The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection, 250 Milestones in the History of Physics

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9 Responses to “The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection, 250 Milestones in the History of Physics”

  1. Wait, Roger Zelazny creatively speculates in his novel Bridges of Ashes pretty much the plot to 2001: A Space Odyssey?

  2. Rob Gehrke says:

    Wow, this looks like a lot of fun.

  3. Guest says:

    Much more likely they did it for some other reason and we’re an absolute accident. If we were created with a long term plan, we’d be collectively better at long-term planning. 

  4. Daen de Leon says:

    This medical imaging technique involves the detection of gamma rays (high-energy radiation) emitted by a positron-emitting tracer radionuclide, an atom with an unstable nucleus.

    Not quite.  It’s true that the tracer decays, and in doing so emits a positron.  But the gamma rays themselves are emitted from the electron-positron annihilation event that occurs when the positron encounters an electron; they don’t come directly from the tracer.

  5. Peter says:

    The problem with Quantum Immortality is that the outcomes aren’t binary.  “You die, or you’re fine”.  There are all sorts of gradations in the middle.  You fall off a building… sure, in one out of a million universes that stem from that fall, you get up, dust yourself off, and walk away with no problems.  In many, many more, you suffer severe injuries that will make the rest of your life unending (because you will never experience the universes in which you die) pain… the same goes for every other scenario – the hammer might shatter your skull and damage your brain, but you survive. The moment you set up the experiment and sit down for it and wait for the decision of the isotope, you’ve got a 50/50 chance of experiencing a universe in which you’re fine, or a universe in which the hammer starts to fall, and whatever happens after that, you live.

    I hope QI isn’t true, because if it is, sooner or later, no matter how lucky you are, you’ll wind up in a hell of eternal pain.  One in a billion, billion of you might have continued to exist happily alive for centuries, but that’s no more comfort to the rest of you than the thought that one in several million of you just won the lottery yesterday.  Once you’ve split off, you don’t get to go back and experience the universes where you had better outcomes. Once you’ve fallen off the building, you will never experience the universe where you just barely missed falling off the building. All that you have left to experience are the universes where the ground’s rushing up, and hope for the one in a million chance that you’re fine, and not the rest of the chances where you’re alive, but wish you weren’t.

    It does, if you believe in it, turn out to be a startlingly good argument against attempting suicide, though – why not put off that eternal pain as long as possible?

    • onepieceman says:

      I agree it’s all deeply troubling (which doesn’t mean it isn’t true!).
      If many worlds is true, then ethics and morality go straight out of the window, since it is 100% guaranteed that there will be worlds in which you have gone on mass murder campaigns, no matter how meek you consider yourself. Darwinism is as nothing in terms of cultural shock value compared to many worlds.
      That said, it really is an elegant interpretation to put on quantum theory. I recommend reading David Deutsch on this.

  6. Alex Shaver says:

    Multi-World (better stated as multi-state) interpretation does *not* mean for every possible decision you can make, the universe splits in twain. It means that when a quantum measurement is made, the measurement apparatus is joined in a superposition that is correlated with the superposition of the quantum particle’s states. Your memory of that measurement is part of the measurement apparatus. And since the superposed states cannot communicate with each other, it is merely that you can’t “remember” seeing the measurement be something else.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/g8fuo/many_worlds_interpretation/

  7. Sapa says:

    I like how physics becomes metaphysical and doesn’t have the answers. I also like to hear of clever things that were made in ancient times that we rediscover. The thing that makes me sad is the thought of all the treasures that we have thrown away because we didn’t know what they were for.

  8. This book cover suffers from Transliteration Fail.  Please, future mathematicians, get a liberal arts education before specializing in the hard sciences.

    γ = g

    γ ≠ y

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