Category Archives: Physics

Some of my core beliefs about the world


I think I have 5 beliefs that fundamentally shape the way I see the world and the way I interact with it. But before I continue, I must write that this self analysis is not based on the concept of core beliefs within psychology, which seems to be more based on beliefs about oneself. Instead the name is just something I came up with to describe 5 beliefs that I hold important in my life.

Here I’ll introduce the two negative beliefs I hold, and in the next post I’ll introduce the 3 positive ones. Continue reading Some of my core beliefs about the world

Why are the laws of physics the way they are?


Today I’m going to talk about an idea I’ve had for a few years. Before Einstein discovered his theory of general relativity the math behind it, about curved space was already discovered for a while, the same is true with the slow discovery of Quantum mechanics, before that started a lot of the math used to describe it was already discovered. In a universe where the math or the idea is always discovered before it is linked to physical properties one could imagine that the idea itself is the cause of the physical properties. So if you would discover something totally new something noone has ever thought of before that idea would create new laws for our universe to follow. At first thought you would think this doesn’t make any sense aren’t the laws of physics eternal governing over both todays world as that of the past. But once you realise that essential things such as nuclear physics can be explained by simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division it seems a little more plausible, but then you realise Mathematicians have made a lot more math than is used in physics or other sciences this must certainly be a problem? Well it doesn’t have to be, if you imagine that nature slowly tries to implant every idea into itself but tries to do it in a way that is still consistent with its previous state you would get something that slowly becomes more detailed and detailed, something that also happens to our understanding of the universe. In the end it is impossible to prove or disprove this idea at least it is for me, you could probably go a lot further in trying to if you had access to a lot of data and knew exactly when things where first thought of. Also to see that abstract math like the phibonacci series does find its way into nature check out Spirals Phibonacci and being a plant

Nerdy romance The Quantum poem


I decided to write another post about the nerdy romantic things I have done in the past. This one took place around valentine’s day about 2 years ago. That year a few days before valentine’s day me and the other physicist and astronomers of my year had our first quantum mechanics final, at the time I was also a little bit in love with one of the girls in my year, only from a far though I did have some conversations with her but we weren’t really close. Well for valentine’s day I wrote her a love poem with some quantum mechanical concepts mixed in, she didn’t really react the way I had hoped she would but I still like the poem:

The poem of the quantum love:

With the atoms my heart goes

For uncertainty is on the loose

I cannot know where it goes

While I still know where it is

But I hope it will be yours after time has done its work

The quantum mechanical concept I put into the poem is Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle which basically says that you cannot know the position and the momentum(classically mass times velocity) of a particle at the same time.

Colour Blindness


When you’re colour blind such as I am (for green and red) you know you can’t do certain jobs involving green and red lights, but I didn’t know until recently that experimental physics specialised in optics was one of those jobs. This year I had to do an experiment with an michelson morely interferometer, an device that initially gave one of the many hints that led to special relativity namely an indication that the speed of light was really a constant. What we (me and my lab partner) had to do however was use it to create a spectrum of various light sources (what wavelength/colour of light is present in the light source and with what intensity) one of the things we had to do to achieve this goal is make sure the interference gave a nice pattern that should look a little like a  rainbow, well what I saw was something grey that at the point where the interference was really perfect started to look a little like a rainbow, my lab partner not being colour blind on the other had had an much easier time detecting the rainbow like interference, so much easier that I really couldn’t see anything at all when he already began to see the rainbow. I don’t want to be an experimental physicist anyway theory is my way to go, but when I wasn’t so sure about that I thought that if I was going to be an experimental physicist I would like to specialise in optics. Well at least I like math a lot more than most other people do.

Black holes


Black holes are something that is depicted a lot in Science fiction. Most of the time they are depicted as massive objects somewhere in space, but not all black holes are like that. A black hole is an object which has an Schwarzschild radius that is larger than its actual radius. The Schwarzschild radius of an object with mass is the distance from that object at which light cannot escape the gravitational pull of the object. Continue reading Black holes

Thesis time


It’s that time of year again where a most of the third years students are writing their thesis, making would be theoratical physicist whish they had studied math or somewhere they aren’t forced to do their research experimentaly, it’s not my turn yet but I already wish I had studied at a university where my thesis can be about something else than an experiment, espescialy after hearing stories about the research of the people that do their thesis this year

Tachyon


Tachyons are particles that are often used in science fiction the most recent time I encountered the tachyon was in the game AI war, in which it was used for stealth detection. In reality however the tachyon probably doesn’t exist. The tachyon is an hypothetical particle that was first proposed by Gerald Feinberg how described the particle as an particle that could move faster than light and had an imaginary mass. Imaginary in this context means a amount times the square root of -1. After its proposal however it was soon realised that even an imaginary mass does not allow a particle to move faster than the speed of light. After this the particle became a major flaw in the theory used to predict the particle namely bosonic string theory. String theory in short is a theory that describes particles not as 0 dimensional objects(points) but rather as oscillating 1 dimensional objects (lines or strings) these strings oscillate in extra dimensions predicted by the theory, it is one (actually multiple since there are multiple types of string theory) of the theories that tries to describe quantum mechanics and general relativity in one theoretical framework, a theory that does that is also called a Theory of everything(TEO) since it describes all the known forces in one theory. Now back bosonic string theory, bosonic string theory is a theory that tries to describe everything with bosons, bosons are all particles that have integer amounts of spin( a quantity for how fast a particle spins around its own axis), particles with halve integer spin are called fermions. Besides bosonic string theory there are multiple types of supersymmetric string theory, theories where for every boson type there exists a fermion with the same mass and internal quantum number. I hope this was some interesting background information on Tachyons.

Math Jail


A while back I watched some videos from minutephysics about some math and infinity the first one is about a proof that seems to be rather contradictory to other math stuff (and common sense) and the second is both a reaction on the commotion(math jail) over this and some more physics related explanation(go watch the videos their great). The truth about physicist (at least a lot of the ones I know) is that they use a lot of sloppy math which in my opinion is kind of a double edged sword, on the one hand it makes calculations and proofs a lot easier on the other hand in certain (rare) circumstances you can get some things which are completely different from the actual result, but well that’s why we have mathematicians and experiments.