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

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 in a Euclidean space using the… Continue reading Symmetry → connection field → force of nature

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