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Everything posted by Alex

  1. Is Beauty Quantifiable ?

    There was a great TV special on The Learning Channel (here) that talked about common occurance of a number called the golden section, or the golden ratio in things that are generally accepted are visually appealing. Their examples range from faces, to architecture, to credit cards, to shells. There are also many other occurances and methods that this number pops up in. I was interested on what peoples opinions were on the idea of esthetics being quantifiable. Generally esthetics is often ascribed personal opinion to a large extent, but if it is in fact quantifiable, personal opinion drops as a criterion to judge beauty and beauty is no longer in the eye of the beholder.
  2. Quantum Mechanics Question

    Thank you Stephen. You explain things with such clarity, it's a great gift you have.
  3. Quantum Mechanics Question

    The part that really confuses me is where the particle(s) penetrate the barrier. With the standard theory the idea of a wave penetrating a barrier and have a transmission through to the other side seems conceptually simple to accept, but adopts the wave particle duality for the transmitted particle, which seems to make no sense. If the incident particle is strictly a particle, it requires a certain energy to overcome a potential step. Since the elementary waves do not exert any forces but merely dictate the path, how can a particle be transmitted past the barrier? Does the particle source not produce particles with a discrete energy, but rather produces particles with an energy that fits a distrubtion, say a gaussian? Thus the transmitted particles are the exceptionally rare particles with enough energy to overcome the barrier, and follow the corresponding wave to the transmitted side?
  4. Quantum Mechanics Question

    With the term winding down I'm essentially finished the last of my undergraduate courses in physics. During my courses Ive tried to conceptualize how to the theory of elementary waves would avoid some of the bazare phenomenae. Successful for the most part, I find myself really stuck with the idea of tunnelling. If the elementary waves do not exert any forces how can a electron or any particle for that matter pass a classically forbidden barrier? On an other note, it has been quite a while since I've visited the site and I must say the site is looking great.
  5. Exams

    As the term is coming to an end I just wanted to wish all who are writing exams, good luck, and may luck have nothing to do with it!
  6. Exams

    Wow, that's a rough time for an exam, definately unfair for all of those who aren't morning people, but at least you get it over with and you can get on with your day, most likely more studying. My first two are on Monday.
  7. I have recently finished my first course on quantum mechanics, and one of the postulates which was at the root of everything we learned was the copenhagen interpretation (CI). Our professor said something down the lines of how that it is the only model that is really worth considering for practical purposes. The CI was summed up as something down the lines of: "All measureable quantities are eigenstates of the wave equation." I can no longer recall his exact wording, but I can look it up if need be. I was wondering what the other interpretations are and how their models differ from the CI model. Thanks, Alex
  8. Copenhagen Interpretation

    This statement was misleading and just wanted to clarify that my quantum prof isn't in this category, he a subatomic physicist. He actually just received the Tom W. Bonner Prize in nuclear physics.
  9. Copenhagen Interpretation

    Thanks Stephen, I've forgotten much of what I've read of TEW which was just before the summer. Looks like some re-reading is needed. I've approached a couple of my professors about the TEW and it seems that the common attitude is that they encourage reading and learning more about it, but they seem content with the standard theory because it yields results. I guess this can be understood by the fact they use QM as a tool, as most of our physics profs are condensed matter physicists, and only care if the tool works not of the implications of the assumptions they make. I must say that the stance they take is frustrating. While it isn't hard to understand where they are coming from, I can see how tough it is for an idea to spread in academia.
  10. Copenhagen Interpretation

    I didn't feel hat it was worth starting a new thread for this post, and it does fit along the line of discussion in here. Stephen I guess this is mainly directed at you, unless someone else could enlighten me. In our QM class in school this year we've learned about the generalized uncertainty principle relating the variance of two observables with the expectation value of their commutator. In class a proof of this was given. I was wondering, if the TEW is able to get rid of the uncertainty principle, or rather make it a restriction of our knowledge as opposed to it being a physical limit, what changes in the uncertainty relation? So far the only conclusion I have been able to come to was that something in the derivation of the momentum operator implies intrinsic waves. If this is the case, is the momentum operator not actually (h-bar)/i grad()? Or how else can the uncertainty principle be attributed to knowable variables of a particle?
  11. In Dr. Lewis Little's lecture he mentions that the elementary waves don't exert a force on the particles, or maybe I misunderstood what he was saying. If the particles are particles then a change in direction would require a force, where is this force coming from?
  12. Watching a movie/documentry, mention of an experiment where thoughts affected the crystalline structure of water crystals. "[Masaru] Emoto decided to see what effects music has on the structuring of water. He placed distilled water between two speakers for several hours and then photographed the crystals that formed after the water was frozen." (see pictures) Mr. Emoto also claims to have captured the effects of thought and emotion on the crystallization of water. There are also other experiments which demonstrate 'mystical' phenomena such as the Global Consciousness Project where a correlation between randomly generated numbers from electronic devices with major global events is investgated. I was wondering if there was legitamacy to these experiments. And does this suggest the existence of a new type of wave as the information carrier of human emotion?
  13. Almost Beyond Belief

    I don't want to discredit Emoto blindly. What were his flaws in his scientific method? Or do you know where I can find his procedures so I can criticize it myself? Thanks
  14. Almost Beyond Belief

    Would you happen to know if he was able to associate certain crystal formations to emotions. Was he able to consistently reproduce a certain crystal structure and then produce a recognizably distinct crystal simply by changing the emotion?
  15. Almost Beyond Belief

    I couldn't even finish this movie. I had a lot of trouble watching these acredited professionals making the claims they were making. Not that they aren't acredited, but the support of these physists of such exotic behaviour without an appeal to a reasonable physical explaination was what bothered me. On a side note, I downloaded the lecture of Dr. Lewis Little on TEW. I haven't watched it in it's entirety yet, but with what I've seen I have enjoyed.
  16. Almost Beyond Belief

    It all sounded too bogus. Any comments on the Global Consciousness Project? This was something I first saw on the Discovery Channel on Daily Planet. As soon as the episode was over I checked out the website, the involvement of Princeton as the central data analysis hub (or basket as they call it) seemed to give it a level of credit, and since I wasn't too sure on the methods they were using for analysis and the equipment used I didn't know how to question its legitamacy.
  17. A really dumb question, I think

    For all the sky gazers and those interested, the Perseids are coming into view around the 12th of August. I've been trying to find the best viewing time and have found a couple of different quoted times, but 11pm - sunrise on the 11th and 12th of August seem to be the quoted the most. In Discover Magazine I read that the 15th is the best time. I just wanted to give a heads up for those who would be interested and were unaware.
  18. I understand that String theory was developed as a mathematical bridge between General Relativity (GR), and quantum theory (QT). I was wondering why they coined the term 'String' Theory. My personal guess is that the equation connecting the two formulations takes on the form of a 9-dimensional equation, somewhat resembling the wave equation. And since the wave-equation can be thought of as describing the oscillatory behaviour of a string like object, they called it string theory? Alex
  19. Limits

    The time intervals between each event (reaching a distance (1/2)^n ) gets shorter and shorter, so does this suggest time stops as you approach your destination? By this analysis it would seem so, but we know time is continuous and flows at a steady rate. So it seems fair to say that you can get where you want to go. Speaking of that I got to go pack and get ready to head out to the logging camp. Here's to hoping I can get there.
  20. Limits

    I remember in math class I loved this stuff. From this you can arrive at the strange conclusion that 1 = 0.9999999999... The easiest way to show this is simply multiply your relation by 3. 1/3 x 3 = 0.33333333... x3. I have a hard time grasping this because you try to reason that 0.99999... will be slightly smaller, infinitesimally (word?) smaller. But if you never get there and just keep going then the difference is zero.
  21. Copenhagen Interpretation

    I also have two other text books, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by French and Taylor and Modern Physics by Serway, Moses and Moyer (SMM). I don't have room for them all, right now Resnick and French & Taylor are packed.
  22. I've never used this but making an allusion that the person you are talking to can identify with can give context to your relationship, or just sound more poetic. This is my Juliet, or I'd like you to meet the Venus of my galaxy. While risking sounding corny or cheesy if you know your audience you can be humourous or elegant.
  23. Copenhagen Interpretation

    This is the position I am coming from. It kind of feels like I looking through a peep hole to see what lies on the other side of the door. Questioning how all the tools I've learned to use are going to help me, and what to expect. I definatly need to sharpen up on my craftsmanship, but it is exciting taking peeks.
  24. Copenhagen Interpretation

    I will be the first to admit my understanding of Objectivism and the philosophy governing the issues of discussion are clearly lacking. But that I am really interested in the subject. I am just trying to get the most out of this forum, in terms the validity of the concepts I'm learning in school, and the assumptions they imply before I'm gone for the summer. Pretty much I want to get some direction for my reading.