Category: Physics

Richard Feynman (1918-1988)

Richard Feynman is a physicist who won the Nobel Prize,  worked on the Manhattan Project, he played a key role in explaining the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, and he is...

David Bohm (1917-1992)

David Joseph Bohm lived from 20 December 1917 to 27 October 1992. He was an American theoretical physicist who contributed innovative and unorthodox ideas to quantum theory, philosophy of mind,...

Reductionism or Emergence?

Here are some quotes about the controversy between reductionism and emergence as basic paradigm for physics. Robert Laughlin: A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down. 2005. From the Introduction:...

Radical Abundance through Nanotechnology?

In his newest book, Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization, 2013, he tells the history of nanotechnology from its beginnings to today, and then he turns towards the future: What can we expect from the accelerating breakthroughs generated by nano-technological research? Will it benefit humanity, or cause us harm? He is very optimistic, and his answer is given in the title: We are going to experience radical abundance based on these technological breakthroughs.

The Scale of the Universe: The Smallest, the Largest, and the most Complex.

It is difficult for us to fathom the scale of the universe. The differences between the smallest structures and the largest are so enormous that linear scales are useless. We need exponential scales, which make the numbers appear to be easy, even when the geometry is simply incomprehensible. A simple example can demonstrate these size differences – there are more atoms in a glass of water than there are glasses of water in all the oceans combined. (If you don’t believe it, here is the math.)

On an exponential scale in meters, humans are located at the midpoint between the nanometer scale (1×10−9 m) (a strand of DNA is 3 nanometers thick) and the scale of stars ( the sun is 1.4 ×109 m in diameter.) Reaching “down”, what we try to do in nanotechnology, is just as difficult as reaching “up,” exploring the solar system with our probes. But, the journey is only beginning.

Emergence

We are currently experiencing a paradigm shift in scientific thinking and explanation, away from reductionist and constructivist approaches. This shift is the result of the introduction of computers and the...

Isaac Newton

He is one of the most important physicists and mathematicians of all time. Biography This short biography is quoted from the BBC History site. Isaac Newton was born on 4...

Higgs Boson – How Particles Acquire Mass

In response to a 1993 challenge from the UK Science Minister to produce a one-page simple explanation of the Higgs boson, the following entries were submitted.  (Quoted from “Physics World”,...

Discoveries leading to the Standard Model

The following timeline of discoveries the led to the Standard Model is quoted from Fermilab’s website. “The current theoretical framework that describes elementary particles and their forces, known as the...

Schrödinger’s Cat

In 1935 Schrodinger published an essay describing the conceptual problems in Quantum mechanics. A brief paragraph in this essay described the cat paradox: “One can even set up quite ridiculous...

Quantum Nonlocality

Quantum nonlocality is a paradox that was described first by Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen (EPR), who published the idea in 1935. The EPR paradox draws attention to a phenomenon predicted...

Vacuum Fluctuations

How the Universe can come from Nothing: The following quotes address vacuum fluctuations and the idea that things – perhaps even the entire universe – can indeed arise from nothing...

Albert Einstein

Quoted from the  Albert Einstein Website, created by  Hans-Josef Küpper: “Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, the first child of the Jewish couple Hermann and Pauline...