Author Archives: The Physicist

Q: If light is a wave, then what’s doing the waving?

Physicist: In short: nothing.  Light acts like a wave, but unlike sound waves, light isn’t a material that’s moving back-and-forth. Waves are a coordinated movement of atoms.  A wave itself isn’t made of anything, it’s just a propagating motion through … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Experiments, Physics | 32 Comments

Q: If you’ve got different amounts of debt in different accounts with different interest rates, how should you pay them down?

Physicist: Focus on the one with the highest interest rate.  Get rid of it first, completely, before moving on to the next.  Debt is a like spiders.  If you can only kill a few at a time, kill the ones … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Math | 5 Comments

Q: Should we be worried about artificial intelligence? By “we” I mean humans.

Person: No.  Not at all.  Don’t give it a second thought. Behind every great triumph in artificial intelligence is a human being, who frankly should be feared more than the machine they created.  Most ancient and literal was the The … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, April Fools | 25 Comments

Q: Why haven’t we been able to see the spectra of anti-hydrogen until recently? Why is it so hard to study anti-matter?

Physicist: Although anti-matter was first experimentally confirmed in 1932, no one has been able to see the atomic spectrum of any anti-elements until December 2016. The problem with anti-matter is that you can’t let it touch anything.  If you do: … Continue reading

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

Q: Does quantum mechanics really say there are other “mes”? Where are they?

Physicist: As much of a trope as “Other Quantum Worlds” has become in sci-fi, there are reasons to think that they may be a real thing; including “other yous”.  Here’s the idea. Superposition is a real thing One of the … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Philosophical, Physics, Quantum Theory, Skepticism | 33 Comments

Q: In base ten 1=0.999…, but what about in other bases? What about in base 1?

Physicist: Yup! The “0.999… thing” has been done before, but here’s the idea.  When we write 0.9, 0.99, 0.999, 0.9999, etc. we’re writing a sequence of numbers that gets closer and closer to 1.  Specifically, if there are N 9’s, … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Math | 5 Comments