Albert Einstein introduced the photon to the world more than 100 years ago. Though physicists doubted—even ridiculed—his idea for years, it set off a scientific revolution. The photon now underpins foundations of the world economy. Yet to this day it is a mystery. Even when we know a photon has gone from A to B […]
Tag Archives: quantum mechanics
Physics Says There’s No Free Will Is Physics Right?
The concept of free will presents a problem. Physics is all about the rules of causation. Once there are rules there is no room for free will. This seems incontrovertible. But we will see that it is wrong. The argument for lack of free will persuades many physicists. Albert Einstein was a big fan of […]
Planck-scale: The Answer to Figuring Out Our Weird Universe New fundamentals needed now.
The messages are clear but are we listening? For almost a hundred years we’ve known the universe has been expanding since it began. For almost twenty years we’ve known the expansion has been accelerating for billions of years. With each new discovery physics hastens to adjust its theories to fit the new facts. Now more […]
A Cosmic Puzzle Provides Insights into New Physics
A new cosmic contradiction is begging for an explanation. We’ve known for years that space is expanding. Now new measurements of the rate at which it is expanding seem to differ from previous ones based on the standard cosmological model. New physics often comes from measurements that don’t fit theory. Here is my take on […]
The Mystery of Motion
How do things move? At first glance this may not seem to be a problem. We tend to take motion for granted. But a long-standing mystery lies behind it. Now new answers are becoming clear, with cutting-edge insights into the nature of space and time and matter. Philosophy and physics have long studied motion (aka […]
Hawking’s Missing Black-Hole Radiation
There are billions of black holes in our universe. Maybe gazillions. Stephen Hawking says they give off a strange kind of radiation. So we should see them, right? Here’s a cosmological Catch-22. To set the scene, the Albert Einstein Institute says: ‘If, in our universe’s fiery youth, “mini black holes” of very little mass had […]
I’m from Missouri…Show Me!
Finding new drugs these days is largely done with quantum mechanics. Fifty years ago it was more like what the Brits (and the indie rock band Arctic Monkeys) call suck-it-and-see. So thousands of Americans don’t know that they have arms and legs and normal lives thanks to the courage of a Canadian—and American—physician. She says […]
A Particular Success
— For Bill Rachinger, sine quo nihil . . . CERN’s Large Hadron Collider or LHC is back in the news. And behind the scenes there is fine physics that is little-known. It is the world’s biggest machine. Liquid-helium-cooled magnets bend twin beams of hydrogen nuclei (aka protons) in a circle. They collide at up […]
The DIY Invisibility Cloak
Harry Potter brings cutting-edge ideas from quantum physics into the imaginations of a generation of young fiction readers. In previous posts we’ve looked at teleportation, levitation, and solids that can pass through other solids unimpeded (though not yet through brick walls). All three are examples of how quantum mechanics (QM) can make seeming-magic in the […]