to sort molecules of a gas. Rarified acuity… Continue reading Laplace’s demon RIP? – demons of physics
[“Quantum foundations” series] [Updated December 2019] Introduction to this topic If Murray Gell-Mann was right that Niels Bohr brainwashed a generation of physicists to accept the Copenhagen Interpretation, either his influence has waned or he didn’t do a very good job in the first place. For in an informal poll conducted at an international meeting… Continue reading Quantum reality, quantum worlds – new book explores quantum foundations
Before encountering this Quanta Magazine article today, I’d not heard of this aspect of quantum measurement theory: “The Quantum Theory That Peels Away the Mystery of Measurement” (July 3, 2019) by Philip Ball, Contributing Writer (author of Beyond Weird: Why everything you thought you knew about quantum physics is different). Well, a quick Google search… Continue reading Quantum trajectory theory?
So, here’s the thing. If I roll with Quantum Field Theory (QFT), how do I reconcile my macroscopic and microscopic views of things. Simple things. Like looking at a tiny candle across the room? “P vision” Imagine if we could see individual photons (without being overwhelmed by visual “noise” in very low light). Where might… Continue reading Beyond frog vision
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