Sections SEARCH Skip to content Skip to site index Book Review Subscribe Log In Subscribe Log In Advertisement Supported by Nonfiction ByJames Gleick May 8, 2018 WHAT IS REAL? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics Are atoms real? Of course they are. Everybody believes in atoms, even people who don’t believe in evolution or climate change. If we didn’t have atoms, how could we have atomic bombs? But you can’t see an atom directly. And even though atoms were first conceived and named by ancient Greeks, it was not until the last century that they achieved the status of actual physical entities — real as apples, real as the moon. The first proof of atoms came from 26-year-old Albert Einstein in 1905, the same year he proposed his theory of special relativity. Before that, the atom served as an increasingly useful hypothetical construct. At the same time, Einstein defined a new entity: a particle of … [Read more...] about What Does Quantum Physics Actually Tell Us About the World?
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Last Updated Jan 25, 2011 8:05 PM EST My BNET colleague Margaret Heffernan opened a can of anacondas with her post about the difference between business and war. It revived memories of my years reviewing business books, during which I encountered numerous authors who claimed lessons learned in another sphere of life could be applied to business. Sports, coaching, parenting, the military -- the list is long indeed. One of the first -- and weirdest -- examples is "Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World" (Berrett-Koehler), by Margaret Wheatley. I confess that I gave this business-as-quantum-physics thesis serious treatment when it appeared in 1992. I wasn't the only one who bought the validity of transplanting successful techniques from one area of endeavor to the world of business. "Leadership and the New Science," for example, was reissued in a third edition as recently as 2006. But suspicion mounted. Eventually, entries such as 1995's "Finding a Way to … [Read more...] about Business Books That Waste Your Time and Money
The foundation of a Russian billionaire announced Tuesday (Dec. 11) that it would hand out two $3-million physics prizes -- one to legendary cosmologist Stephen Hawking and the other to group of CERN scientists who spearheaded this year's discovery of a Higgs-like particle at the world's largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in Geneva. The Fundamental Physics Prize, nearly three times as lucrative as the Nobel Prize, was founded last year by physicist-turned-entrepreneur Yuri Milner and stands as world's richest science award. Hawking is being honored for his work on black holes and his "deep contributions to quantum gravity and quantum aspects of the early universe," according to a statement. In particular, he was cited for theorizing what is now called "Hawking radiation," a faint glimmer of radiation emanating from black holes. The prolific physicist said he was "delighted and honoured" to receive the prize, in an email to the Guardian. "No one undertakes … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Hawking, CERN scientists win $3 million physics prize
Culture Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email Enlarge this image An image from Clifford Johnson's The Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of the Universe. Courtesy of Clifford Johnson hide caption toggle caption Courtesy of Clifford Johnson An image from Clifford Johnson's The Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of the Universe. Courtesy of Clifford Johnson The origin of the universe, the nature of space, the reality of time: These are ancient questions. Libraries across the world are filled with heavy books that are, themselves, heavy with equations on these issues. But how many graphic novels are exploring these questions? More importantly, how many graphic novels written and drawn by expert theoretical physicists are there? Well, happily for us all, the answer to the latter question is "at least one," thanks to University of Southern California physicist Clifford Johnson. Johnson's new book The Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of … [Read more...] about ‘The Dialogues’ Takes On Physics And Reality In Words And Pictures
Science Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email Enlarge this image Getty Images/Tetra images RF Getty Images/Tetra images RF Who has no regrets about things done in the past? Wouldn't it be nice if, somehow, we could go back to tweak a couple of bad decisions? This sounds (and as we will see, is, to a certain extent) like science fiction. The laws of physics prohibit traveling backwards in time for many reasons. If we did travel backwards in time and changed the course of events, we would be altering the course of history. An example often cited is the grandfather's paradox: If you traveled back in time and killed your grandfather when he was still a high school student, he wouldn't have met your grandmother and your father and you wouldn't exist. A popular example of traveling back in time is the fascinating Canadian TV series Travelers: In a distant future, the Earth is in shambles; humans are controlled by a benevolent artificial intelligence that finds a way … [Read more...] about Can We Change The Past?
Review Movie Reviews With Go-For-Broke Exuberance, 'A Wrinkle In Time' Celebrates The Power Of Love Listen · 6:05 6:05 Toggle more options Download Embed Embed <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/592157691/592372223" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player"> Transcript Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email Ava DuVernay's adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's novel assets that a young girl's imagination can change the world. Critic Justin Chang says despite some gaudiness, the film has its own kind of magic. Movies The 'Wrinkle In Time' Movie Began As A Fifth-Grader's Dream DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. With her new film "A Wrinkle in Time," Ava DuVernay has become the first woman of color to direct a motion picture with a budget of more than $100 million. She began her career making low-budget indies, including "Middle Of Nowhere," and has since become … [Read more...] about With Go-For-Broke Exuberance, ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Celebrates The Power Of Love
Time is relative, but some of us still don't have enough of it to fully take in the most salient aspects of such topics as dark matter, exoplanets, the Big Bang, and why so many objects in outer space are spherical. Fortunately, we have Neil deGrasse Tyson, whose latest book, "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry" (published Tuesday from WW Norton), offers a shortcut to scientific literacy, with entertaining, bite-sized chapters that explore cosmic questions. Read the excerpts below. Neil deGrasse Tyson, our joyful guide to the stars ("Sunday Morning," 04/30/17) From: "Dark Energy" So what is the stuff? Nobody knows. The closest anybody has come is to presume dark energy is a quantum effect -- where the vacuum of space, instead of being empty, actually seethes with particles and their antimatter counterparts. They pop in and out of existence in pairs, and don't last long enough to be measured. Their transient existence is captured in their moniker: virtual particles. The … [Read more...] about Book excerpt: Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry”
Opinion Deepak Chopra, Special to SFGate Updated 8:34 am, Monday, November 6, 2017 READ ANOTHER OPINION Potent legal claims throw Trump on the defensive A reminder of just how wrong Trump apologists were Republicans demonstrate they aren't up to the task of... What authoritarians do: Attack the apolitical administration... By Deepak Chopra, MD Peacekeepers entering war zones frequently find that both sides are angry and intransigent, to the point that even mentioning peace causes tempers to flare. This has been the situation with the debate—now worn out to the point of exhaustion—between science and religion. There are ways to bring peace, but they are stymied by militant partisans. The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson broke out from his warm persona as our national science explainer in 2014 when he stated, in line with previous opinions, that philosophy was useless, telling an interviewer, “My concern here is that the philosophers believe … [Read more...] about The Faith-Based Science of Neil deGrasse Tyson—It Needs Correcting
Opinion Deepak Chopra, Special to SFGate Published 2:42 am, Monday, October 16, 2017 READ ANOTHER OPINION Potent legal claims throw Trump on the defensive A reminder of just how wrong Trump apologists were Republicans demonstrate they aren't up to the task of... What authoritarians do: Attack the apolitical administration... By Deepak Chopra, MD and Anoop Kumar, MD Because science is the primary way we view reality, it has shaped the minds of students from grade school through graduate studies and beyond. But behind the scenes, experts are telling a new story--and in fact have been doing so for at least a century. In the July 2005 issue of Nature magazine, Richard Conn Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, wrote: “...The 1925 discovery of quantum mechanics solved the problem of the Universe’s nature. Bright physicists were again led to believe the unbelievable — this time, that the Universe is mental.” This … [Read more...] about An Educated Society Can No Longer Hide from Consciousness
Eric Dorsey, a 62-year-old engineer in Palo Alto, was watching TV Tuesday night when he started getting texts that Stephen Hawking had died. He turned on the news and saw clips of the famed physicist speaking in his iconic android voice — the voice that Dorsey had spent so much time as a young man helping to create, and then, much later, to save from destruction. Dorsey and Hawking had first met nearly 30 years earlier to the day. In March 1988, Hawking was visiting UC Berkeley during a three-week lecture tour. At 46, Hawking was already famous for his discoveries about quantum physics and black holes, but not as famous as he was about to be. His best-seller, “A Brief History of Time,” was a week away from release, and Californians were curious about this British professor from the University of Cambridge, packing the seats of his public talks, approaching him at meals. Hawking motored into buildings and onto stages in a wheelchair with a seat of maroon sheepskin, … [Read more...] about Exclusive: The Silicon Valley quest to preserve Stephen Hawking’s voice