The Thought Experiment
Summary: Thought Experiments are described as devices of the imagination used to investigate the nature of things. Everything from the nature of philosophy, mathematics and physics and the construction of ideas applies to Thought Experiments.
The first episode of the new joint podcast, "Questioning the Cosmos" is online. Check it out and stuff!
Shedding Light on Dark Matter Powerpoint I've added as supplementary material here, my actual printed powerpoint presentation slides for the 4-part 50-minute lecture. Although the incredible animation effects that went into the Barry Bonds segment aren't alive on the .pdf document, the images provide backup to all those times that I say, "search this or that." It may also be helpful to scroll through it while listening. Also, I may as well attach my paper, Dark Matter Versus Modified Newtonian Dynamics, for those who are interested in my segment in the series that covered it. I went over the topic briskly and may have skipped some things, so the paper is also in this post for everyone to gawk over.
Shedding Light on Dark Matter (part 4) In the fall I'm giving a lecture series on topics ranging from the history of the universe to time travel. Dark Matter is one of those topics. In this final part of the series, we go over a very brief history of Dark Matter and some of its competitor theories, such as Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) and Massive Compact Halo Objects (MACHOs).
Shedding Light on Dark Matter (part 3) In the fall I'm giving a lecture series on topics ranging from the history of the universe to time travel. Dark Matter is one of those topics. In this third of 4 part series, we go over candidates for dark matter particles and detection techniques. Next installment goes over the history of Dark Matter and its competitors.
Shedding Light on Dark Matter (part 2) In the fall I'm giving a lecture series on topics ranging from the history of the universe to time travel. Dark Matter is one of those topics. In this second of 4 part series, I do a thought experiment involving Barry Bonds and detail the origin and nature of matter. Next installment deals with detecting candidates of Dark Matter.
Shedding Light on Dark Matter (part 1) In the fall I'm giving a lecture series on topics ranging from the history of the universe to time travel. Dark Matter is one of those topics. In this first of 4 part series, I give a brief introduction and go over distinguishing Dark Matter from what isn't Dark Matter. Next installment deals with properties of matter and Dark Matter and how they apply to baseball.
The Strong Nuclear Force The Thought Experiment podcast has been kind of stagnant lately. Largely because I've been so busy here on campus with Dark Matter research and so on and hopefully this video, a talk I gave recently on the strong nuclear force that holds atomic nuclei together, can shed some light on just how jam packed my schedule has been these last few days. The recording quality is rather lacking, yes, but my placement of the microphone in the lecture hall I guess was less than strategic. Plus it has more buttons to confuse an astronaut! Enjoy!
Quantum Tunneling Tunneling is a very, very mathematical process by which a particle can 'leak' out into its surroundings. This has to do with all sorts of things called wave functions, probability densities, and so on, but the real aspect behind them is: how can we use this for our macroscopic advantage?
Intro to Quantum Mechanics Ironically, the delay for this week's quantum mechanics podcast was brought on by quantum mechanics homework. In any case, this week I delve into the beginnings of what quantum mechanics is, opening up the playing field into the zany world of the small.
Borel's Infinite Monkeys Returning triumphant for a second season of thought experimenting, we continue on our history of thought experiments into the later 1920s with Borel's mathematical analysis of what happens when you get a ton of monkeys in a room with a ton of typewriters. A Borel of monkeys for sure! Baxiden is by Liquid Tension Experiment
Q&A With Brian Greene Last week string theorist and physicist at Columbia University, Brian Greene came to my university as a part of a lecture series featuring distinguished lecturers. He did a question and answer session for a small group of us (about 20 or so people), as well as a planned lecture event. This week is the Q&A session. Theme music by Liquid Tension Experiment
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle What can a retired basketball player and a cannon full of paintballs teach us about quantum uncertainty? A lot, actually. Have a listen in on why we can't tell where a proton is at the same time when we know its momentum: the quintessential uncertainty principle. For a link to the blog post I mouth off about, see the exposé on Ramtha and What the Bleep Were They Thinking? New and permenant theme music: Baxiden by Liquid Tension Experiment
The Banach-Tarski Paradox A mouthful no doubt! This week we go over just how a mathematical universe differs from a physical one on the basis of the Axiom of Choice. More interestingly, if we exploit this paradox, we can clone anything we want with the exact same properties as the original. As per Andrew's note, you can see an example of a fractal here. Really amazing stuff to say the least. Barbarian Horde is by Hans Zimmer
Kent Hovind's Last Debate Well, this week we had originally planned to go over Maxwell's Demon, but a screwup in the recording prompted us to ditch the file. Perhaps it was for the better, given that it is the 1 year anniversary of our debate with famed creationist Kent Hovind. Perhaps one of our few PDFcasts, the debate is about 20 some odd pages in length, but filled with comedic gold. As a toast to the convicted tax evasionist and 'scientist', we are putting up for free download a transcript from our debate with an intro included. The feed has now been updated. Hopefully it should work at this point. If any other podcasts are not up and running, please alert me and I'll fix 'em.
Mach's Machine Courtesy of Stanford Ersnt Mach proposed that perpetual motion machines went against common sense. In this solitary episode, I talk about various claims of pseudo-scientific energy companies and talk about why their murky science is, at best, flawed. From tachyon theory of gravity to consciousness-energy, a short list of problems is noted. White Army, Black Baron is by the Soviet National Choir