Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wine and Cheese Physics

On the far end of my desk there is a pile of papers with a post-it saying: READ ME. Yesterday, it reached the critical height and dropped off the desk. So, I made a brave attempt to sort it out, the result of which are now 8 smaller piles of papers, mostly unread except for abstract and conclusions.

(There was a 9th pile with trash, which finally only consisted of one paper that I printed twice by accident.)

Surprising for myself, the biggest pile was made of papers circling around Bell's inequality, hidden variables, and the interpretation of quantum theory. I conclude that part of my mind is occupied with something very weird, not that I know exactly what.

I can hear Horst sighing to PLEASE stick to 'butter and bread physics'. I call myself very, very lucky to have had the opportunity instead to mostly do my 'cheese and wine physics'. Amazingly it seems that some of the cheese and wine has turned into butter and bread lately. Like the 'weird' black holes at LHC stuff, or the 'useless' minimal length model, etc.

(You don't yet believe in Anti-Gravitation, come back next year.)

Anyway, here are two recent papers that I read and that I found quite interesting

I like the first one better, it adds some new point to the "how" of the measurement process, though it seems to me it has some missing links - the picture is kind of incomplete.

The latter is nicely summarized in Alejandro's blog, you can also find some discussion in Christine's blog and in the Physicsforum. I am not sure it really says something new, but it is a nice starting point if you want to know something about relational quantum mechanics. The main idea is that the question whether a wave-function is 'collapsed' or not depends on the observer. Everything is relative, even quantum mechanics. This avoids problems with the non-locality of the collapse which one has in the usual description: there is no paradox because both observers have to compare their measurement before they can talk about the result.

What I also found in the pile of papers:

  • A recipe for Pina Colada.
  • A letter of recommendation from someone I don't know about someone I don't know. But it's such a nice American-style letter that I will keep it. (Meaning: for a German it appears as if the writer is desperately trying to get rid of the guy).
  • A note on the new CD from Die Sterne, that I wanted to order (but it's not available on amazon.com). Their last album 'Das Weltall ist zu weit' (the universe is too large) was pretty good (after the previous one was rather mediocre). I especially like the song "Wir sind wie Du", and I will close today with some of it's lyrics


    Wir sind der Morgen
    Wir sind das Erwachen
    Wir sind die Möglichkeit,
    die Welt zu erschaffen


    Wir sind die Lebenden
    Wir sind die Vielen
    Wir haben nichts,
    also nichts zu verlieren.


    Wir sind die Quelle,
    Der Anfang der Welle
    Und hör zu:
    "Wir sind wie Du!"


1 comment:

Alejandro said...

Hello Sabine. I have made an attempt to answer in a comment in my blog a question you made about the Relational QM paper in Physics Forums and that Marcus passed to me. I'm not sure I have understood your question, and I am also unsure of having understood myself all the subtleties of the paper, but I hope I am being of some use!