Monthly Archives: April 2010

Q: Is it odd that the universe’s constants are all so perfectly conducive to life?

Physicist: Maybe. When written down, most physical laws involve at least one physical constant.  For example, the “G” in gravitational force: , or the “h” in the energy of photons: , or the speed of light: “c”.  There are a … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Philosophical, Physics, Quantum Theory | 10 Comments

Q: How/when will the world end?

Physicist: To answer this question definitively would require the destruction of at least a couple dozen other worlds.  But failing that, guesswork: The little things (people): In the short term (less than several million years) the biggest threat the Earth … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Biology, Paranoia, Physics | 4 Comments

Q: What would happen if an unstoppable force met with an unmovable, impenetrable object?

Mathematician: Sometimes, when we don’t use language carefully enough, we can get ourselves into philosophical trouble. For example, consider the following statement: If a barber shaves all those men (and only those men) who do not shave themselves, does he … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Mathematician, Brain Teaser, Philosophical | 18 Comments

My bad: Have aliens ever visited Earth?

Physicist: In the post “Q: Have aliens ever visited Earth?” I said that the maximum velocity that can be obtained by a rocket using fusion is 11% of light speed.  Wrong! It turns out that (as a commenter had suggested) … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Mistake | 6 Comments

Q: How do Bell pairs (entangled particles) behave experimentally?

Physicist: When a photon with an unknown polarization hits a polarizer it has a 50% chance of being stopped and a 50% chance of going through.  However, once the photon has passed through a polarizer then its polarization is known … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics, Quantum Theory | 10 Comments

Video: What your Spiritual Guru Never Told you about Quantum Mechanics

AskAMathematician.com presents a lecture on Quantum Mechanics given as part of Nerd Nite (NYC): Quantum Mechanics has been around since the thirties and is the basis of essentially all of modern physics. It is a clean theory and has been … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics, Quantum Theory, Skepticism, Videos | 1 Comment