Monthly Archives: December 2012

Q: Two entangled particles approach a black hole, one falls in and the other escapes. Do they remain entangled? What about after the black hole evaporates?

Physicist: If all you had access to was the remaining particle, you’d never know the difference. The way entanglement is often described in popular media makes it sound like voodoo; there’s some kind of magical connection between two or more … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics, Quantum Theory | 14 Comments

Q: If there are 10 dimensions, then why don’t we notice them?

Physicist: A “dimension” is a direction.  So, we’re in “3 dimensions” because there are only 3 directions, and every other direction is just a combination of those 3 (and their negatives).  For example, by telling someone how far north, east, … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics | 20 Comments

Q: Will the world end tomorrow?

Physicist: Probably not.  Update to follow. Update (12/22/12): Nope.

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

Q: In an infinite universe, does everything that’s possible have to happen somewhere?

The original question was: Lets say that we determine that an event is physically possible. So that means the probability of that event is greater than zero. Right? So my question is this. Is there any sense in saying that … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Philosophical, Probability | 39 Comments

Q: Which of Earth’s life forms could survive on each planet of the Solar System?

Physicist: We can feel fairly certain that no life from Earth can survive on the surface of any of the other planets. Mercury is really inhospitable.  Although there’s some water ice in craters near it poles, there’s very little hope … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Biology | 7 Comments

Q: What are fractional dimensions? Can space have a fractional dimension?

Physicist: There are a couple of different contexts in which the word “dimension” comes up.  In the case of fractals the number of dimensions has to do (this is a little hand-wavy) with the way points in the fractal are … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Math | 10 Comments