Things to do when you can’t sleep: xix


xix : Check the laws and theories of physics

… to see how many you have heard of. (The last time I ‘did’ physics was in second form.)  My heard-of rate seems to be about 75%, though much better among the more astronomical ones.  The comprehension rate, especially at one in the morning, is lower.  And anything quantum is perfectly impenetrable.

The book is snippety and is written informally, but very ‘straight’, so I enjoyed the occasional lapse (or elevation).

In a section on the photoelectric effect, for example:

“Physicists have now also seen larger particles behaving like waves, such as neutrons … Bigger objects, like ball bearings and badgers, have minuscule wavelengths, too small to see ….”

I also concurred with the author’s reflection on the theory which would see each and every human observation of the world triggering the universe to split into two universes which are very slightly different from one another  – ” … This seems a waste of a lot of good universes.”


4 responses »

  1. Being a guy who studied Physics at University through the PhD just from your snippets it sounds like someone (the author) has some loose views of some things. I’ll have to check this book out just for fun.


    • Thanks for dropping in to Minutiae. Bear in mind that it might be me doing the garbled interpretation! And the book is, after all, a couple of steps down from ‘Physics for Dummies’ – somewhere down at the ‘Physics for Root Vegetables’ level.

  2. ” … This seems a waste of a lot of good universes.” I love this! I think I have another new motto.

    …hmmm. Also, the idea would probably fit somewhere in a half-written multiple universe story I have lying around on my hard drive…..hmmm. 😉

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