Physics Blogging Round-Up: Two Weeks' Worth

I forgot to do this last week, because I was busy preparing for SteelyPalooza on Saturday, but here are links to my recent physics posts over at Forbes:

-- What 'Ant-Man' Gets Wrong About The Real Quantum Realm: On the way home from the Schrödinger Sessions, I had some time to kill so I stopped to watch a summer blockbuster. The movie was enjoyable enough, thanks to charming performances from the key players, but the premise is dippy even for a comic-book movie. It does, however, provide a hook to talk about quantum physics, so...

-- Great Books For Non-Physicists Who Want To Understand Quantum Physics: I did a bit of name-and-title-dropping at the Schrödinger Sessions, and a few of the writers asked if I had a list of books I would recommend (other than, you know, How to Teach [Quantum] Physics to your Dog). I didn't have one already put together, so I made a new post listing a dozen good books to read.

-- How Quantum Randomness Saves Relativity: Inspired in part by the many discussions of entanglement at the Schrödinger Sessions, a discussion of why you can't actually use entangled particles to send messages faster than light. "Spooky action at a distance" is impossible because of "God playing dice," a cute bit of historical irony.

-- What Has Quantum Mechanics Ever Done For Us? I know you get more and angrier comments on political posts, but for sheer "WTF?" weirdness in the comment section, nothing beats quantum physics. This is a short explanation of the quantum underpinnings of major modern technologies, in response to a crank who left a bunch of angry comments on a G+ link to the quantum randomness article.

Not a huge number of posts for two weeks of blogging, but I'm very happy with them. And the quantum randomness one in particular is a nice counter to some myths about science communication-- over 20,000 people have clicked through to read an article that builds up to a citation of the no-cloning theorem. I'm pretty proud of that.

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Several weeks of silence here, for a bunch of reasons that mostly boil down to "being crazy busy." I've got a bunch of physics posts over at Forbes during that interval, though: -- The Camera Trick That Justifies The Giant Death Star: I busted out camera lenses and the kids' toys to show how you…

First thank you for your on-going contributions to understanding the new physics such as the "How Quantum Randomness Saves Relativity".
Talking of which, in the video at around 1'12'' you talk of repeating the same experiment and getting the same result IF not interrupted by another experiment. I am writing a book which includes a section on time and that comment of yours is extremely profound. Do you know the name/authority for that observation?
It seems, at the quantum levels at least, as if that repetition is taken as one unit of time until interrupted.
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By Remco van Santen (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

Thanks Chad for taking the time to share your experience with this difficult arena of physics. One question please re what you said at about 1'12" of the video (How Quantum Randomness Saves Relativity). You say the experiment produces the same outcome until interrupted by another experiment.When reverting to the original experiment the outcome is again statistical in the first instance of the experiment.
This seems very profound in the understanding of time for the book I am writing. Can you please indicate the name or reference to that please?
It does seem by your example that time is a creation to keep events apart (when they are identical).

By Remco van Santen (not verified) on 17 Aug 2015 #permalink

I am a regular reader but have not commented before. This post reminded me of a recent apod (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150615.html) about lunar corona. Where I got stuck was that they wrote "Lunar Coronae are one of the few quantum mechanical color effects that can be easily seen with the unaided eye." If this is standard diffraction of light around individual, similarly-sized water droplets in an intervening but mostly-transparent cloud (as they explain) why are they singling it out as a "quantum effect"?

By Dr. Ritaban Ch… (not verified) on 30 Aug 2015 #permalink