My mom used to say that when your child is as big as you, you have to treat them with respect. What she actually said was that you had to address them using a respectful form of “you,” which doesn’t make any sense in English, but may work in Hindi or French. It worked poetically well in Malayalam. I was reminded of this maternal pearl of wisdom recently when I was watching a movie with my son.
Life is full of contradictions.
I am attending a research retreat on mindfulness and contemplative practices at the beautiful Garrison Institute. I am learning a lot of interesting things, and meeting a lot of like-minded and excellent people – the kind of people with whom I could have deep conversation about the unreal nature of reality, unlike most people from other walks of life would politely and tactfully excuse themselves when I get a bit unreal.
At some point in our life, we come to accept the fact we are closer to death than life. What lies ahead is definitely less significant than what is left behind. These are the twilight years, and I have come to accept them. With darkness descending over the horizons, and the long shadows of misspent years and evaded human conditions slithering all around me, I peer into the void, into an eternity of silence and dreamlessness. É almost time.
Desde que a série post sobre Partículas e Interações tornou-se um pouco mais do que eu queria, Pensei que iria quebrá-lo. Vamos começar com uma recapitulação da física moderna que você vai terá de compreender a estrutura da matéria.
When we looked at Quantum Mechanics, we talked about its various interpretations. The reason we have such interpretations, I said, is that QM deals with a reality that we have no access to, through our sensory and perceptual apparatuses. Por outro lado, Special Relativity is about macro objects in motion, and we have no problem imagining such things. So why would we need to have an interpretation? The answer is a subtle one.
Whenever we talk about Quantum Mechanics, one of the first questions would be, “What about the cat?” This question, realmente, is about the interpretations of Quantum Mechanics. The standard interpretation, the so-called Copenhagen interpretation, leads to the famous Schrodinger’s cat.
In this post on Quantum Mechanics (QM), we will go a bit beyond it and touch upon Quantum Field Theory – the way it is used in particle physics. In the last couple of posts, I outlined a philosophical introduction to QM, as well as its historical origin – how it came about as an ad-hoc explanation of the blackbody radiation, and a brilliant description of the photoelectric effect.
Mecânica Quântica (QM) is the physics of small things. How do they behave and how do they interact with each other? Conspicuously absent from this framework of QM is why. Why small things do what they do is a question QM leaves alone. E, if you are to make any headway into this subject, your best bet is to curb your urge to ask why. Nature is what she is. Our job is to understand the rules by which she plays the game of reality, and do our best to make use of those rules to our advantage in experiments and technologies. Ours is not to reason why. Realmente.
Em todos os nossos esforços científicos, usamos técnicas de alto nível semelhantes a entender e estudar coisas. A técnica mais comum é reducionismo. Ele baseia-se na crença de que o comportamento, propriedades e estrutura de objetos grandes e complexas podem ser entendidas em termos de seus constituintes mais simples. Em outras palavras, tentamos entender o todo (o universo, por exemplo) em termos de menor, constituintes reduzidos (tais como partículas).