Tagged: 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 gave famous introductory lectures on physics, which is now available online. The online edition features all the lectures on matter, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics. It’s not easy to understand, but as Feynman himself once said, “Hell, if I could explain it to the average person, it wouldn’t have been worth the Nobel Prize.“ In 1959, he gave a lecture that...

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 most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century. He was a good friend of Einstein. Biography David Bohm was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to Jewish parents. His father owned a local furniture store. Bohm graduated from Pennsylvania State College in 1939. After attending the California Institute of Technology in 1940, he acquired a doctorate in theoretical physics at the University...

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 a good case can be made that science has now moved from an Age of Reductionism to an Age of Emergence, a time when the search for ultimate causes of things shifts from the behavior of parts to the behavior of the collective. It is difficult to identify a specific moment when this transition occurred because it was gradual and...

What is Quantum Mechanics?

Quantum mechanics is a branch of physics; it was developed between 1900 and 1930, and  it explains the behavior of sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules and nuclei. Attempts to combine it with the general and special theory of relativity leads to new and revolutionary types of theories. Experimental evidence forced the creation of new concepts, like the particle properties of radiation, the wave properties of matter, the quantization of physical properties, or  the idea that one can no longer know exactly where a single particle such as an electron is at any one moment. Some of the basic insights of quantum...

Physics Quotes

Stephen Hawking’s explanation of the creation of matter and energy: “Where did they [i.e., 1080particles in the universe] all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made out of positive energy. However, the matter is all attracting itself by gravity. Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less energy than...