Book · General · Language · Media

Quantum reality, quantum worlds – new book explores quantum foundations

[“Quantum foundations” series] Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll recently published a new book. I’ve read some of his books. His blog, podcast. Articles. He has a robust online media presence. And is skilled at promoting his new book (or has a skilled publicist). So, I’ve read several articles on different sites about his new book, as… Continue reading Quantum reality, quantum worlds – new book explores quantum foundations

General · Language · Media

Cosmological fact and fiction

In the last few months, I’ve been struck by how many articles have been published in the popular media and science news about black holes and the Big Bang. Mainstream physics and science communications (like phys.org, quantamagazine.org, etc) lately seem to be discussing more and more “mind blowing” geometries of the universe (or multiverse, eh).… Continue reading Cosmological fact and fiction

Book · General · Media · Site

Celebrity and cultural phenomenon — Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking died last week. Lots of tributes in the media about his scientific legacy and life. Sean Carroll posted an article on his blog on March 16: “Stephen Hawking’s Scientific Legacy.” It’s particularly interesting. As a career physicist and cosmologist, Carroll met and interacted with Hawking over the decades. Early in his career Carroll turned… Continue reading Celebrity and cultural phenomenon — Stephen Hawking

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

Book · General · Language

Empty dumpty

[“Models of the quantum vacuum” series] A theoretical physicist walks into a bar. The bartender says, “What can I get you?” The physicist says, “Nothing.” The bartender gives the physicist an empty glass. The physicist says, “Thanks, that’s plenty!” Physicists take emptiness quite seriously. So-called empty space is an important area of study and research.… Continue reading Empty dumpty

Book · General · Language

Symmetry → connection field → force of nature

Here’s my take on gauge symmetry after reading about the concept (some references are listed below). There are mathematical frameworks for space, and in physics there are equations of motion for space. A mathematical framework deals with geometric and numeric objects. In everyday life we basically equate these objects with a Euclidean space using the… Continue reading Symmetry → connection field → force of nature