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  1. #1

    Default Quantum mechanics/physics and the nature of reality.

    Let me start of saying that this is a subject I do NOT know much about, but am terribly interested in.

    20 Questions:


    What are the best resources to explore this fascinating field? What is your understanding, what do you know? What are your thoughts? I'm interested to pick your brains!

    Also, for everyone who wants to answer, What do you believe (in)?

    Thanks!
    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
    Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night



  2. #2
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    You could start here for some basics:

    http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/c....aspx?cid=1240



  3. #3
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    I have a friend who is a physicist and we've had some very interesting discussions about this. He's convinced me that I'm totally ignorant about physics ; but now I'm interested. It's fascinating and very practical once you start learning a little bit about it.
    <><




  4. #4
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    I have many books on the topic in my library, but I'll recommend one of my favorites. It's Leonard Shlain's "Art & Physics" - Parallel visions in space, time & light.

    "Art interprets the visible world, physics charts its unseen workings - and so the two realms seem completely opposed. But in this brilliant piece of cultural detective work, Leonard Shlain tracks their breakthroughs side by side throughout history to reveal an astonishing coincidence of visions. From the classical Greek sculptors to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, and from Aristotle to Einstein, artists foreshadow the discoveries of scientists, sometimes by more than a century.

    . . .for example, in the early Renaissance Giotto reinvented space by developing proto-perspective to give flat canvas depth. Later, Copernicus unwittingly using Giotto's methods, would reimagine the space of the cosmos, to place the sun at the planet's hub.

    At the end of the nineteenth century, such artists as Manet, Cezanne, and Monet intuited the coming upheaval in physics that Einstein would initiate; and their Fauvist, Cubist, Futurist and Surrealist successors created striking paintings that fit perfectly if superimposed on Einstein's theories. Congruences persist right up to the present day in the works of Raushenberg, Morris, Andre, Lewitt, and others, mirroring the dicoveries of cutting-edge cosmologies.

    To explain art's strange clairvoyance, Shlain invokes evolutionary theory, split-brain research, philosophy, and mythology. He proposes that art and physics unite in a higher realm he calls "universal mind."

    ...or, as some would put it, the quantum mind.



  5. #5
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    BeaSting, that book sounds fascinating. I'll have to check it out.

    The more I learn about physics, the more interested I become. It is really mind-blowing stuff. I was at a science conference a little while ago and went to a couple of seminars hosted by the Perimeter Institute. One was very much over my head, but so interesting - I felt like Penny from BBT in a room full of Sheldons and Leonards! I also have a friend who is dating a physicist. He came in to my school last year to talk to our grade 9s about space - it was incredible the things he talked about.



  6. #6
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    You might also get some back issues of the magazine "Scientific American" or subscribe to their online site (https://www.scientificamerican.com/ ). They regularly feature articles on physics and all are well written with the layman in mind .... they don't dumb it down, but they explain the terms and concepts very clearly.

    *star*
    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926
    RIP Carleigh 1999-2011



  7. #7
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    Add me to the list of the terribly interested. Unfortunately my mind doesn't have the capacity of the great physicists and sometimes my brain shuts down when trying to comprehend these difficult concepts.
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    I loved quantum mechanics. I had a horrible time with electromagnetism, though -curls of E and levi-cevita deltas - the stuff of nightmares. One question on our final that I remember over 30 years later = 'if you were God, how would you reconcile Newtons equations and the basic equations of electromagnetism' are you kidding me? I am afraid that Quantum mechanics of my day is totally unrecognizable today. (My computer courses consisted of keypunch cards, submiiting them to batch and coming back three days later to see if you had made a one line error in code -is FORTRAN or Assembly language even used anymore?)



  9. #9
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    I didn't know anyone remember the keypunch cards any more.
    It was a job in itself to feed those to the machines.

    Now, who remembers the first mechanical "calculators"?



  10. #10
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    Heck Bluey - I remember the big game thing was playing star trek on the printers - you would make a move, then 2 minutes later the new board would print out, then you would make another move. Then there was the first 'adventure' game. You would tell the computer to go north or south, ask it to look around and describe what it 'saw'. You could end up in a 'twisty little tunnel that looked all alike, make a move and be in a little twisty tunnel forever LOL



  11. #11
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    My personal thoughts at this moment... (I like to try to remain open to change)

    Regarding physics.... to me physics is a development of an understanding for predicting future states of existence in specific locations (whether the location be large or small).

    As for the nature of reality.... I'm currently tending to believe in reality as the collective of an individuals perceptions, as they focus their awareness into specific locations that are part of an infinite universe.

    I'm currently liking the thought that the universe is endless in every aspect. Whether it be concepts of small or large, or concepts of multidimensional space. I think that no matter what "direction" you choose to "look into" you will find endlessness.

    I'm speculating upon an "infinity of infinities", because I think that any time one attempts to create any hypothetical boundaries that raise into existence any concept of "nothingness", one then has to define what nothingness is, and no one to my knowledge has yet been able to prove the existence of any state of nothingness, because the all laws of physics as yet known, create no methodology for observing absolutely nothing.

    Nothing must then be only a relative idea dependent upon (or adjacent to) what can be observed.

    Imagine an endless universe full of an infinity of states of existence, and the very "nature" of infinity necessitates that different states of existence must then interact in infinite ways.

    The result is an infinitum of possibilities... and what I think physicists do is to observe those possibilities for which they are capable of conceiving methods of observing.

    What the individual experiences, are those possibilities that become perceivable, as they open their capacity for awareness to experience those possibilities that are already in existence, and require only a "position of observation" relative to an individuals "ability for perception", to bring that possibility into view.

    Each individuals nature of reality, would then only be that portion of infinity that an individual has gained ability to sense and perceive.



  12. #12
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    Just be careful not to bump your nose on that wall you may not be seeing.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Just be careful not to bump your nose on that wall you may not be seeing.
    The wall must first come into a state of existence to become perceivable as an experience of a bump.

    Think of perception as a concept of... having some kind of awareness of some kind of influence. Understanding the cause/source of an influence is not essential to having some awareness of it.

    Many things that have influence are not directly perceived either, yet they still have the potential to exist.



  14. #14
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    The Tao of Physics is a really fun read.



  15. #15
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    You're all awesome! Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions, I'm going to have to reread some as I'm in a bit of a rush.

    ponyclubrocks - unfortunately, I gave that book away before I got a chance to read it. Kicking myself about it now!
    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
    Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night



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