After reading this book, I realized how much influence quantum mechanics has on everything, since everything is made up of atoms, the building blocks of all matter. And since all atoms are held together through electromagnetic forces, then this means chemistry and biology can be explained by quantum physics as well. Let me try to convey some of the fascinating aspects of quantum mechanics that Jim points out in his book:
- The Dual-Slit Experiment: Atoms can behave oddly as particles when we observe them, but when we do not, they function as waves. This experiment I read over and over and it is still not registering completely in my tiny outdated brain.
- Superposition: This means that an atom can be in two or more states at the same time!! “Quantum mechanics tell us that, until we look, the atom’s wave function will be in a superposition of two “pieces” traveling along both routes at once.”
- Nonlocality or Entanglement: Suggests that a particle or some parts of it, can remain in touch with each other however far apart they are.
- Schrodinger’s Cat: He came up with the box and cat theoretical experiment. Imagine we have a box, inside it a cat and a device that contains a lethal poison and a radioactive atomic nucleus. The particle emitted by the nucleus will release the poison inside the box. He claims that until we open the box to check what happened, we can’t say whether the cat is dead or alive or both at the same time!!
- The Uncertainty Principle: We cannot measure a particle’s speed (velocity) without compromising its momentum. In another words, if we do measure it velocity, we will not be able to know its direction. It has to be one or the other to know for certain!
- Quantum Spin: All electrons spin at exactly the same rate and can never slow down or speed up. But in superposition they can spin in both directions either clockwise or anti-clockwise.
These are some general highlights in quantum mechanics, and it is pretty fascinating to see that on the quantum level, the laws of physics must either adapt or change to different laws. It opens the mind in comprehending (or attempting to comprehend) how we might be living in a dimension inside another dimension, not to mention, the whole notion of nothingness where matter can pop in and out of existence for, listen to this slowly and carefully, a thousandth of a billionth of a billionth of a second. ” Zeptosecond” I am so going to use this term and make it trendy 🙂 It is also interesting to know how the future will be shaped by quantum mechanics, following the spectrum from computers, to lasers and on to nano-technology. So far, without quantum mechanics, there is no such thing as microchips and compact disks, so can you imagine what a super quantum computer will be like!!! If you are patient enough and ready to blow your mind, then I highly recommend this book.
I have stumbled upon this rare video of George Carlin on YouTube giving a nationally broadcast speech on C-SPAN in 1999. Watch the first few awkward moments where it seems clear that this was not a natural environment for him to be in, but as usual he used themes on language, politics and life in general to give an amazing speech. You will definitely pay more attention to the language used on the news today and listen differently to the responses being given by politicians as they are being interviewed. Enjoy!
If you have no idea who Richard Feynman was, then this is a chance to watch a great documentary of his life. And of course, if you are one of his super fans like me, then is this is one of the best moments of your life. Great man! enjoy.
One of the things I like to do is take pictures of the night sky whenever I have the chance, While in Mongolia I snapped some pictures at night outside my tent at Lake Khoton, Tavan Bogd camp and somewhere in between along the drive. The only disadvantage about taking these images is standing in the middle of the night in the bitter cold and half asleep. On top of that, the sounds of howling wolves from the forest over looking lake Khoton made me try to speed up the 30 second exposure as I stood in the dark. With that said, it was worth every minute. Enjoy!
I have been planning to go to Mongolia ever since my late father gave me a movie called ” The Story of The Weeping Camel.” After watching the movie, I fell in love with the landscape, the culture and the people of Mongolia. Size wise, Mongolia is a vast and geographically rich country with a population of around 3 million people, of which 2 million approximately reside in the capital Ulaanbaatar. The rest, of varying backgrounds, such as theTuvas or Kazakhs, are scattered throughout the country. My husband and I planned the trip with Altai Expeditions, which I truly recommend, as they are very well organized and are specialists in the region which we wanted to explore. All in all, our expedition consisted of us, a translator, a mountaineer, a cook, and a driver. The region we focused on is in the far west of Mongolia towards the Altai mountain range, bordering China, Russia and Mongolia, and heavily inhabited by Mongolia’s Kazakh population. The main frontier city is called, Bayan Ulgii, a Kazakh city where we hopped into our unstoppable Russian 4×4 van and drove towards the gates of Tavan Bogd National Park. Translated as the “Five Peaks” (Tavan Bogd), our aim was to climb Mount Malchin, at 4050 meters in height and to try and climb Mount Khutin, at 4374 meters high and Mongolia’s highest point. We were successful on the first, but were unable to summit Khutin, instead, we were stuck in a snow blizzard and a whiteout for two days on mountain at the advanced base camp. It was my first attempt in mountaineering / alpining, and it was a hell of an adventure, drastically stepping out of my comfort zone and challenging myself mentally and physically. But as it goes, I feel it makes you grow, and on a whole, the idea of this trip is to see some of the magnificent landscapes, mix in some adrenaline and adventure, and learn about others and myself in new places. The idea of driving and stopping in the middle of nowhere to camp for the night is very exciting, and meeting other travelers at base camps and ranger stations exposed us to multiple nationalities and different perspectives on the reason they were there. One thing we all shared was a sense of freedom, and the culmination of the trips trip for me was that it is a once in a lifetime experience and a definite stepping stone to the many adventures to come. Next stop Patagonia 🙂 Enjoy!
I often hear people say when someone close to them dies, moments before their death, a person seems happy or in a good mood moments before they die. Now I know why, after watching this video you will know that it’s the brain shutting down and these are the symptoms of hullicinations. Enjoy!