quantum physics


Human knowledge an infographic

The only real boundaries are the ones that we place on ourselves.

This infographic was inspired by Matt Might's post "The illustrated guide to a Ph.D."

Thanks to The Oatmeal for the style of presentation.

The full resolution is 1421x10500px, PNG format.

Update: Someone translated it into Castilian. :)


The great String Theory debate: Brian Greene and Lawrence Krauss

Wed., March 28, 7 p.m.

It comes down to this: Are all things in nature actually super-tiny bits of strings that are vibrating strands of energy? If so, string theory would merge general relativity and quantum mechanics, and would explain the origin of space, time, and the universe itself. Or is the theory, as some critics claim, just extraordinarily complex mathematics which may have nothing to do with physics and a theory of nothing, not everything? If so, physicists are back to the drawing board in their quest for the Holy Grail of physics'an ultimate theory of everything.

Lawrence Krauss and Brian Greene, two world-renowned physicists, square off in a spirited debate and discussion moderated by noted cosmologist Michael Turner. Greene's research focuses on superstring theory, which proposes a quantum theory of gravity as well as a unified theory of all forces and matter. This requires that the universe have 10 or 11 dimensions, not just the 4 we're aware of.

Krauss works at the boundary of particle physics and astrophysics, cosmology, and general relativity. His research deals with black holes, the very early universe, the future of the universe, dark matter, and dark energy. He is sceptical about string theory because it has yet to make a prediction that can be verified by experiment and has not solved any major physical puzzles about nature, including why the expansion of the universe is speeding up, the most profound question of our time.

Greene is a professor of physics and professor of mathematics at Columbia University; Krauss is Ambrose Swasey professor of physics and a professor of astronomy at Case Western Reserve University; and Turner is the Rauner Distinguished Service professor in the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago.

The Dept. of Energy's Office of Science (www.science.doe.gov) is the United States' largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences.

I took the audio from HoodedHawk (thanks!), merged, polished and uploaded to the archive.


Climate Change scepticism, science and reason

This is a post in response to Jodi's and Vitezslav's articles.

Jodi makes a valid point, that is, generally speaking. But I feel like she is missing something in the picture. While it is true that "continually re-examining the evidence can only ever strengthen our understanding of what we're dealing with", the reasons for being an outcast or a sceptic 30 years ago had profound scientific reasons.

The amount of data that we had was absolutely inadequate for the kind of research that we were trying to pursue. As more data comes in, you are more likely to reach a conclusion that is more likely to be true, or close enough. The kind of general relativism "We can all be wrong, you never know" and so on is partially true, but it fails to consider the actual evidence in face of a scientific and cultural revolution.

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