Physics

Category archives for Physics

“What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.” –Theodore Roethke In math, if you prove a theorem, that theorem is as good as gold. But in physics, a theorem may or may not be 100% valid. It depends, for example, on whether your “proof” describes all the relevant phenomena at play in your system.…

“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.” –Aleister Crowley Our Universe is the way it is for two reasons: the initial conditions that…

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.” –Stephen King, The Dark Tower Ever since quantum mechanics first came along, we’ve recognized how tenuous our perception of reality is, and how — in many ways — what we perceive is just a very small subset of what’s going on at the quantum level in our…

The Big Bang by Balloon (Synopsis)

If you want to map the entire sky — whether you’re looking in the visible, ultraviolet, infrared or microwave, your best bet is to go to space. Only high above the Earth’s atmosphere can you map out the entire sky, with your vision unobscured by anything terrestrial. But that costs hundreds of millions of dollars…

“If I had to choose a superhero to be, I would pick Superman. He’s everything that I’m not.” –Stephen Hawking But did you ever stop to imagine that one of those things that Superman would be is the greatest home run hitter of all time? Have a listen to Iron & Wine‘s song, Waitin’ For A…

“And you may find yourself in another part of the world. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife. And you may ask yourself, ‘Well, how did I get here?’” –Talking Heads Well, imagine it’s happened: an apocalypse,…

Have you ever thought about what “nothing” truly is? We used to think about it in terms of simply removing all the particles from a given region of space, which is a pretty intuitive definition of nothing. But quantum physics is notorious for defying our intuition. When we take a look at this “empty” space,…

The status of the Universe: 2015 (Synopsis)

“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” -James A. Baldwin We’ve come a long way since we first started watching the night skies. Even just a century ago, we thought our Universe was governed by Newtonian gravity and consisted only of our Milky Way and the stars inside. In the past…

Quantum Immortality (Synopsis)

They say that a cat has nine lives, mostly because of their uncanny ability to find themselves in — and escape from — frequently perilous situations. Perhaps, of all the animals that he could have chosen, that’s why Schrödinger made his famous thought experiment about the most diminutive of felines. But there’s an incredible outcome that…

We all have our own interpretation of what “the scientific method” is, but there’s always at least one thing that they all have in common: the ultimate arbiter of whether a theory or idea is valid depends on the evidence that comes back from physically observable phenomena. But not everyone necessarily agrees with this in the way…