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Keyword: feynman

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  • What It's Like to Actually See an Atomic Explosion

    04/18/2016 7:17:04 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 70 replies
    Real Clear Science ^ | 18 Apr, 2016 | Ross Pomeroy
    Most everyone has a pretty good idea of what an atomic explosion looks like. Through images and video, we know the flash, the fireball, the mushroom cloud. Seeing it all in person is quite different, however. One of the few firsthand accounts immortalized to paper comes courtesy of the inimitable Richard Feynman, who was present for the very first detonation of a nuclear weapon. The test, codenamed "Trinity" was carried out on July 16, 1945 in the Jornada del Muerto desert of New Mexico. The 20-kiloton blast was the culmination of years of work by the scientists of the Manhattan...
  • Physics: Quantum computer quest

    12/05/2014 11:28:06 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 11 replies
    Nature ^ | 12/3/14 | Elizabeth Gibney
    When asked what he likes best about working for Google, physicist John Martinis does not mention the famous massage chairs in the hallways, or the free snacks available just about anywhere at the company's campus in Mountain View, California. Instead, he marvels at Google's tolerance of failure in pursuit of a visionary goal. “If every project they try works,” he says, “they think they aren't trying hard enough.” Martinis reckons that he is going to need that kind of patience. In September, Google recruited him and his 20-member research team from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and set them...
  • The Difference between ‘True Science’ and ‘Cargo-Cult Science’

    07/27/2010 1:19:07 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 12 replies · 1+ views
    Pajamas Media ^ | July 27, 2010 | Frank J. Tipler
    “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts” is how the great Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman defined science. “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts” is how the great Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman defined science in his article “What is Science?” Feynman emphasized this definition by repeating it in a stand-alone sentence in extra large typeface in his article.  (Feynman’s essay is available online, but behind a subscription wall: The Physics Teacher (1969) volume 7, starting page 313.)Immediately after his definition of science, Feynman wrote: “When someone says, ‘Science teaches such and such,’ he is...
  • The Man Who Found Quarks and Made Sense of the Universe

    05/25/2009 1:35:21 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies · 463+ views
    Discover Interview ^ | March 17, 2009 | Susan Kruglinski
    It was at Caltech that Gell-Mann helped to lay the foundations for our understanding of the components that make up matter. He drafted a blueprint of subatomic physics that he called the Eightfold Way. At the time, physicists understood that atoms are constructed from protons and neutrons, but they had also found many other mysterious particles. The Eightfold Way made sense of this baffling menagerie, finding within it places for particles never even imagined. The work was so important that it netted Gell-Mann a Nobel Prize in 1969. In 1984 Gell-Mann pursued his dream of working in other fields by...
  • Why Quantum Mechanics Is Not So Weird after All

    09/14/2006 10:27:24 PM PDT · by snarks_when_bored · 123 replies · 4,330+ views
    Skeptical Inquirer ^ | July 2006 | Paul Quincey
    Why Quantum Mechanics Is Not So Weird after All Richard Feynman's "least-action" approach to quantum physics in effect shows that it is just classical physics constrained by a simple mechanism. When the complicated mathematics is left aside, valuable insights are gained. PAUL QUINCEY The birth of quantum mechanics can be dated to 1925, when physicists such as Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schrödinger invented mathematical procedures that accurately replicated many of the observed properties of atoms. The change from earlier types of physics was dramatic, and pre-quantum physics was soon called classical physics in a kind of nostalgia for the...
  • One Feyn Man

    01/16/2006 11:18:04 AM PST · by RightWingAtheist · 30 replies · 1,178+ views
    National Review ^ | January 13 2006 | Cathy Seipp
    During my test-taking years, I always tested smarter than I was. My daughter, on the other hand, is much smarter than she tests — a more difficult situation. Although I have many failings as a mother, at least I knew what to say when she scored in the bottom 15 percent of her PSAT math test a couple of years ago — she’s actually pretty good at math, and unlike me, can do algebra — and wailed in the car on the way home that she'd be “lucky to get into prostitute college.” I told her I don't think prostitutes...
  • Science Funding's Unintended Consequences

    07/15/2005 8:33:42 AM PDT · by RightWingAtheist · 12 replies · 402+ views
    Tech Central Station ^ | July 15 2005 | Sallie Baliunas
    According to an eye-popping article in the June 9 Nature, about one-third of more than 3,200 polled U.S. researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health self-reported serious scientific misbehavior during the three years prior to being surveyed. High responses for serious infractions came in categories such as "Failing to present data that contradict one's own previous research" (6% of respondents), "Changing the design, methodology or results of a study in response to pressure from a funding source" (15.5%) and for lesser categories such as "Dropping … data … based on a gut feeling that they were inaccurate" (15.3%). Because...
  • Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle (by Richard P. Feynman)

    02/01/2003 2:41:25 PM PST · by theFIRMbss · 35 replies · 732+ views
    Virtual School ^ | ? | Richard P. Feynman
    Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle by Richard P. Feynman For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. Introduction It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the probability of a failure with loss of vehicle and of human life. The estimates range from roughly 1 in 100 to 1 in 100,000. The higher figures come from the working engineers, and the very low figures from management. What are the causes and consequences of this lack of agreement? Since 1 part in 100,000 would imply that one...