I'm starting this blog because there are a few topics in physics I've thought alot about, whose standard popular explanations seem inadequate to me, and perhaps even wrong in some cases. I began to write a book but it did not come out that well, and I realized that one reason was that I really only wanted to write about certain topics anyway. Among the first I plan to address are relativity, the uncertainty principle, gyroscopes, and surface tension.
Who am I anyway? I am one of the many ex-string theorists floating about out there....Ph.D. from U.C. Santa Barbara, 1994, with the title "Black Holes and Formal Theory" (in a future blog I will delve into what I meant by "Formal Theory"). Now I work in the field of genomics, and also am attempting to launch an internet real estate + social site, www.housetribe.com.
In my discussions, I intend to keep the focus squarely on the most fundamental, and most intuitive, principles. For example, in analyzing the bizarre behavior of spinning gyroscopes, I will not refer to either torque or angular momentum, for these two concepts are themselves derived from Newton's three laws. A much clearer understanding of the gyroscope is obtained by working directly with the forces, masses, and accelerations which are truly fundamental. Likewise, when discussing Relativity I will eschew the customary explanation based on a symmetry principle ("light moves at the same speed for all observers"), for this principle is also a derived property of the actual fundamental laws. The effects of relativity (slowing clocks, shrinking rulers) are caused directly by the underlying matter and forces, not by an abstract derived principle. Finally, I will also avoid the concept of "energy" in my explanations, for this concept also is derived from more fundamental laws.
In all cases the touchstone is vision: the reader should be able to see clearly in his or her mind's eye why the phenomen are happening.
All explanations should be phrased in terms of the truly fundamental laws
rather than abstract principles which are difficult to visualize.
That's it for intro; onwards to deep thought :-)
Hey Will - found your blog! I'm sure I'll have lot's of comments as you hold forth... btw - I can't find your email address... I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org
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