I sometimes participate in science events and one-day masterclasses on subjects that affect us all and help to explain the world around us.
How Much of Mathematics is Really Just Physics?
I’d like to dedicate this short piece to my late friend Prof. Peter T. Landsberg, who was a “thermodynamicist” (this is how he liked to call himself). I used to meet him at the Athenaeum, in the good old days when smoking cigars was still allowed indoors.
Absolute zero is the lowest temperature but is there an upper limit?
There are a number of arguments as to why there should be an upper bound on the value of temperature. The simplest is that temperature is related to energy (via Boltzmann’s constant). So if we believe that the energy in the universe is finite (a reasonable supposition), then that gives us the highest temperature.
The World Exists Only When No One is Looking
One particular misconception that is ever-present is captured by the statement that quantum physics suggests that “the moon is not there when nobody looks”. This is a riff on the old musings of Bishop Berkeley who asked whether a tree falling in the forest makes a sound if there is no one there to hear it.
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