Chit Chat re: Background Concepts in Physics/Cosmology

  • March 17, 2013 · 5:00 PM
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NOTE: THE TIME FRAME FOR THIS EVENT IS DIFFERENT THAN USUAL.  WE WILL MEET FROM 5-7 PM.

 

Big thanks to Reza for compiling an amazing sequence of topics to discuss.  I will upload the full list in the near future.

 

For the purposes of developing a strong foundation, our next meeting will review the following concepts:

 

(i) Euclidean & non-euclidean geometry,

(ii) Galileo's theory of motion,

(iii) Newtonian gravity,

(iv) Electromagnetism/Maxwell, and

(v) Michelson-Morley test

 

I realize this list may seem ambitious--but we have a long way to review before we get into the juicy quantum physics topics, so I'm hoping we can cover some of these concepts quickly.

 

In terms of reading, I am not confident I will be able to assemble a well-thought list of resources any time in the near future.   Instead, I encourage you all to independently review these topics, and feel free to post resources you found helpful.

 

Thanks!

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  • Brenden C.

    Here is the link to the double slit experiment article I saw this week. Get ready for particle-wave duality discussions.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130313214031.htm

    Great discussion today. Thanks to everyone for attending, presenting, discussing and organizing. Looking forward to the next one.

    1 · March 17, 2013

    • Mitch

      Thanks Brendan! I think what makes this result "new" is that the experiment was done with electrons. The original two-slit experiments involved photons: Feynman pointed out fifty years ago that in QM all particles show the wave-particle duality, and one could do the same thing with photons. Somebuilt a working model of precisely the thought experiment Feynman described.

      March 20, 2013

  • Esteban U.

    Thanks to Vanessa for organizing this, and everyone who made it out to share their knowledge in a friendly environment. I got there late myself but there were a lot of very interesting and relevant scientific ideas being discussed.

    1 · March 18, 2013

    • Esteban U.

      If I may recommend two books that are well worth the read as they explain scientific ideas in an easy to understand format, there's The Universe in a Nutshell and a Brief History of Time both written by Stephen Hawking. These are well known books that several in the group may already know about but worth mentioning.

      March 18, 2013

  • Esteban U.

    Earth wind and flour is at 2222 Wilshire

    March 17, 2013

  • William L.

    Hi Mitch. I don't believe Professional Quantum Physicists are the only human beings on this planet qualified to explore the reality or fabric of the universe. This I believe is the great prejudice of our current "scientific process" which works in many ways but falls short in the acceptance of ideas outside of it's current norm. Yes I know the scientific method is supposed to deal with this by constantly updating it's own hypothetical understanding in principal. But current political, economic, scientific or even religious belief systems have been shown repeatedly to corrupt it. Today's science is no different in my view. Therefore I believe room needs to be carved out for a more open approach to the discussion of quantum physics and by virtue the issue of what is the universe? I personally take the position that the underlying fabric is Consciousness. Or in the words of one of the speakers from the below video. Consciousness is the programming language of the universe.

    March 12, 2013

    • Mitch

      William, can you point us to a place we can start from together? For instance, last time we started with black body radiation, this time we are probably going to discuss Michelson-Morley. While we could have a more metaphysical conversation, sharing our personal opinions and the opinions of people we have met or read, I don't think that is what most of the group (or our organizer) is hoping for. It is a perfectly reasonable idea for a meetup, and I think there are already a couple which are more along those lines.

      March 17, 2013

    • Mitch

      Look, I might be frustrated if I walked into an alchemy discussion group, but why tell them that they ought to study modern science instead? For whatever reasons, they went there to discuss alchemy. (Honestly, alchemy could be an interesting subject too, and I might stay to hear about it.)

      March 17, 2013

  • stevejaffe

    had to take care of something else - can't make it this month. somebody please take notes!

    March 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, I just heard about this meetup thing today from the NPA from Robert and I thought it was going to be a virtual online meeting, but I see that you actually meet in person. I wish I could be there, so I was wondering would anyone be willing to bring a laptop/ipad/internet connection and host me on Skype so I could see and hear? That might help spice things up if you can invite people who can't physically be there. I really want to hear what you all have to say about Michelson-Morley.
    -[masked]

    March 16, 2013

    • Vanessa

      Hi Franklin, I unfortunately can't accomodate an online request at this point. Maybe another member will see this and be able to! Hope to see you at a future meeting.

      March 17, 2013

  • Eric M.

    Flat tire last night. Inability to attend by Q fluctuation

    March 16, 2013

  • stevejaffe

    Ok, a St. Patty's Day meeting it is!

    1 · March 13, 2013

    • Esteban U.

      Quarks and Leptonchauns! >.>

      March 13, 2013

  • Vanessa

    Hi everyone,

    Our event is now confirmed--but the time is a little different than usual (5-7, instead of the usual 4-6). Hope to see you all there!

    1 · March 13, 2013

  • William L.

    This video has a whole string of noted thinkers who in my mind are stating the obvious about the nature of reality in a non-classical way. I think it would be wise for this group to incorporate this among any detailed discussion of quantum properties or behaviors. Thanks for listening. https://www.rebelmouse.com/catalyzingchange/consciousness_drives_the_unive-78910374.html

    March 12, 2013

  • Mitch

    If the "consciousness" which you suggest is the underlying fabric of physical reality refers to yours or mine (or a collective consciousness which includes us), then you are certainly not alone. But if it matters, I suspect that idea never even occurred to Planck, and isnt common among physicists today.
    There is an "observer problem" which I think many lay people and even a few physicists believe requires conscious observers for the universe to behave properly. Mistakenly, in my opinion**, but this is a reasonable candidate for a topic of conversation. (**Briefly: observation by a macroscopic observer is *sufficient* to "make the wave function collapse" in the Copenhagen interpretation. But it clearly isn't *necessary*. Experimenters often have to work very hard to keep wave functions from collapsing prematurely -- they can't just tell everyone to look away. I think the question of what *is* necessary is a hot topic, which I would love to learn about.)

    March 12, 2013

  • Mitch

    William: I wasn't at the first meeting, so I apologize if I'm repeating what was said then. I believe that quote is generally thought of as a reference to Planck's religious leanings (probably Deist). If by "consciousness" you are also thinking of some vast supernatural entity, then I don't think that has any important effect on the kind of discussion I think most people are hoping to have here. Just as a cooking group doesn't have to work out a consensus opinion on the divine to discuss recipes (& actual results in the kitchen), a physics discussion can go straight to theories of physics (& actual experimental results).

    1 · March 12, 2013

  • William L.

    During our first meeting there was significant ideological resistance to the idea I brought up that consciousness is the underlying fabric to the sub-atomic world. However Max Planck the father of quantum physics himself was quoted with the following. ‎"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter."
    -Max Planck Planck's Constant Indeed.. :)

    March 12, 2013

  • Peter

    People should be aware that the LA Marathon is going through the Westside on Sunday afternoon. San Vicente (among other streets) will be shut down until around 4 pm.

    March 12, 2013

  • Vanessa

    Hey all,

    Just wanted to keep you updated that our usual venue has not yet confrmed. I am hoping for confirmation in the next day or two.

    March 11, 2013

  • Esteban U.

    Wow, Non-Euclidean Geometry! I took a class on that a long time ago though I could definitely use a good review. This is awesome!

    1 · March 6, 2013

  • Reza A.

    Looking forward to the next meeting... It is great, because we have few topics to cover

    1 · March 2, 2013

  • Judith N.

    Really looking forward to it as usual.

    1 · March 2, 2013

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