It goes something like this: your hair frizzles in the heat and humidity, because there are more ways for your hair to be curled than to be straight, and nature likes options. So it takes a force to pull hair straight and eliminate nature’s options. Forget curved space or the spooky attraction at a distance described by Isaac Newton’s equations well enough to let us navigate the rings of Saturn, the force we call gravity is simply a byproduct of nature’s propensity to maximize disorder.
Some of the best physicists in the world say they don’t understand Dr. Verlinde’s paper, and many are outright skeptical. But some of those very same physicists say he has provided a fresh perspective on some of the deepest questions in science, namely why space, time and gravity exist at all — even if he has not yet answered them.” (New York Times).
The pair of theoretical physicists say that the Higgs boson, the postulated ‘God particle’ the LHC is supposed to discover, could ripple back in time from a future in which it exists and stop its own creation by interfering with the operation of the troubled particle accelerator, which is just about to come back online after its initial operation was beset by malfunction.
Neutrinos as we know them today are created by nuclear reactions or radioactive decay.
According to quantum mechanics, the “size” of a particle such as a neutrino is defined by a fuzzy range of possible locations. We can only detect these particles when they interact with something such as an atom, which collapses that range into a single point in space and time.
For neutrinos created recently, the ranges they can exist in are very, very small.
But over the roughly 13.7-billion-year lifetime of the cosmos, “relic” neutrinos have been stretched out by the expansion of the universe, enlarging the range in which each neutrino can exist.
“We’re talking maybe up to roughly ten billion light-years” for each neutrino, said study co-author George Fuller of the University of California, San Diego.
“That’s nearly on the order of the size of the observable universe.” ‘ (National Geographic)
‘…The method is not particularly practical at the moment, because it fails almost all of the time. Only 1 of every 100 million teleportation attempts succeed, requiring 10 minutes to transfer one bit of quantum information.
“We need to work on that,” Dr. Monroe said.’ via NYTimes [thanks, abby].
“Everyone expects the U.S. president to know the difference between Sunni and Shiite, or understand the causes of the financial meltdown. But in today’s high-tech world, many critical issues have more to do with electrons than economics. Here are five short physics lessons for President-elect Obama from the author of Physics for Future Presidents.”