PHYSICS



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Fusion Quantum Mechanics
Relativity The Standard Model of Particle Physics
Time Other Physics Stories


Fusion


Scientists achieve a milestone in the race to harness nuclear fusion
by using the world's most powerful laser ...




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Energy from nuclear fusion is just starting to come into view.

Sandia National Labs


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Quantum Mechanics


3/11/17

What is stuff?
(5:33)




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Scientists detect smallest force ever measured

42 yoctonewtons


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Derek Muller, known on YouTube as "Veritasium"
made a video about quantum spin.
Here is the brief email exchange that we had (3 pages)
regarding some questions I asked him ...

Quantum spin

His only reply consisted of nothing more than
repeating points that I had already heard in his video.
If I didn't understand certain explanations in his video
I don't know why he thought that repeating those explanations
would somehow magically answer my question.
I didn't need to have the video's explanations repeated to me,
what I needed was ... to get answers to my questions.

I gave him over a month to reply to the second email
before I realized that he had no answers to any of my questions
and wasn't going to reply.

Michael Shermer once quoted James Randi ...

"Magician James Randi is fond of lampooning authorities with Ph.D.s -
once they are granted the degree they find it almost impossible to say two things:
'I don't know' and 'I was wrong'.
"

(Yes, Derek does claim to have a Ph.D.)

I think I should point out that I have great respect for Derek Muller
and the work that he does.

It's too bad that Derek doesn't have enough respect for his viewers
to at least tell us when he doesn't know the answers
rather than treating us like we are hearing-impaired.


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See if you can spot the error in this article ...

New approach to explaining quantum physics


I sent this email to the author

I expected at least a 'Thank You'


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Fans of Supersymmetry take a hit from the Large Hadron Collider.



A bottom quark (or "beauty" quark) decayed into two muons (heavy electrons).


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Schrodinger's cat slowly being revealed to physicists

This work was expected, as a direct follow-up on this ...

The 2012 Nobel Prize In Physics

2012 Nobel Prize for Physics ... explained

One small error that I noticed in the article:

"They are so reflective that a single photon can bounce back and forth
inside the cavity for almost a tenth of a second before it is lost or absorbed.
This record-long life-time means that the photon will have travelled
40,000 kilometres, equivalent to about one trip around the Earth.
"

If it traveled for almost a tenth of a second
then it traveled almost 30,000 kilometers ... not 40,000.
So either the time should be corrected to 'greater than a tenth of a second'
or the distance traveled needs to be corrected.

However, in the figure that follows that text, they get it right
("more than a tenth of a second ")


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Physicists continue to outfox the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle



They are now using what was learned from the 2012 Nobel Awards
to tame quantum physics and begin development of quantum computers.

RELATED STORY

Scientists Challenge Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle


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Relativity


Relativity (part 1): Time Dilation (8:57)




Relativity (part 2): Length Contraction (5:43)




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Attacks on the speed of light
as the universal speed limit have been ...

Reeeee-futed




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Scientists jump the gun for the usual reason ... instant fame.
And science magazines jump the gun for their usual reason ...
sensational headlines sell.

Scientists slow down the speed of light traveling in free space

The first point is that the headline is incorrect.
Scientists didn't just claim to slow down light,
but claimed to slow down the actual photons themselves.
That would be a Nobel-worthy accomplishment if true.

While it is true that light waves can be slowed down by water, glass, etc.,
individual photons have never been proven to travel at any speed other than C.

Second, the last paragraph of the article holds the key.
This work will be peer-reviewed in "Science Express."
If it survives (highly doubtful) THEN it will be published in "Science."

Sometimes our science community pisses me off
almost as much as the anti-science community.


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Relativity faced its hardest challenge to date.
A century later, and Einstein's theory still stands above all the rest.




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The Standard Model Of Particle Physics


The Standard Model of Particle Physics (14:52)




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Electrons, protons, and neutrons (7:44)




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Photons, gravitons, and weak bosons (2:38)




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Where does mass come from? (6:49)




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Testing the standard model of particle physics: do photons have mass?




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Time


5/5/17

Canadian Physics professor was able to get a respected scientific journal
to publish his pseudoscientific bullshit theory
which supposedly proved that time travel ...

is mathematically possible (9 pages)

He seems like a nice guy.
Maybe he would have been better suited ... to a career in sales.


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Physicist Sean Carroll on time travel (1:06:03)
I recommend you watch the whole video - it's very interesting.
See if you can spot any errors.



When Carroll talked about a party on Alpha Centauri
I'm sure he meant to say "a party on a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri."

I think we can give him a break on that one.

But the more serious disagreement I have with his lecture is this:
Beginning after the 29-minute mark and lasting for about 15 minutes,
Carroll explains Einstein's theory.
He presents a diagram showing someone entering a black hole,
following the curved path of his light cone,
and then meeting up with his past self (the one who entered the black hole).

The problem with this theory is that,
if you meetup with your past self,
then the atoms that make you "you"
would have to be in two places at the same time.
The laws of physics do not allow atoms to have this property.
In Carroll's imaginary scenario, whatever you are looking at - it cannot be you.
It may be something that looks like you ... but it cannot be you.

The argument that even if you aren't the same person,
you still could have traveled back in time also fails
because to do so would require that every particle in the Universe
be in exactly the same position as it was at the time you entered the black hole,
and obviously, that is impossible because then he would have to explain
how he would return every photon in the universe back to where it used to be.

(I was tempted to put this story in "pseudoscience")


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Classic Emails (2 pages)

All I did was ... ask a question

Here is Gabe's video



Maybe they were just too busy to answer me,
what with making all those videos and everything.


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Classic Emails (1 page)

At the end of most videos posted by PBS Space Time
the host (in this case Matt O'Dowd) answers questions
and usually compliments the writers on their great questions.

I sent the following email to them with some questions.
Since I never received a reply ...

I guess these weren't such great questions

And my continual quest to make new friends ... goes on


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Other Physics Stories


Complexity from Simplicity: Chaos Theory (53:08)




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Let's have some fun.








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Visible lightning strikes are sometimes preceeded by
"Dark" lightning (terrestrial gamma ray bursts)

I hope you weren't expecting a picture


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Scientists create yet another state of matter

How I long for the days when the world was as simple as solid, liquid, or gas.


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Scientists have almost figured out how to duplicate ... a duck's back.

The secret ... minimize Van der Waals interaction forces


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