Tag Archives: fiction

Not God―Must Be Goldilocks!

Last week we saw leading physicists seducing themselves into a multiverse. Most accomplished their mental gymnastics in one of three weird ways: a many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics; an inflationary cosmology; or a string-theory landscape. All three have in common that they are at best ‘nice ideas’, not physics. So, what’s going on? These physicists […]

Multiverses versus Universe

In the physics stratosphere a great debate is going on. Physicists say it is about the future of physics and the nature of everything.This may be true, but the issues are also personal. The story starts (or so it seems) with multiverses. Not long poems (though those still get more Google hits), I mean multiple-universe […]

Harry Potter Magic and Levitation Physics

Some weeks back Harry Potter’s magic, having helped him walk through a brick wall, got me onto bosons. A boson’s any kind of particle that has integral spin (like 0 or 1). What’s spin? Well, that’s another story. Suffice to say it is a quantum number used by physicists to tag a quantum state. Fermions […]

More Potter Physics

Thoughts of physics in our world have somehow got us onto Harry Potter. Like Lewis Carroll’s tales of Alice in fantastic Wonderland, J.K. Rowling’ magic world has elements of physics truth. We found shades of quantum physics in a teleportation scene from the first movie. Two minutes later, Harry shoves his baggage cart through a brick […]

Potter in Physics

Thinking about physics showing up in unexpected places gets me thinking about Harry Potter movies. A whole muggle generation cut its independent-thinking teeth on that magic. How much of it might be almost true? For example, there is Hagrid, late for his appointment with Dumbledore, teleporting off the overpass at King’s Cross Station. Teleporting? Maybe […]

Eye on Doyle

Arthur (latterly Sir Arthur) Conan Doyle, a practising physician, surgeon and ophthalmologist is well known for his fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. I, too, am a fan. Doyle is less known for the sharp eye that he kept on physics. It shows up in the way his fiction promotes then-new physics-based ideas. Through the 1900s these […]