Monthly Archives: March 2011

Video: Getting Computers to Learn

An introduction to machine learning (a form of artificial intelligence concerned with getting computers to learn from data), and a discussion of some of the mathematics underlying machine learning algorithms. Part 1 of 4: Part 2 of 4: Part 3 … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Mathematician, Computer Science, Machine Learning & A.I., Videos | 4 Comments

Q: What is going on in a nuclear reactor, and what happens during a meltdown?

Physicist: Nuclear reactors are very 19th century in a way. The nuclear fuel is basically a bunch of very hot metal, and the more of it you get together in one place, the hotter it gets.  That heat is used … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Engineering, Particle Physics, Physics | 10 Comments

Q: How do I find the love of my life? (a Mathematician’s perspective)

Mathematician: The Physicist and I were once asked “how do I find the love of my life?”. Never ones to shy away from applying math to love (or anything else), the Physicist gave his take on this question (noting the … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Mathematician, Biology, Equations, Philosophical, Probability | 20 Comments

Q: Are all atoms radioactive?

The original question was: Some elementary particles spontaneously break apart at a given rate. Can the same be said about normally stable atoms and molecules? That is, even though they are stable, does their natural internal activity lead to a … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Particle Physics, Physics, Quantum Theory | 2 Comments

Q: How do you talk about the size of infinity? How can one infinity be bigger than another?

Physicist: When you have two finite sets it’s easy to say which one has more things in it.  You count up the number of things in each, compare the numbers, and which ever is more… is more.  However, with an … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Mathematician, -- By the Physicist, Logic, Math | 14 Comments

Q: Why does E=MC2 ?

Physicist: It’s a little surprising that this question didn’t come up earlier.  Unfortunately, there’s no intuitive way to understand why “the energy of the rest mass of an object is equal to the rest mass times the speed of light … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics, Relativity | 54 Comments