Built on Facts

Archives for December, 2010

Amateur Lunar Ranging? Hmm.

All right, I’m gonna delay the next installment of the quantum bouncing ball for a brief diversion. I have a friend who’s also a physics grad student, and he suggested that we along with a few other fellow students form a yet-to-be-named unofficial club whose raison d’etre is to get together every few weeks and…

Classical Wavefunctions

Right now I’m on the 4th floor of the physics building. If I walk down the hall to the balcony overlooking the atrium, I could drop a bouncy ball and watch its trajectory. It’ll fall to the ground, bounce up to some fraction of its initial height, and repeat the process with a loss of…

Isaac Newton, when he wasn’t revolutionizing mathematics and almost single-handedly inventing physics as a systematic discipline, wrote some really ridiculous stuff. Alchemy, occult esoterica, you name it. In his defense, it was the 1600s. He didn’t have a whole lot of prior scientific understanding to help him sort the wheat from the chaff. Until he…