Featured Challenges of the Anthropocene

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 known for the “Feynman diagrams” that symbolize particle collisions. He...

/ September 7, 2014

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, and neuro-psychology. He is considered to be one of the...

/ August 21, 2014

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: “Much as I dislike the idea of ages, I think...

/ January 3, 2014

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 internet. Scientific researchers are now capable of collecting and processing...

/ February 20, 2012

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 January 1643 in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire. His father was a prosperous...

/ February 20, 2012

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”, Volume 6 Number 9). As we all know, the Higgs...

/ February 19, 2012

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 Standard Model, is based on experiments that started in 1897...

/ February 19, 2012

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 cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber,...

/ November 23, 2011

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 by quantum mechanics known as quantum entanglement, in which measurements...

/ November 23, 2011

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 via natural processes. Vacuum Fluctuations and Virtual Particles In the...

/ November 23, 2011

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 Einstein, née Koch. In June 1880 the family moved to...

/ November 22, 2011