Strange all this Difference should be ’Twixt Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee! — John Byrom (1692 – 1763) Twist and shout … Come on and work it on out — Phil Medley & Bert Berns (1961) Australian physicist Sundance Bilson-Thompson made a stunning discovery. He starts with a simple entity—a tiny twist. With the quirky humor that […]
Tag Archives: quarks
What are the quanta in quantum gravity? A hundred years ago Einstein said “space”. So where are we now?
Quantum gravity is all the rage in physics these days. There are books about it but none say what quantum gravity is. And none report real progress. We should be upset about this. Really! Quantum gravity tries to reconcile our two immensely successful—but mutually inconsistent—theories about the world: quantum theory and relativity. A quantum theory […]
A mysterious new shape seems to say something fundamental about the nature of the universe. Can we understand its message?
Plato set out to explain everything with five perfect shapes. His theory died centuries ago. But in 2013 a shape called the amplituhedron burst upon the science scene. Physicists find it performs a miracle. But they don’t know how. The answer may hold a deep truth physics can sense but can’t quite find. Understanding the […]
Understanding Planck-scale physics gives us evidence that we have free will
Physics has long been said to say we have no free will. Up close and dirty this is a false argument. And the whole issue is on the brink of fundamental change. A deeper grasp of physics brings together many threads to explain free will. In a recent article in The Atlantic Steven Cave says: […]
Planck-scale physics needs to start with the beginning of the universe just like quantum theory started with the hydrogen atom
Planck-scale physics is not yet in its infancy. It is in gestation. Arranging a successful birth requires a strategic discipline. Walk before you try to run! For some reason (we will get to that) physicists seem doomed to run. Indeed—to milk the metaphor for maybe more than it is worth—they essay hundred-meter sprints before they […]
The silence about new fundamental particles sends us a loud and clear message
The Large Hadron Collider or LHC was to find new particles. Aside from possibly the expected Higgs boson the report from the physics front is a deafening silence. This silence says a lot. At some $10 billion, the LHC is the world’s biggest and most costly science experiment ever. It pushes atom-smashing to new energy […]
At last there is a solution to the elementary-charge problem and it turns out to be stunningly simple.
It has long been a deep and frustrating puzzle. The charge on the electron, symbol e, is said to be an elementary quantum. That is, neither the electron nor its charge is ever seen to be subdivided. Lots of measurements reveal the charge on every electron has exactly the same value. For more than a […]
Twist and Shout: Topology In Action
As Chubby Checker sang and showed a 1960s generation, “Let’s do the twist.” Twist is not only an important thing. It is the only thing. Look around; all that you can see is made of twist. How so? The explanation starts with atoms and takes us through topology and Solitaire to the final fate of […]
The Beginning of Time
When did time begin? Science now has an answer. How did time begin? For millennia this was a subject for speculation, little of it based on science. But there is now a philosophic answer. Space came first. Time began soon after space. Very soon. Here’s how. From recent measurements we know that time began 13,799,000,000 […]