Archive for September, 2006

Quantum Theory at the Crossroads  Conference

September 29, 2006

Guido Bacciagaluppi (from Berkeley’s Philosophy Department) and Antony Valentini (from the Imperial College of London) are about to publish a 500 pages long book entitled Quantum Theory at the Crossroads: Reconsidering the 1927 Solvay Conference, and they’ve been kind enough to make a draft copy publicly available: just follow the link. Not that i’ve had time to read it yet, but its abstract looks all but promising:

We reconsider the crucial 1927 Solvay conference in the context of current research in the foundations of quantum theory. Contrary to folklore, the interpretation question was not settled at this conference and no consensus was reached […] [W]e provide a complete English translation of the original proceedings (lectures and discussions), and give background essays on the three main interpretations presented: de Broglie’s pilot-wave theory, Born and Heisenberg’s quantum mechanics, and Schroedinger’s wave mechanics. We provide an extensive analysis of the lectures and discussions that took place, in the light of current debates about the meaning of quantum theory. The proceedings contain much unexpected material, including extensive discussions of de Broglie’s pilot-wave theory (which de Broglie presented for a many-body system), and a “quantum mechanics” apparently lacking in wave function collapse or fundamental time evolution.

Chances are this book will make its way into any recommendation on required QM readings in no time!

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Copernicus who?

September 29, 2006

This guy is being asked which one of four objects gravitates around the Earth. The price is three thousand euros and, just in case, he has the option to ask the public’s opinion…

Would be funny, if it weren’t so sad. Reminds me of those people that justify their inability to write correctly saying that they are scientists . I had a colleague that always retorted to them: no, you’re not a scientist, you’re just silly!.

Unstrung

September 25, 2006

Thanks to this recent post over at Not Even Wrong, i’ve rediscovered a piece, written a few years ago by the prestigious Professor Allen that has, in a way, ameliorated my prejudices against string theory. The essay is called Strung Out, and will make for an excellent introduction to this fascinating metatheory. Enjoy!

A gift from the Royal Society

September 19, 2006

From SciGuy comes a very interesting piece of news: for the next two months, The Royal Society will make available the complete archive of its scientific journals online. The archives, fully searchable, are available here. Over 340 years of research are awaiting for you!

Beliefs

September 8, 2006

Scientists are also sexy, let's not forget that

From xkcd, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language.