(NPR Science Friday) Sir Roger Penrose calls string theory a "fashion," quantum mechanics "faith," and cosmic inflation a "fantasy." ... What's wrong with modern physics—and could alternative theories explain our observations of the universe? Full lectures: Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe (Lecture 1: FASHION)(Lecture 2: FAITH.)(Lecture 3: FANTASY.) [more inside]
Revelations in the field of quantum physics have resulted in the discovery of the Amplituhedron, a jewel-like higher dimensional object whose volume elegantly predicts fundamental physical processes that took the brilliant Dr. Richard Feynman hundreds of pages of abstruse mathematics to describe. The theoretical manifold not only enables simple pen-and-paper calculation of physics that would normally require supercomputers to work out, but also challenges basic assumptions about the nature of reality -- forgoing the core concepts of locality and unitarity and suggesting that space and time are merely emergent properties of a timeless, infinitely-sided "master amplituhedron," whose geometry represents the sum total of all physical interactions. More: The 152-page source paper on arXiv [PDF] - Lead author Nima Arkani-Hamed's hour-long lecture at SUSY 2013 - Scans of Arkani-Hamed's handwritten lecture notes - A far more detailed lecture series "Scattering Without Space Time": one, two, three - Arkani-Hamed previously on MeFi - A hot-off-the-presses Wikipedia page (watch this space)
Tim Blais, a physics graduate student at McGill University, performs an a-capella version of his masters thesis to the tune of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. [more inside]
Richard Feynman delivers a charming talk about Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Electrodynamics and the versatile, enigmatic photon. (SLYT - 1:17:58)
The Beautiful Blackboards at Quantum Physics Labs (from The Atlantic)
"... That’s the way with epiphanies: You can’t know in advance what they’ll be. Even me. I can see them coming, but I can’t understand something until I understand it.”T he man who can see the future has a date with the woman who can see many possible futures.
We’re on the verge of two world-changing antimatter discoveries
While the Large Hadron Collider is looking for the Higgs boson, we're on the verge of two huge antimatter-related breakthroughs. One could finally solve the universe's oldest mystery, while the other could reveal strange new particles that are perfect for quantum computers.
Sapphire + Superconductor + Gold + Saran Wrap + Liquid Nitrogen + Magnets = Quantum Levitation. [more inside]
The Science of Godmanship [annotated], in which the late Robert Anton Wilson (novelist, philosopher, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, futurist, polymath, civil libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic) examines Quantum theory and other weirdly weird stuff. [more inside]
If you look around, you'll see that the ratio of 1.618:1 appears in architecture, nature, and artistic works (such as music, previously). Studied by the Greeks, the Golden Ratio is pretty much everywhere and is common accepted as aesthetically pleasing, and now it has been found to exist down into the nanoscale level, as a byproduct of investigating the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. We may not be able to nail down both position and speed, but it appears the macro ratio is an echo of the micro one. [more inside]
"Computers can search all possible outcomes of all possible moves in conventional chess and beat even top human players, so Akl wanted to make the computation more difficult." The result? Quantum chess! [via]
The year is 1932. Hitler is rising in power. Harold Urey announces the discovery of deuterium, a hydrogen isotope. James Chadwick discovers the neutron. Heisenberg receives the Nobel Prize for his work in Quantum physics. It is a miracle year in Physics, matched only by Einstein's advances in 1905. A few of the most brilliant physicists in the world decide to convene in Copenhagen and ... write a play! Written on the 100th anniversary of the death of Goethe, The Blegdamsvej Faust is a remarkable document from a turning point in Physics. [more inside]
Quantum Mechanics: Myths and Facts (pdf), a recently-updated paper on the Cornell arXiv peer-review site. By Hrvoje Nikolić of the Rudjer Bošković Institute in Croatia. [more inside]
"You bend your words like Uri Geller's spoons", sang Toad. But how is it that science can dismiss Geller as the fraud he is without experimenting on every psychic claimant? Surely someone claiming telekinetic powers might be telling the truth? Quantum physics to the rescue.
"I am, of course, gratified that this sordid southern-hemisphere tale of sex, plagiarism, quantum mechanics, and printers could be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction." If that doesn't grab you maybe you are on the wrong internet. [more inside]
Two nice conversations between a man and his dog on the subject of quantum physics.
[many worlds interpretation, uncertainty principle]
[many worlds interpretation, uncertainty principle]
Schrödinger's famous theoretical kitty is one step closer to being/not being validated, revisiting some old conundrums and bright ideas.