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Tag Archives: Science
Today is Earth Day, an annual event celebrated on the 22nd April. It was first celebrated in 1970 and promotes support for environmental protection issues around the world. Events are promoted globally in more than 190 countries. Continue reading
NASA / JPL have commissioned an amazing set of posters to commemorate the achievements of NASA’s Voyager mission and the possibilities of space exploration.
“NASA’s Voyager mission took advantage of a once-every-175-year alignment of the outer planets for a grand tour of the solar system. The twin spacecraft revealed details about Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – using each planet’s gravity to send them on to the next destination. Voyager set the stage for such ambitious orbiter missions as Galileo to Jupiter and Cassini to Saturn. Today both Voyager spacecraft continue to return valuable science from the far reaches of our solar system.”
“Imagination is our window into the future. At NASA/JPL we strive to be bold in advancing the edge of possibility so that someday, with the help of new generations of innovators and explorers, these visions of the future can become a reality. As you look through these images of imaginative travel destinations, remember that you can be an architect of the future.”
The Poster can be downloaded from the JPL NASA website
– Your Joyful Benefactor
I originally tried to read this stunning book back in 2011 when I received it as a present, but struggled from the outset. I have always been fascinated by Quantum Mechanics but found its abstract nature and sheer weirdness overwhelming when compared to classical mechanics. I have recently given the book another go but this time tried to obey the mantra that the world of the Quantum cannot be visualised or imagined in any meaningful way and that one has to really ‘give up’ and let oneself be carried along by abstract notions that are completely counter-intuitive and with the mathematics, which can be simplified into meaningful snippets for the lay-reader.
Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw have done an admirable job of explaining the Quantum world – partly in the early chapters, by replacing waves with ‘clocks’ that can be wound to visualise the states of waves, and that the concepts involved can be layered onto the concept of a clock as a model that does not refer to ‘time’ in sense that we usually mean it. Many of us have heard of the two-slit experiment but become baffled with the notion of a particle that can produce an interference pattern like a wave so that it behaves as both – with the devastating conclusion that the wave/particle can really be anywhere in the universe until the probabilities of it being somewhere are finally multiplied out and its position calculated – but not its momentum as this would conflict with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. The latter part of the book puts Quantum Mechanics into more meaningful scenarios such as describing how it works in relation to the structure of stars, so that they remain as stable entities in the universe.
To really understand Quantum Mechanics a book such as this demands multiple readings in conjunction with other works, if one really wishes to have a grasp of a subject about which the genius Richard Feynman said: “I think I can safely say nobody understands Quantum Mechanics.”
– Your Joyful Benefactor