Monthly Archives: March 2010

Q: Are there physical limits in the universe other than the speed of light?

Physicist: Hells yeah. Fastest fast: This is worth commenting on since you often hear “nothing can travel faster then light”, but the justification is almost always missing.  The universe seems to be pretty happy thinking of the speed of light … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Physics, Quantum Theory, Relativity | 16 Comments

Q: Is it of any coincidence that mathematics is able to describe physical reality – given that both are inventions of the human mind?

Physicist: There’s a lot of math that doesn’t describe physical reality at all, and even some (few) mathematicians who feel that “applicability” is just another word for “impurity”.  The ability of math to describe reality is just a consequence of … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, -- Guest Author, Evolution, Math, Paranoia, Philosophical | 1 Comment

Q: If you were to break down an average human body into its individual atoms, and then laid the atoms out in a single straight line, how far would it stretch?

Physicist: Atoms are a little “fuzzy”, so their exact size is a little tricky to define.  So taking their size in terms of bond length, and looking at the most common elements in the human body (by mass: 65% oxygen, … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Biology, Brain Teaser | 3 Comments

Q: What’s it like when you travel at the speed of light?

Physicist: From a classical (Newtonian) view point this is a completely solid question.  However, in the context of special relativity the question itself is (unfortunately) non-sense.  For many practical purposes, the speed of light (hereafter I’ll call it “C”) is … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics, Relativity | 12 Comments

Q: Is there a real life example where two negatives make a positive?

Physicist: Although the laws of the universe are very absolute, the equations and terms we use are generally easy to rewrite and rephrase.  For example: it seems natural to describe the motion of a ball in terms of its altitude.  … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Philosophical, Physics | 7 Comments

Q: Do the “laws” of physics and math exist? If so, where? Are they discovered or invented/created by humans?

The original question was: Mathematicians sometimes say, “There exists a number such that . . .”  Which provokes me to ask, Where does it exist? For how long has it existed? Did numbers exist before people did? Or did people … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Philosophical | 11 Comments