This is a simple quantum state ... |➚> = α|↑> + β|↓> ... built from an up |↑> state and a down state |↓>. α and β are complex numbers. The result |➚> is in the middle, oblique. The oblique state is a superposition or the up and down base states. Making a measurement, you … Continue reading Spins, Rotations, and the Beauty of Complex Numbers
As other authors of science blogs have pointed out: Most popular search terms are submitted by students. So I guess it is not the general public who is interested in: the theory of gyroscopes, (theory of) microwaves, (theory of) heat pumps, (theory of) falling slinkies, or the Coriolis force. I believe that these search terms … Continue reading “Student Friendly Quantum Field Theory”
In my series on Quantum Field Theory I wanted to document my own learning endeavors but it has turned into a meta-contemplation on the 'explain-ability' of theoretical physics. Initially I had been motivated by a comment David Tong made in his introductory lecture: Comparing different QFT books he states that Steven Weinberg's books are hard reads because at … Continue reading Learning Physics, Metaphors, and Quantum Fields
All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. This is a quote from Worstward Ho by Samuel Beckett - a poem as impenetrable and opaque as my post on quantization. There is a version of Beckett's poem with explanations, so I try again, too! I … Continue reading Hyper-Jelly – Again. Why We Need Hyperspace – Even in Politics.
Yes, this is a serious physics post - no. 3 in my series on Quantum Field Theory. I promised to explain what Quantization is. I will also argue - again - that classical mechanics is unjustly associated with steampunk pictures of clocks and trains. It looks more like representations of time-lines in Back to the … Continue reading On the Relation of Jurassic Park and Alien Jelly Flowing through Hyperspace
As Feynman explains so eloquently - and yet in a refreshingly down-to-earth way - understanding and learning physics works like this: There are no true axioms, you can start from anywhere. Your physics knowledge is like a messy landscape, built from different interconnected islands of insights. You will not memorize them all, but you need … Continue reading May the Force Field Be with You: Primer on Quantum Mechanics and Why We Need Quantum Field Theory
This is the first post in my series about Quantum Field Theory. What a let-down: I will just discuss classical mechanics. There is a quantum mechanics, and in contrast there is good old classical, Newtonian mechanics. The latter is a limiting case of the former. So there is some correspondence between the two, and there are rules … Continue reading Space Balls, Baywatch and the Geekiness of Classical Mechanics
Do I miss assignments and exams? Definitely not, and I am now - finally, really, absolutely - determined to complete another program I had set for myself about 2-3 years ago. I had not been able to pull it off in addition to being a moonlighting student. Since about 10 years I have been recycling my physics knowledge on … Continue reading And Now for Something Completely Different: Quantum Fields!
I had been trained as an experimental physicist which meant I was good at locating vacuum leaks, adjusting lasers and lenses, telling reasonable data from artefacts, and being the only person that ever replenished the paper feed of the X-ray diffractometer (Yes, at that time we used paper records). Exactly because of that I took pride in the … Continue reading Quantum Field Theory or: It’s More Than a Marble Turned into a Wiggly Line
I set a stretch goal for myself: I want to force myself to keep some posts of mine short. As a fan of MinutePhysics I am launching a new category: Physics in a Nutshell. I am going to try to tackle a question that has bothered me for a while - hopefully briefly and concisely. ___________________________________ The question of … Continue reading Is It Determinism if We Can Calculate Probabilities Exactly?