Category Archives: Skepticism

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

Physicist: The short answer is: yes, there are literally different versions of you literally running around doing things that would seem entirely ordinary.  Probably.  In fact, you’re providing one example right now.  But don’t get to excited: the same physics … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Philosophical, Physics, Quantum Theory, Skepticism | 8 Comments

Q: Does anti-matter really move backward through time?

Physicist: The very short answer is: yes, but not in time-traveler-kind-of-way. There is a “symmetry” in physics implied by our most fundamental understanding of physical law, and is never violated by any known process, that’s called the “CPT symmetry“.  It … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Particle Physics, Physics, Skepticism | 3 Comments

Q: How many times do you need to roll dice before you know they’re loaded?

Physicist: A nearly equivalent question might be “how can you prove freaking anything?”. In empirical science (science involving tests and whatnot) things are never “proven”.  Instead of asking “is this true?” or “can I prove this?” a scientist will often … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Experiments, Math, Philosophical, Skepticism | 4 Comments

Q: What are “delayed choice experiments”? Can “wave function collapse” be used to send information?

Physicist: There are a lot of big claims made about entanglement, but there are two carved-in-stone facts that help cut through some of the more grandiose claims.  First, (maximally) entangled states always act exactly like a perfectly random state, until … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Entropy/Information, Experiments, Philosophical, Physics, Probability, Quantum Theory, Skepticism | 6 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: How much of a direct effect do planets and stars have on us? Is astrology reasonable or plausable?

Physicist: Of the four forces: gravity, electromagnetism, nuclear-strong, and nuclear-weak, only the first two, gravity and EM, affect things over distances (at least, over distances larger than an atomic nucleus).  So, if the planets and stars have any direct influence … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Experiments, Physics, Skepticism | 24 Comments