Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Schrödinger's Cat

Good Morning, It’s the Weekend

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3055253-inline-batmansoundsa-z* Teach the controversy: are students cuddly little bunnies to be drowned, or shot with Glocks? This story is actually worse than even the original reporting indicated.

I’ve argued here before (I think) that probably the greatest thing for-profit colleges could do to scrub the designation “for-profit” of its negative connotation is to win a few sportsball championships. That’s how traditional not-for-profit colleges did it. There was a time when the idea of a residential college for wealthy young men was considered very strange (and also very effeminate). College sports “butched” up college and it also gave the millions who would never in a million years qualify for admission a fictive relationship with a system that is, by design, unequal. Sportsball and For-Profit Legitimacy.

The Grand Jury in the Tamir Rice Case May Not Have Taken a Vote on Charges.

* Salary cuts, layoffs at ISIS. Meanwhile, incredible if true accusations from the FBI against a Kent State professor.

* Planet Nine.

* David Bowie and the Anthropocene.

Making a Murderer’s creators have finally responded to criticisms of missing evidence.

A French Communist Utopia in Texas.

* Jesuit adjunctivitis.

* Saying “no” at Oberlin.

* Medieval robots.

* Liberalism and eugenics.

Swedish TV Accidentally Runs Kids’ Show Subtitles On A Political Debate.

The Big Search to Find Out Where Dogs Come From.

* Coates v. Sanders. Killer Mike vs. Coates. Guthrie v. Trump (Sr.). Meanwhile: Democrats in disarray!

Bloomberg wants to save everyone from Trump. But a lot of people don’t know who he is.

* Four tendencies in liberalism.

How One Man Tried to Write Women Out of CRISPR, the Biggest Biotech Innovation in Decades.

* Counterpoint: Harley Quinn is an insanely flawed character almost impossible to reconcile with feminist norms.

Forget Schrödinger’s Cat: The Latest Quantum Puzzle Is About Three Pigeons in Two Holes.

Alexander Litvinenko: the man who solved his own murder.

Chess forbidden in Islam, rules Saudi mufti, but issue not black and white. This part of the history of games I always find fascinating.

* It’s called anthroponuclear multiple worlds theory, and it’s basically my actual cosmology.

* The singular “they” is your word of the year. A chronology of early nonbinary pronouns. A little more. Bring back he’er, him’er, his’er.

* When DoD paid Duke U $335K to investigate ESP in dogs. But more research is required.

* Virtual reality porn, the god that failed.

* Concept art for Episode 8 (not really). At least it might help tide you over.

* What if not having a beard is nonhygenic? Checkmate.

Plastic to outweigh fish in oceans by 2050, study warns. Meanwhile, the same headline they run every January, just with all the numbers incremented by one.

* Twilight of De Niro. AND BEYOND.

* The end of parking.

* Sold in the room: Orphan Black Writer Making Time-Travel Movie For Netflix.

* A Brief History of Jumbo.

* Good luck, East Coast!

And it’s possible that there is a “mirror universe” where time moves backwards, say scientists. Of course the poets always knew.

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 22, 2016 at 8:30 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Star Wars Day Links! Yay!

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* A brief history of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Star Wars Minus Star Wars. Is Luke Skywalker of ‘Star Wars’ inspired by Wisconsin war hero? Star Wars and Jihad. May the toys be with you. Me talking Star Wars at Salon. The only review I read, which seems 100% right to me (very light spoilers).

They Might Be Giants Look Back on Every Album They’ve Ever Made.

* This is maybe the most “Cold War” story of all time.

My suggestion was quite simple: Put that needed code number in a little capsule, and then implant that capsule right next to the heart of a volunteer. The volunteer would carry with him a big, heavy butcher knife as he accompanied the President. If ever the President wanted to fire nuclear weapons, the only way he could do so would be for him first, with his own hands, to kill one human being. The President says, “George, I’m sorry but tens of millions must die.” He has to look at someone and realize what death is—what an innocent death is. Blood on the White House carpet. It’s reality brought home.

When I suggested this to friends in the Pentagon they said, “My God, that’s terrible. Having to kill someone would distort the President’s judgment. He might never push the button.“

* Running the Red Cross like a business.

* This seems true, at least as FYE as it is usually conceived goes, but all the same it’s not necessarily a great argument for FYE practitioners to make.

The Humanities as Service Departments: Facing the Budget Logic.

“If tenured faculty teaching high-demand courses can be fired without cause, as they were at St. Rose, then tenure no longer exists,” Lemieux said.

UMass brass cash in despite budget woes.

* 10 Revealing Tidbits We Found in Football Coaches’ Contracts.

* The law school collapse continues.

Milwaukee’s Push to Move the Homeless From the Streets Into Permanent Housing. U.S. Department of Justice agrees to review Milwaukee police. Milwaukee to pay $5 million to settle suits over illegal strip searches.

Today NASA Begins to Take New Astronaut Applications. Do You Qualify?

* My life story: Tsundoku.

* Yet another trailer: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The Trouble With Calling Jessica Jones an ‘Antihero.’ Show Me a Hero: Thoughts on Jessica Jones.

* Academic librarians: what do they do all day?

* Sylvia Plath — you know, for kids.

Where the jobs are(n’t), 2015. The other me who went to grad school in philosophy instead is pretty unhappy right now.

People Who Curse Have Better Fucking Vocabularies, According to Science.

The DEA warns that drugs are funding terror. An examination of cases raises questions about whether the agency is stopping threats or staging them.

* Followup: Report: Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Mystery Buyer Is Right-Wing Billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

* Another followup, from years back: Cop Who Sought Photos of Teen’s Erection in Sexting Case Commits Suicide Moments Before Arrest.

* I understand why they made the decision they made, but I don’t think this paradigm is really sustainable: All LA Schools Closed After Hoax Threat.

* An Unbelievable Story of Rape. Difficult but very powerful read.

A record 409 scripted TV series were produced this year, according to FX. Almost too many, don’t you think?

* Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal doing the Lord’s work on Schrödinger’s cat. BONUS.

Hear 6 Classic Philip K. Dick Stories Adapted as Vintage Radio Plays.

The Strangest, Most Spectacular Bridge Collapse (And How We Got It Wrong).

* Did the utopian pirate nation of Libertatia ever really exist?

* And your daily dose of total institutional breakdown: Embattled state’s attorney refused to prosecute cop who admitted to perjury. Prosecutors have hijacked America’s criminal justice system while no one was looking. LAPD found no bias in all 1356 complaints filed against officers. And maybe the worst just in sheer audacity: Denmark passes law to seize jewelry from refugees to cover expenses.

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Realism and Quantum Mechanics

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Seed has a long article on recent experiments in quantum mechanics that seem to disprove realism, at least on the quantum level:

Leggett doesn’t believe quantum mechanics is correct, and there are few places for a person of such disbelief to now turn. But Leggett decided to find out what believing in quantum mechanics might require. He worked out what would happen if one took the idea of nonlocality in quantum mechanics seriously, by allowing for just about any possible outside influences on a detector set to register polarizations of light. Any unknown event might change what is measured. The only assumption Leggett made was that a natural form of realism hold true; photons should have measurable polarizations that exist before they are measured. With this he laboriously derived a new set of hidden variables theorems and inequalities as Bell once had. But whereas Bell’s work could not distinguish between realism and locality, Leggett’s did. The two could be tested.

When Aspelmeyer returned to Vienna, he grabbed the nearest theorist he could find, Tomasz Paterek, whom everyone calls “Tomek.” Tomek was at the IQOQI on fellowship from his native Poland and together, they enlisted Simon Gröblacher, Aspelmeyer’s student. With Leggett’s assistance, the three spent six months painfully checking his calculations. They even found a small error. Then they set about recasting the idea, with a few of the other resident theorists, into a form they could test. When they were done, they went to visit Anton Zeilinger. The experiment wouldn’t be too difficult, but understanding it would. It took them months to reach their tentative conclusion: If quantum mechanics described the data, then the lights’ polarizations didn’t exist before being measured. Realism in quantum mechanics would be untenable.

This is a very good, really thought-provoking article on a subject that fascinates me but which I simply do not have the training to properly understand. Whenever I read about quantum mechanics I feel as though I can almost, but not quite, grasp it.

Especially thought-provoking is this:

Last year Brukner and his student Johannes Kofler decided to figure out why we do not perceive the quantum phenomena around us. If quantum mechanics holds universally for atoms, why do we not see directly its effects in bulk?

Most physicists believe that quantum effects get washed out when there are a large number of particles around. The particles are in constant interaction and their environment serves to “decohere” the quantum world—eliminate superpositions—to create the classical one we observe. Quantum mechanics has within it its own demise, and the process is too rapid to ever see. Zeilinger’s group, which has tested decoherence, does not believe there is a fundamental limit on the size of an object to observe superposition. Superpositions should exist even for objects we see, similar to the infamous example of Schrödinger’s cat. In fact, Gröblacher now spends his nights testing larger-scale quantum mechanics in which a small mirror is humanely substituted for a cat.

Brukner and Kofler had a simple idea. They wanted to find out what would happen if they assumed that a reality similar to the one we experience is true–every large object has only one value for each measurable property that does not change. In other words, you know your couch is blue, and you don’t expect to be able to alter it just by looking. This form of realism, “macrorealism,” was first posited by Leggett in the 1980s.

Late last year Brukner and Kofler showed that it does not matter how many particles are around, or how large an object is, quantum mechanics always holds true. The reason we see our world as we do is because of what we use to observe it. The human body is a just barely adequate measuring device. Quantum mechanics does not always wash itself out, but to observe its effects for larger and larger objects we would need more and more accurate measurement devices. We just do not have the sensitivity to observe the quantum effects around us. In essence we do create the classical world we perceive, and as Brukner said, “There could be other classical worlds completely different from ours.”

Written by gerrycanavan

June 9, 2008 at 2:41 pm