Search FQXi

If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Forum Home
Terms of Use

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help

Steven Andresen: "James I am wondering if you will respond to my concept for inertial mass?..." in Alternative Models of...

Steven Andresen: "Jose You said "Did what I wrote appear as if I am referring to a previous..." in Alternative Models of...

Gary Simpson: "Ted, BTW, it is the community vote that matters ... not the public vote...." in FQXi Essay Contest 2016:...

Gary Simpson: "Ted, You statement regarding your score does not make any sense. You..." in FQXi Essay Contest 2016:...

Algernon kk: "Steve Agnew is a legend for doing that. A lot of people at custom..." in Weinberg: Why quantum...

Steve Dufourny: ":) it is fqxi which merits these thanks, me I just share this information. ..." in 2016: The Physics Year in...

Bishal Banjara: "thank you once again .....thank you!!" in 2016: The Physics Year in...

Roger Granet: "Hi. Interesting article! This actually makes sense to me and sounds..." in Quantum Replicants:...

click titles to read articles

Quantum Replicants: Should future androids dream of quantum sheep?
To build the ultimate artificial mimics of real life systems, we may need to use quantum memory.

Painting a QBist Picture of Reality
A radical interpretation of physics makes quantum theory more personal.

The Spacetime Revolutionary
Carlo Rovelli describes how black holes may transition to "white holes," according to loop quantum gravity, a radical rewrite of fundamental physics.

Riding the Rogue Quantum Waves
Could giant sea swells help explain how the macroscopic world emerges from the quantum microworld? (Image credit: MIT News)

Rescuing Reality
A "retrocausal" rewrite of physics, in which influences from the future can affect the past, could solve some quantum quandaries—saving Einstein's view of reality along the way.

February 27, 2017

The FQXi blog is a place for designated writers to post commentary and generate discussion on special topics. Only bloggers can start a new topic, but then anyone is welcome to join in the conversation.

Towards a Goal — Two Weeks to Go
2 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Feb. 21, 2017 @ 14:42 GMT
"We are not slouching towards our goal, we are not wandering towards it, we are stepping firmly towards We have just under two weeks left until the closing date of our 2017 essay contest, [b]Wanderi..."

Review of “A Big Bang in a Little Room: The Quest to Create New Universes” by Zeeya Merali
9 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Feb. 9, 2017 @ 16:42 GMT
"In all the talk of the multiverse that gets tossed around these days, there's a subtle but important point that is often lost: there are really two completely different notions of a multiverse. What..."

2016: The Physics Year in Review
45 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Dec. 30, 2016 @ 23:29 GMT
"Cutting things fine, but just before we say goodbye (and good riddance!) to 2016, we're taking a look back at the physics highlights of the past year. As usual, I'm joined on the year-end podcast by q..."

Retrocausality, Terrorism, and How to Write Bestsellers: New Podcast is live!
12 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Dec. 14, 2016 @ 17:08 GMT
"The latest edition of the podcast is now up. (For those expecting our regular December countdown of the year’s top physics stories with Ian Durham, do not fear: I will be posting that too, later..."

FQXi Essay Contest 2016: Wandering Towards a Goal
100 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Dec. 2, 2016 @ 17:46 GMT
"In physics we tend to stick to asking what happened, how did it happen? We like to describe, usually in minute details. We like to use the smallest possible components, “building blocks”, “unit..."

The Disintegration of the Moon; Art & Jazz Meet Physics; (Reverse) Debates on Consciousness; & more…from the 5th FQXi Meeting
127 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Nov. 11, 2016 @ 20:00 GMT
"While you weren’t looking, more content from FQXi’s 5th International meeting in Banff has started to trickle through, including a bit more audio and a lot more video. Thanks for your Fir..."

Koalas, Quantum Mechanics and My Role as the 2016 Women in Physics Lecturer in Australia
9 posts  •  created by Catalina Curceanu   •  Nov. 2, 2016 @ 18:11 GMT
"This August, I was honored to make my first visit to Australia as the winner of the [b]2016 Women in Physics International Award of the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP)[/b]. I gave a series of le..."

Defining the Observer
142 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Oct. 5, 2016 @ 19:11 GMT
"The main theme of August's FQXi conference was centered around the physics of the observer and so, in wrapping up our discussion of the conference, it remains to be asked if any progress was made..."

Defining Existence
258 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Sep. 15, 2016 @ 19:06 GMT
"What exists? On the one hand, this seems like the kind of naval-gazing question that provokes derision and mockery from those more interested in practical matters. I exist, you exist, this blog post..."

Science Funding in an Evolving Economy
248 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Sep. 5, 2016 @ 20:41 GMT
"While it isn’t the sexiest topic for a blog post, this year’s FQXi conference did include a panel discussion on science funding that raised a number of salient points worth discussing. I will..."

Debating Consciousness and its Measurability
33 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Sep. 1, 2016 @ 01:17 GMT
"One of the many highlights of the recent FQXi conference on the Physics of the Observer was the session on consciousness. Consciousness is quite possibly the most enigmatic aspect of human existence...."

What Happens Inside the Wavefunction? Sean Carroll at the 5th FQXi Meeting
69 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 21, 2016 @ 15:41 GMT
"[b]Updated on 11 November 2016. [/b]Video of Sean Carroll's' talk is now up. More video is available on FQXi's youtube [youtube: AUiMi3GHxYw, 560, 340] [i]From 21 August 2016[/i]: On Friday, c..."

Dirty Secrets of…Quantum Foundations: Matt Leifer at the 5th FQXi Meeting
151 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 20, 2016 @ 15:31 GMT
"[b]Updated on 11 November 2016. [/b]Video of Matt Leifer's' talk is now up. More video is available on FQXi's youtube [youtube: MaRjP5H0vR4, 560, 340] [i]From 20 August 2016[/i]: Audio from Ma..."

Dirty Secrets of...Life: Paul Davies at the 5th FQXi Meeting
16 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 19, 2016 @ 15:42 GMT
"[b]Updated on 11 November 2016. [/b]Video of Paul Davies' talk is now up. More video is available on FQXi's youtube [youtube: v4oI7jGvEuE, 560, 340] [i]From 19 August 2016[/i]: Greetings from ..."

Announcing Physics of the Observer Grant Search Results
25 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Aug. 5, 2016 @ 17:35 GMT
"Last October, FQXi announced its new program on Physics of the Observer, including a request for proposals on research and outreach projects. We asked applicants to consider questions like, what does..."

Happy 10th Birthday FQXi! Podcast: Space News, Quantum Collapse Tests & The Big Picture
137 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  May. 31, 2016 @ 20:35 GMT
"Believe it or not, it’s a decade since FQXi launched, back in May 2006. There’ll be more celebrations on the site to come, but to commemorate our birthday month, we invited one of FQXi’s..."

New Podcast: A MICROSCOPE on General Relativity, Gravitational Waves, Defects in Spacetime, and a Spooky Quantum Tale
100 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  May. 2, 2016 @ 17:06 GMT
"After a bit of a break, the FQXi podcast In the news round-up, Brendan Foster and I chat about the MICROSCOPE satellite experiment, which was launched in April to put the equivalence principle..."

David Ritz Finkelstein (1929 - 2016)
4 posts  •  created by Bob Coecke   •  Feb. 16, 2016 @ 21:22 GMT
"We all just enjoyed the detection of gravitational waves due to two colliding black holes.  David Ritz Finkelstein, who passed away in January, was the first, in 1958, who identified Schwarzschild's..."

LIGO to Make a Gravitational Waves Announcement on Thursday 11 Feb 2016
184 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Feb. 10, 2016 @ 16:15 GMT
"[b]Updated 4:15pm Feb 11[/b]: Congratulations to the LIGO collaboration for successfully detecting gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes. Follow @FQXi on Twitter for live I’..."

RIP Edgar Mitchell
3 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Feb. 6, 2016 @ 21:02 GMT
"Rest In Peace astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon and the last member of the Apollo 14 mission. He was oddly credulous for a man of science, confusing the public with his..."

How risky is too risky? Evaluating the expected impact of high-risk/high-reward research
83 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  Feb. 4, 2016 @ 17:34 GMT
"On Dec. 8, 2015, two different groups (sharing an author) posted papers to the arXiv announcing the possible detection of planet-sized objects in the far outer solar system (Vlemmings [i]et al[/i],..."

Measuring Consciousness in the Lab
1043 posts  •  created by Max Tegmark   •  Jan. 14, 2016 @ 15:46 GMT
"If you're driving, you're having a subjective experience of colors, sounds and vibrations. But does a self-driving car have a subjective experience? Does it feel like anything at all to be a..."

2015 in Review: New Podcast on Planets, Particles and Perceptions of Reality
198 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Dec. 28, 2015 @ 15:13 GMT
"We’re taking our annual look back at the physics highlights of the past 12 months — as chosen by FQXi member Ian Durham, a quantum physicist at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. Ian will be..."

Detecting Parallel Universes Hidden Inside Back Holes — The First Proof of the Multiverse?
35 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Dec. 10, 2015 @ 18:28 GMT
"It’s hard to say what’s the most exciting element of this new paper on parallel universes, the inflationary multiverse, and black holes, by Tufts cosmologist (and FQXi member) Alex Vilenkin and..."

New Podcast: Shifty Neutrinos Win Big, a Cosmic Test for Time, Existential Risk, & "Thunderbirds" Meets Quantum Physics
58 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Nov. 9, 2015 @ 20:50 GMT
"Congratulations to the 1300-strong group of physicists who won the Breakthrough Prize in physics on Sunday, for the discovery of neutrino oscillations—confirming that neutrinos can switch identities..."

Physics of the Observer - Call for Proposals and Program Launch
514 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Oct. 27, 2015 @ 16:27 GMT
"And now, we’d like to announce the beginning of an ambitious new program, investigating Physics of the Observer. We’re asking you to take a long hard look at yourself — and to think about what i..."

New Podcast: Hawking Solves a Black Hole Paradox, Closing Quantum Loopholes, Saving the World & more
147 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 31, 2015 @ 16:07 GMT
"Phew, we have a lot of ground to cover in this month's In the news round-up, Brendan and I discuss Hawking's new idea for solving the black hole information paradox, which he trailed in Sweden..."

“Spookiness” Confirmed by the First Loophole-free Quantum Test
512 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 26, 2015 @ 18:48 GMT
"Spookiness, it seems, is here to stay. Quantum theory has been put to its most stringent “loophole free” test yet, and it has come out victorious, ruling out more common sense views of reality..."

Jacob Bekenstein (1947-2015)
4 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 17, 2015 @ 20:19 GMT
"[i]In remembrance of Jacob Bekenstein, a guest post by his friend and colleague Eduardo Guendelman, Physics Department, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, It is with great sorrow that we re..."

New Podcast: Pluto, Pentaquarks, Alien Hunts & more
36 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 29, 2015 @ 19:14 GMT
"This month’s podcast is jam-packed, thanks to all the huge physics announcements made in So, Brendan and I begin with a news round up, discussing the Pluto flyby (with some help from cosmologis..."

The Physics of What Happens Grantees
3 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Jul. 20, 2015 @ 16:54 GMT
"This past winter, FQXi announced it's fifth Large Grant program, on the topic of The Physics of What Happens – a call for proposals for research and outreach projects on "Events". I am happy to..."

Action and Excitement and Science! - Podcast Special Edition
47 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Jun. 19, 2015 @ 16:16 GMT
"In our new special edition of the FQXi podcast, we ask, what is the best way to interest and excite the public about physics, especially foundational physics? Do we just stick to the facts, or do we..."

Your Invitation to the Trick or Truth Award Ceremony
120 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jun. 9, 2015 @ 11:06 GMT
"So, trick or truth? What *is* the mysterious connection between physics and The judges have now ruled and we will be announcing the winners of this year’s essay contest on Wednesday. (ED..."

In Praise of Physics Poetry, Spacetime SQUIDs, & Searching for the Impossible
11 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  May. 28, 2015 @ 20:10 GMT
"Just to let you know that after a couple of special podcast editions from the quantum foundations meeting in Erice, Italy, Brendan and I are back with the regular In this month's podcast, we'r..."

The Reality of the Wavefunction
65 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  May. 28, 2015 @ 18:35 GMT
"A couple of months ago we spoke with quantum physicists Martin Ringbauer and Alessandro Fedrizzi of the University of Queensland, in Australia, on the podcast, about their experiment looking into the..."

Collapsing Physics, Celebrating Ghirardi
6 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 27, 2015 @ 10:22 GMT
"Yesterday afternoon at the quantum foundations meeting in Erice (supported by COST) we celebrated the 80th birthday (somewhat in advance) of GianCarlo Ghirardi who famously worked on collapse models,..."

Detecting Dark Matter Using Space-Based Quantum Optics
16 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 25, 2015 @ 11:19 GMT
"I’m lucky enough to be attending a COST Action workshop on quantum foundations currently taking place in Erice, Italy, with lots of FQXi folk in attendance. (Thank you to the organisers, FQXi’s..."

Quantum Reality & Networking, & Observing Black Hole Firewalls with Neutrinos
2 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 15, 2015 @ 16:09 GMT
"Our latest podcast has been posted and we’re catching up with a couple of old friends of FQXi to talk about their recent work, and making a couple of new First up we have quantum physicist Mart..."

The Perfect Physics Valentine’s Gift
11 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Feb. 13, 2015 @ 21:07 GMT
"Stuck for a last minute present for your loved one for Valentine’s Not to worry, FQXi has teamed up with Springer to bring you the perfect gift: a compilation of reworked essays inspired by the ..."

Wigner's Key
11 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jan. 14, 2015 @ 19:49 GMT
"Here's Eugene Wigner, from "Unreasonable "The first point is that the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and that ther..."

A mathematical philosophy - a digital view
3 posts  •  created by Joselle Kehoe   •  Jan. 13, 2015 @ 18:26 GMT
"I’ve become fascinated with Gregory Chaitin’s exploration of randomness in computing and his impulse to bring these observations to bear on physical, mathematical, and biological theories. His..."

2014: Paradoxical Cats and the Physics Year in Review
5 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Dec. 27, 2014 @ 18:27 GMT
"It's become a bit of a tradition for quantum physicist and FQXi member Ian Durham to join us on the podcast each December to choose his favourite physics stories of the year. As always, Ian's gone for..."

Trick or Truth? — Essay Contest 2015
163 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Dec. 16, 2014 @ 01:57 GMT
"Physics and mathematics -- It seems impossible to imagine the history of either one without the other. For gravity theory alone, we see so many examples of this -- from Newton creating calculus, to..."

Call for Research Proposals: The Physics of What Happens
31 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Dec. 12, 2014 @ 13:42 GMT
"It's good to take a philosophical attitude to life. Let's say you apply for an FQXi large grant. Maybe you get it, maybe you don't. Whatever happens, But what does *happen* from the point of v..."

Please Join Us For the 2014 FQXi Video Contest Award Ceremony
10 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Dec. 2, 2014 @ 23:39 GMT
"It's time to get out your ballgowns and tuxedos. FQXi is rolling out the red carpet and inviting you to join us as we announce the winners of our first ever video contest: "Show Me The As Bre..."

Planck Sheds Light on Dark Matter and Closes the Gap with WMAP
4 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Dec. 2, 2014 @ 20:09 GMT
"This image isn't a close-up of part of Van Gogh's "The Starry Night," but it is a patch of sky showing the swirling the magnetic field inferred from Planck data. (Image via ESA-Planck Collaboration,..."

Janus Universes and a Gravitational Arrow of Time
79 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Dec. 2, 2014 @ 19:41 GMT
"We can always count on FQXi member Julian Barbour to raise the tone of the conversation, this time by referencing the Roman two-faced god Janus with his new theory that explains the origin of time's..."

Podcast Up: Interacting Parallel Worlds, Predicting the Future, Symmetrization Postulate & Singing Comets
1 post  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Dec. 2, 2014 @ 16:56 GMT
"A quick alert that the new podcast is up. Listen to it In this edition we chat to Howard Wiseman, a physicist at the University of Brisbane, in Australia, who has come up with a new theory in whi..."

Show Me the Physics Winners — Tune in Soon!
1 post  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Nov. 14, 2014 @ 22:08 GMT
"Astute followers of FQXi's first ever video contest Show Me the Physics! may know that the contest timeline lists today as the day for announcing our winners. Well, I am happy to announce that our..."

A Physicist and a Science Writer Walk Into a Bar
109 posts  •  created by George Musser   •  Oct. 30, 2014 @ 00:01 GMT
"Quantum physics can make rocket science look like kindergarten circle time. Even experts find it daunting. So imagine the challenges that science writers face, both in understand the physics and..."

Dust Settling on the BICEP2 results
12 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Sep. 22, 2014 @ 15:30 GMT
"Just opening up a forum thread for discussing the intermediate Planck results (arXiv:1409.5738v1) which show that the BICEP2 signal -- lauded as direct of evidence of primordial gravitational waves..."

The Quantum Pet Store: New Podcast Edition is Up!
100 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Sep. 1, 2014 @ 01:56 GMT
"The latest edition of the podcast is up -- and you may notice there's a bit of a quantum animal theme. Listen to it First up, we talk to Andrew Jordan of Rochester University about recent experim..."

Your Invitation to FQXi's Online Essay Contest Award Ceremony & a Call for Questions!
216 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 20, 2014 @ 20:57 GMT
"The judges have made their decisions…and we can now (almost) reveal the winners of this year's essay contest, which asked: "How Should Humanity Steer the Future?" We had 155 entries this year and..."

Quantum theory escapes locality by accepting uncertainty
57 posts  •  created by Oscar Dahlsten   •  Aug. 17, 2014 @ 15:14 GMT
"[i]When a ballerina does a pirouette she must escape the friction of the ground in order to get the freedom to move. (Figure 1: Photo by Michael Garner, courtesy of English National Ballet.) She does..."

6 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Aug. 1, 2014 @ 20:15 GMT
"Looking for a low-level break from your usual high-level philosophizing about science? Check out Luc Besson's latest: a sci-fi shoot-em-up titled *Lucy* that will keep you crunching popcorn without st..."

“Utopia or Dystopia”
131 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 8, 2014 @ 14:02 GMT
"Rick Searle of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies has a post up about this year’s essay contest. Check it out here. The essay contest is now closed for votes, but as you know, it is ..."

Consciousness = Maths, Simulating Time Travel, BICEP2 Scrutinised and Quantum Entropy
4 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 7, 2014 @ 16:57 GMT
"Just a quick round-up of some more video and audio on If you've been following Max Tegmark's latest ideas on consciousness as a state of matter (which I blogged about in January), then you'll en..."

Show Me the Physics!
4 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  May. 9, 2014 @ 16:06 GMT
"Part of our goal at FQXi is to get people talking and wondering about the fascinating and confusing foundational physics research we support. We also want to be a point of connection between the..."

How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
395 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Apr. 19, 2014 @ 04:50 GMT
"Greetings all -- Just a quick announcement to say our current essay contest -- How Should Humanity Steer the Future? -- is closed for entries as of now. We are currently reviewing all the great..."

FQXb (bio)
11 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Mar. 23, 2014 @ 21:26 GMT
"Everyone is talking this week about the dramatic confirmation of inflationary theory: those first-instant gravitational waves whose details may even point--being, if you will, quantum phenomena that w..."

BICEP2: Primordial Gravitational Waves & Evidence for Inflation
15 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 17, 2014 @ 12:54 GMT
"Updated: Congratulations to FQXi's Alan Guth and Andrei Linde following the announcement of the first direct detection of B modes -- evidence of their inflation theory. Well done to those working on..."

Time and the Nature of Reality
189 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 8, 2014 @ 18:22 GMT
"We recently ran an article (courtesy of Nautilus Magazine) in which physicist Paul Davies ran through some open questions about the nature of I want to alert you to another discussion currently t..."

Video: Seth Lloyd, "What Happens When You Fall Into a Black Hole?"
25 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 4, 2014 @ 21:15 GMT
"Some of you may have noticed that I enjoy writing about the question of what happens when you fall into a black hole. At the recent FQXi meeting in Vieques, Puerto Rico, "quantum mechanic" Seth Lloyd..."

Is the universe infinite or just really really big? A proposed way to distinguish the two possibilities
48 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Feb. 3, 2014 @ 23:37 GMT
"As promised, this is a follow-up to one of the summary posts from the FQXi conference in Vieques. If you have read those, you may recall that Anthony Aguirre asked the intriguing question: is there..."

Might the Infinity of the Universe Have a Tangible Effect on Daily Life?
55 posts  •  created by George Musser   •  Jan. 25, 2014 @ 04:40 GMT
"“There is a difference between whether the universe is infinite or just really really really really really really big,” Anthony Aguirre said at the recent FQXi conference in Puerto Rico. I’m..."

Consciousness as a State of Matter--Max Tegmark's FQXi Talk
49 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 21, 2014 @ 19:55 GMT
"More audio from the FQXi meeting in Vieques, this time from cosmologist Max Tegmark. As Ian has already blogged, Max has been pondering what qualities conscious matter would have that differentiates..."

Time From a Timeless World
64 posts  •  created by George Musser   •  Jan. 21, 2014 @ 16:14 GMT
"Theoretical physicists commonly say their biggest challenge is to unite general relativity with quantum theory. But at this month’s FQXi conference in Puerto Rico, Carlo Rovelli said they have an..."

Interesting Ways to Die (and More)
9 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Jan. 20, 2014 @ 21:28 GMT
"The final full day of the conference in Vieques began with a session on quantum gravity. (Some slides and videos from the meeting are now up: here.) Seth Lloyd led off the longer talks by essentially..."

The History of Astronomy with Julian Barbour and Flavio Mercati
3 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 17, 2014 @ 19:26 GMT
"[i]This is a quick post to alert you to a new video project by FQXi members Julian Barbour and Flavio Mercati. Backed by FQXi, they are creating a series of films, in English and Italian, on the..."

String theory vs Loop Quantum Gravity: Bousso and Rovelli FIGHT (backwards)
1 post  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 14, 2014 @ 21:02 GMT
"Depending on how familiar you are with FQXi, you may know that we like to cause a little mischief at our conferences. Knowing that we had famed string theorist Raphael Bousso and Carlo Rovelli, one of..."

Fluctuations, Schmucuations
31 posts  •  created by George Musser   •  Jan. 14, 2014 @ 13:15 GMT
"PUERTO RICO—One of my favorite talks at the recently concluded FQXi conference was Sean Carroll's takedown of the concept of quantum fluctuations in inflationary cosmology. Regardless of the fate of..."

Consciousness, Free Will--and Asking Siri Out on a Date
26 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Jan. 14, 2014 @ 00:07 GMT
"As I mentioned in my previous post, they keep us rather busy at this conference so I did not have the opportunity to put additional thoughts down on "paper" until just now as I sit in the Philly..."

FQXi'ers Debate the Deep Questions of Free Will
30 posts  •  created by George Musser   •  Jan. 10, 2014 @ 22:50 GMT
"VIEQUES, PUERTO RICO—Some years ago, while visiting South Africa, I was astounded by the number of languages my friends spoke. It’s not just they knew Xhosa, Zulu, SeSotho, English, and Afrikaans,..."

Sean Carroll Fluctuates on Boltzmann Brains and Eternal Inflation
2 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 9, 2014 @ 17:57 GMT
"More audio from the FQXi meeting is now in. Those of you that read Ian Durham's summary of Day 2 will already know that cosmologist Sean Carroll, at Caltech, gave (in his own words) an "inflammatory"..."

Cosmologists are from Mars, Quantum Folks are from Venus
5 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Jan. 8, 2014 @ 20:47 GMT
"We’re certainly kept rather busy at these FQXi conferences so I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write another blog post any sooner. At any rate, I’ll try to summarize a bit about..."

Defining Information
9 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 8, 2014 @ 18:06 GMT
"Ok, so I'm a little out of synch in terms of blogging, and technically this should have been the first post about FQXi's Physics of Information meeting, but hey, causality's indefinite at the..."

Guest post: Charles H. Bennett
31 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 8, 2014 @ 16:59 GMT
"[i]Unfortunately, not everybody that we invited to this year's FQXi conference is able to attend due to other commitments. But while physicist and information theorist Charles H. Bennett of IBM..."

What is Quantum Information Really Good For?
2 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 7, 2014 @ 21:14 GMT
"The first audio from FQXi's 4th International Conference on Vieques Island is now available. You can now listen to Monday's panel discussion on the impact of quantum information, both in practical..."

Why a Larger Multiverse Shouldn't Make You Feel Small
144 posts  •  created by Max Tegmark   •  Jan. 7, 2014 @ 17:07 GMT
"The Higgs Boson was predicted with the same tool as the planet Neptune and the radio wave: with mathematics. Why does our universe seem so mathematical, and what does it mean? In my new book, Our..."

Entropy, Information & Consciousness and 50 Shades of Quantumness (Not)
6 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Jan. 7, 2014 @ 16:04 GMT
"So here I am in Vieques (off the coast of Puerto Rico) at the Fourth FQXi International Conference. I was one of the lucky ones who did not have travel trouble due to uncooperative weather. It is..."

FQXi's 4th International Conference
39 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 7, 2014 @ 03:29 GMT
"FQXi's 4th International Conference on Vieques Island is now underway. This year's topic is the Physics of There'll be more soon, including links to slides from all the talks, videos, and ..."

Happy New Year from FQXi!
4 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 2, 2014 @ 16:59 GMT
"Best wishes for 2014 from everyone at In case you missed it, to say goodbye to 2013, I invited FQXi member and quantum physicist Ian Durham, of Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire to pick out his..."

Somnium, Solaris and Making a Glass Universe
6 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Oct. 31, 2013 @ 18:47 GMT
"It's not every day that I can claim to have created the universe--or helped to, at least. But a couple of weeks ago I attended a workshop led by Simone Kay to build an image of the cosmos using..."

It From Bit, or Bit From It: Results
29 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Oct. 31, 2013 @ 16:15 GMT
"And Now! I am pleased to announce the winners of our 2013 Essay Contest, "It From Bit, or Bit From The contest theme this year took its inspiration from an idea of John Wheeler, asking whether It ..."

Fighting Noise with Noise: Simulation of motional averaging with a superconducting circuit
3 posts  •  created by Gheorghe Sorin Paraoanu   •  Oct. 31, 2013 @ 15:54 GMT
"...Imagine it is deep winter in Finland, where I am based at Aalto University, and the temperature outside is -30 degrees Celsius. A nicely warmed sauna at 80 degrees Celsius would surely be welcome..."

Particle Physics and Art in Superposition
41 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Oct. 8, 2013 @ 00:26 GMT
"Later today (or tomorrow depending on where you are based), the winner(s) of the Nobel Prize for Physics will be announced. At the time that I am writing this, the hot favorites are some combination..."

From Particle Physics to Ice, Water and Steam
3 posts  •  created by Ben Still   •  Oct. 1, 2013 @ 13:54 GMT
"A mathematical method that determined an elementary link between two forces of nature has also led to a deeper understanding of what seems to be a fundamental link between solids, liquids and gases...."

Putting a price on physics as a discipline
80 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Sep. 18, 2013 @ 17:22 GMT
"It was announced last week that the University of Southern Maine’s physics department will be shuttered and its major eliminated. This hits particularly close to home for me since I live outside of..."

Could Leaking Energy Provide Experimental Proof of Parallel Worlds? Perhaps, says Frank Wilczek
26 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 21, 2013 @ 02:40 GMT
"When a physicist tells you that they have an idea for a lab experiment that may be able to detect the existence of quantum parallel worlds, the standard reaction is to smile, nod and move slowly away..."

An Open Letter to Douglas Hofstadter
49 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jul. 13, 2013 @ 01:44 GMT
"Prof. Hofstadter: 1. Consider "The set of all sets which Douglas Hofstadter is considering at the moment." How many elements does this set contain? The answer would seem to be One (assuming you weren'..."

What can’t be sensed
50 posts  •  created by Joselle Kehoe   •  Jul. 8, 2013 @ 20:39 GMT
"Step by step, our ideas about the nature of our reality have moved far from the sensory constructions of space and time that define our immediate experience. And once fully outside the knowledge..."

Nature, GUT, and Comprehensibility
180 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jun. 1, 2013 @ 14:54 GMT
"Our recent thoughts about Thomas Nagel's (failed, I think) pronouncement against materialistic reductionism have led me down the path of musing on the connections among nature "in itself"--whatever t..."

FQX Boo(x)shelf
34 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Apr. 24, 2013 @ 02:17 GMT
"Diving into Thomas Nagel's "Mind and Cosmos" (subtitle: "Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False"), I experienced a vague but mounting sense of apprehensio..."

Essay Contest 2013: It From Bit, or Bit From It?
677 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Mar. 25, 2013 @ 19:12 GMT
"Without further ado, I am happy to announce the start of FQXi's 2013 Essay Contest! Our new topic: It From Bit or Bit From It? The past century in fundamental physics has shown a steady progression aw..."

A Quick Tip of the Pen
14 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Feb. 20, 2013 @ 03:54 GMT
"Just a quick comment to say happy birthday to the great Nicolaus Copernicus, a hero of mine, and of many. Here's a post I did on him a while back."

How often should we expect destructive impacts from the skies?
8 posts  •  created by Fred Adams   •  Feb. 15, 2013 @ 21:12 GMT
"The big news of the day--actually last night--is that a large meteor has apparently fallen on the city of Chelyabinsk in central Russia. The event caused serious damage and resulted in injuries to..."

Quantum Biology: Flight and Sniffery
7 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Feb. 5, 2013 @ 14:05 GMT
"Another discussion thread for January’s podcast, this time on quantum biology. This item also deserves a thread of its own because its been in the news quite a bit over the past few To recap, ..."

God, Parallel Worlds, Cats and Cosmology
69 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Feb. 5, 2013 @ 13:54 GMT
"It’s February, which means I’m a bit late in posting about the January 2013 podcast edition. (Listen and (hopefully) enjoy This has been one of most popular editions yet -- so thank you to e..."

The Quasar Cluster that Kills the Cosmological Principle?
103 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 23, 2013 @ 15:08 GMT
"Thanks to John Merryman for suggesting the topic of this post. Earlier this month, a team of astronomers led by Roger G. Clowes at the University of Central Lancashire reported the discovery of the..."

Looking Forward: FQXi Endorsement
241 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Jan. 22, 2013 @ 19:07 GMT
"On behalf of Max Tegmark and Anthony Aguirre, FQXi Directorate --- In a previous post, we wrote about our plans for maintaining helpful, useful and interesting scientific discussion in our online foru..."

Looking Forward: FQXi Forum Discussions
19 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Jan. 18, 2013 @ 22:16 GMT
"On behalf of Max Tegmark and Anthony Aguirre, FQXi Directorate --- As we start the new year of 2013, we at FQXi have been looking over the past year and evaluating our plans for the future. As part of..."

Another World
4 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jan. 6, 2013 @ 01:17 GMT
"Here's a vacation photo from this past summer. It's taken on Mars; I went there, along with thousands of fascinated others, on the vehicle of the Curiosity rover and the vehicle of my imagination. I, ..."

Questioning the Foundations: Results
119 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Nov. 30, 2012 @ 17:23 GMT
"And now! I am happy to announce the winners of our 2012 Essay Contest, "Questioning the Foundations: Which of Our Assumptions Are Without further ado, here are the winners: First prize of $10,0..."

Questioning the Foundations: Countdown and Thanks
30 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Nov. 28, 2012 @ 18:12 GMT
"This Friday, November 30, we will announce the winners of the 2012 Essay Contest, "Questioning the Foundations". We'd like to start the countdown to the big event now with some thanks and brief..."

Bad News for Supersymmetry?
3 posts  •  created by Ben Still   •  Nov. 21, 2012 @ 21:11 GMT
"The LHCb experiment at CERN recently announced results that put the theory of Supersymmetry into ever growing Our current picture of the Universe at the smallest scale is wrapped up in the mathe..."

Jiggling Atoms: The Art of Physics
24 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Oct. 15, 2012 @ 21:33 GMT
"Particle physicists may often feel like their lives are part of a game of chance: A roll of the dice determines whether they will find the data they need to discover the Higgs particle--or whether..."

Losing Neil Armstrong
11 posts  •  created by Katie Mack   •  Sep. 3, 2012 @ 17:50 GMT
"I took Neil Armstrong's death personally. I was surprised to find myself so upset, honestly, since I knew so little about him: I had never seen him speak, never read his biography, and the Moon..."

Why Does the World Exist?
153 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Sep. 1, 2012 @ 19:40 GMT
"For those looking for some late-summer reading of a Foundational sort, I want to recommend Jim Holt's *Why Does the World Exist?* It's a simplified romp through several approaches toward what might (..."

The Eagle Has Flown
6 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Aug. 27, 2012 @ 14:29 GMT
"Here's to Neil Armstrong, a hero not just for America, but for humanity. The next person to walk on the moon will no doubt be Chinese, but no matter; even though space travel was born in the Cold War,..."

Critical Revolutions
26 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Aug. 20, 2012 @ 20:36 GMT
"I'm posting this month from Italy, home-base of one of the most influential metaphysical systems in history--Roman Catholicism--and home to one of the most important names in physics: Galileo Galilei...."

Quantum Discord & The Power of Knowing Quantum Mechanically
5 posts  •  created by Mile Gu   •  Aug. 6, 2012 @ 13:37 GMT
"The 1962 James bond movie 'Dr. No' taught children around the world a valuable lesson in how to detect whether nosy siblings are snooping into their rooms. You stick a small piece hair across the door..."

Congratulating the Milner Prize Recipients!
26 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 31, 2012 @ 14:27 GMT
"July’s turning out to be a pretty good month for FQXi is all abuzz at news that two of our members, inflation supremos Alan Guth (pictured right, with Alex Vilenkin) and Andrei Linde (pict..."

From Time to Shape
194 posts  •  created by Julian Barbour   •  Jul. 18, 2012 @ 14:44 GMT
"(FQXi Member Julian Barbour has launched a project to create a series of short, public outreach films that present his approach to time and shape in foundational physics. He has allowed us at FQXi to..."

Thanks, Mom! Finding the Quantum of Ubiquitous Resistance
35 posts  •  created by Frank Wilczek   •  Jul. 4, 2012 @ 15:25 GMT
"This is a cross-post from FQXi’s partner: NOVA’s Nature of Reality CERN’s July 4 declaration of victory in the quest to find the Higgs particle (or something very much like it) is a many-sp..."

Born on the Fourth of July?
6 posts  •  created by Gerald Guralnik   •  Jul. 3, 2012 @ 18:36 GMT
"(In anticipation of tomorrow’s possible Higgs announcement, we’re reposting Gerry Guralnik’s comments from December 2011 on the much anticipated status of the ATLAS and CMS searches for THE..."

Higgs and Pieces
11 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 3, 2012 @ 16:24 GMT
"We’re a little behind in setting up a thread about tomorrow’s Higgs announcement by CERN, and yesterday’s announcement by Fermilab. (But then, I think the Higgs is receiving enough attention..."

Searching for Cosmic Textures
3 posts  •  created by Matthew Johnson   •  Jun. 28, 2012 @ 16:01 GMT
"What types of phases could the universe have inhabited in the distant past? We know that the universe was hot and dense in its youth, and has subsequently been cooling as it expands. Just like H2O can..."

A Table-Top Test for Quantum Gravity
2 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jun. 25, 2012 @ 15:42 GMT
"A short post to highlight a discussion around one of our recent podcasts. In the April edition of the podcast, I chatted with FQXi’s Markus Aspelmeyer about a proposal for a table-top test for..."

New Podcast: Cosmic Beginnings & Quantum Domination
86 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  May. 31, 2012 @ 20:50 GMT
"Just to let you know a new edition of the podcast is now up: It’s a bit longer than usual because we’ve given some time over to discussing the essay contest..."

Essay Contest 2012: Questioning the Foundations
692 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  May. 24, 2012 @ 16:02 GMT
"It is time once again for the FQXi Essay Contest! Past years, we have asked you to debate the nature of time, what is ultimately possible in physics, and whether reality is ultimately digital or..."

Launching the FQXi Podcast!
59 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Apr. 30, 2012 @ 19:00 GMT
"Eagle-eyed visitors to the community homepage may have noticed that we have added a link to the shiny new FQXi podcast, available Two editions are up and available ..."

Exploding the Supernova Paradigm
37 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Apr. 24, 2012 @ 15:13 GMT
"What makes a supernova go boom? I’ve just been at a meeting on ways to observe such stellar explosions at the Royal Society in London, where there was a session discussing this Type Ia supe..."

The Astronaut's Tale: Physics Meets Opera
36 posts  •  created by Matthew Roberts   •  Mar. 31, 2012 @ 18:43 GMT
"When I was asked to review The Astronaut's Tale (music by Charles Fussell, libretto by Jack Larson), I will admit that I had no idea what to expect. The blurb describes the opera as being about the..."

If God were to simulate reality, would he prefer it quantum?
289 posts  •  created by Mile Gu   •  Mar. 27, 2012 @ 16:45 GMT
"--or How Quantum Theory May Sharpen the Blade of Occam’s The 1999 movie ‘The Matrix’ explored a world where humans are plugged into a virtual reality. They go about their daily lives..."

Disproofs of disproofs of disproofs of disproofs...
2136 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 19, 2012 @ 16:15 GMT
"It has been brought to my attention that the discussion threads for Parts 1, 2 and 3 of "To Be or Not to Be (a Local Realist)" and "On the Origins of Quantum Correlations" are getting increasingly..."

Two predictions for the Post-Quantum World
128 posts  •  created by Vlatko Vedral   •  Mar. 9, 2012 @ 18:37 GMT
"Every time physicists face experiments that cannot be explained with the existing theories they have to decide which aspects of these theories to keep and which to throw away. Planck, when faced with..."

Elegance and Enigma: The Quantum Interviews
185 posts  •  created by Maximilian Schlosshauer   •  Jan. 11, 2012 @ 15:39 GMT
"To say that quantum theory is about describing how atoms behave would be like saying that all Hemingway ever did was show us how to write terse prose. Quantum theory, more than any other physical..."

Hanny's Voorwerp, and Other Year-End Goodies
311 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Dec. 30, 2011 @ 17:05 GMT
"The new year is upon us: first step—according to the Gregorian calendar, anyway—of our next long loop around the sun. Time to look back over some of the most interesting Foundational stories from ..."

Proving You Are Where You Say You Are: Position-Based Quantum Cryptography (Part II)
114 posts  •  created by George Musser   •  Dec. 20, 2011 @ 22:11 GMT
"This is the second part of a post on garden hoses, quantum cryptography, and schemes to verify position. The first part, which details the first proposed scheme to verify your position--and exactly..."

Proving You Are Where You Say You Are: Position-Based Quantum Cryptography (Part I)
7 posts  •  created by George Musser   •  Dec. 20, 2011 @ 22:06 GMT
"When a speaker brings a tangle of garden hoses, a bottle of water, and a towel to the podium, you know it’s going to be a fun talk. Computer scientist Harry Buhrman of the Centrum Wiksunde &..."

Greetings from Goa
57 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Dec. 17, 2011 @ 14:57 GMT
"Greetings from Goa, India, on the shores of the Arabian Sea. I am here at the International Conference on Gravitation and Cosmology, hosted by the Indian Association for General Relativity and..."

The Secret History of that Infamous Boson
145 posts  •  created by Gerald Guralnik   •  Dec. 12, 2011 @ 22:07 GMT
"- Comments on the much anticipated December 13 CERN seminar on the status of the ATLAS and CMS searches for THE Headlines have been buzzing for the past week or so about a possible glimpse of a ..."

Are we getting closer to nailing down what the wavefunction is?
109 posts  •  created by Oscar Dahlsten   •  Dec. 2, 2011 @ 13:52 GMT
"-Comment on recent preprint by Pusey, Barrett and A quantum system is said to have a state, also known as a wavefunction. The minimal interpretation of the state is that it encodes our knowled..."

The Whole and Nothing But
287 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Nov. 15, 2011 @ 20:48 GMT
"More videos from the Setting Time Aright meeting, this time from the session on Truth. The talks covered both the philosophical question of what scientific “truth” is -- Is science as objective as..."

On the Origins of Quantum Correlations
1923 posts  •  created by Joy Christian   •  Nov. 1, 2011 @ 15:59 GMT
"John Stewart Bell is undoubtedly one of the icons of contemporary physics. His name has become inseparable from the notion of quantum non-locality, however, Bell himself always stressed that it was..."

How Quantum Entanglement Transcends Space and Time
108 posts  •  created by George Musser   •  Oct. 25, 2011 @ 18:32 GMT
"Quantum entanglement is the great soap opera of modern physics. The human spectacle—Einstein discovers entanglement, his colleagues mostly ignore him—was bad enough. But the particles themselves..."

296 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Oct. 22, 2011 @ 01:54 GMT
"It’s Halloween. The nights are lengthening, the shadows deepening (if you’re reading this in North America, anyway). The air has a chill sharpness, at once apple-sweet and faintly frightful, with..."

It's About Time
209 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Oct. 21, 2011 @ 14:10 GMT
"We’ve had a few posts about the sessions at the Setting Time Aright meeting covering questions about memory, choice, free will and the end of civilization, entropy, and...electric fish. But as yet..."

Entropy and complexity: themes from the FQXi conference Setting Time Aright
551 posts  •  created by Ian Durham   •  Oct. 8, 2011 @ 03:15 GMT
"The aim of the recent FQXi conference on the nature of time was to explore time from a multidisciplinary, multifaceted viewpoint. As such the conference brought together psychologists,..."

Neutrino Black Magic
379 posts  •  created by Stephon Alexander   •  Sep. 26, 2011 @ 13:10 GMT
"While the recent measurement of superluminal propagation of muon neutrinos by the OPERA experiment needs independent confirmation, it is still enticing to imagine if it is at all possible to cook up a..."

Setting Time Aright: The Public Panel Video
377 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Sep. 25, 2011 @ 15:56 GMT
"Those who weren’t at the Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen for the Setting Time Aright meeting last month can now watch the video of public panel discussion on “Understanding How Time Works,..."

Faster Than Light Neutrinos?
258 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Sep. 23, 2011 @ 16:02 GMT
"I’ve been asked for my thoughts on news from the Gran Sasso Laboratory that subatomic particles have broken the speed of light. From Nature: Researchers at the Opera Collaboration "claim to have..."

Do Scientists (Choose to) Dream of Electric Fish?
177 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Sep. 23, 2011 @ 15:22 GMT
"Thank you everyone for your patience -- videos of talks from the FQXi conference on Time are now trickling through. The first videos are from the session on Choice ("Our experience of the future is..."

Thanks for the Memories
17 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Sep. 8, 2011 @ 18:38 GMT
"To set up this post, which covers the “Memory” session of the FQXi meeting from Bergen to Copenhagen (I’m still playing catch-up on covering the sessions), take a look at the image to the right,..."

Part 3 of To Be on Not to Be (a Local Realist)
635 posts  •  created by Florin Moldoveanu   •  Sep. 5, 2011 @ 10:13 GMT
"Hey I really enjoyed debating here Joy Christian’s challenge to Bell’s theorem, and this led me to take a more in-depth look at his results in an attempt to construct a computer simulatio..."

A Turing Test for Free Will and the Rhythm of Life
109 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 31, 2011 @ 23:08 GMT
"First off, I want to alert you to some of the other bloggers covering the Nature of Time meeting. Over at Cosmic Variance, conference co-organizer Sean Carroll describes how the the meeting was..."

Greetings from FQXi’s "Setting Time Aright" Meeting
370 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 29, 2011 @ 14:39 GMT
"This year’s FQXi conference, incorporating a cruise from Bergen, Norway, around the Scandinavian coastline to Copenhagen, Denmark, is now firmly underway. (At about 2am last night, I began to..."

Higgs Almighty
365 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Aug. 12, 2011 @ 14:05 GMT
"A gentle plea: will all science journalists please cease and desist from referring to the Higgs boson as “the God particle”? Nothing that emerges from a particle accelerator is going to be “the ..."

Is the Second Law a Meta-Theorem?
118 posts  •  created by Oscar Dahlsten   •  Aug. 11, 2011 @ 15:44 GMT
"Does this apply to past information, as well as future information? In other words can we truly explain reality and the laws and constants governing it, or are they lost in a haze of infinite Th..."

Part 2 of To Be or Not To Be (a Local Realist)
158 posts  •  created by Florin Moldoveanu   •  Aug. 2, 2011 @ 13:11 GMT
"This follows on from my post last week, “To Be or Not To Be (a Local Realist),” which discusses Joy Christian’s “Disproof of Bell’s Theorem.” Joy’s response to my post is As I was s..."

Quantum Music from a Classical Sphere
463 posts  •  created by Joy Christian   •  Jul. 24, 2011 @ 18:02 GMT
"“ ... what is proved by impossibility proofs is lack of imagination.”--John S. This post is in response to Florin Moldoveanu’s, “To Be Or Not To Be (a Local Realist),” which discusses my..."

To Be or Not To Be (a Local Realist)
120 posts  •  created by Florin Moldoveanu   •  Jul. 24, 2011 @ 17:35 GMT
"I’ve been pondering realism for the past few months. In particular I’ve been thinking about Bell’s theorem, and FQXi member Joy Christian’s claimed disproof of it. I recently posted a paper on..."

Digital v Analog: Winners Announced!
466 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Jun. 6, 2011 @ 12:21 GMT
"We are pleased to announce the winners in the 2010/2011 Essay Contest, "Is Reality Digital or Analog?" [youtube: AXtmnYVW2JY, 560, 340] Top prize of $10,000 and FQXi Membership goes to ... Jarmo Mäke..."

Color Me Surprised: Quantum Mechanics and Graph Theory are a Match Made in Heaven:
254 posts  •  created by Florin Moldoveanu   •  May. 4, 2011 @ 12:47 GMT
"Recently I attended the “New Directions in the Foundations of Physics” organized under the guidance of FQXi member Jeffrey Bub. In a series of blog posts I will present the main new ideas, and..."

Art and Science: A Slice of Time
355 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Apr. 28, 2011 @ 20:09 GMT
"This is a work of art by artist Shinichi Maruyama. His pieces exist for only a specific, minute fragment of time: in some cases, as little as one 20,000th of a second. The art, in other words, is not..."

Source Code? I've Seen It All Before...
15 posts  •  created by Matty Hoban   •  Apr. 4, 2011 @ 22:47 GMT
"6am "I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher plays on the radio, interrupted by a DJ. D.J.: Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today... And another day ..."

Clothes for the Standard Model Beggar
671 posts  •  created by Florin Moldoveanu   •  Apr. 4, 2011 @ 13:06 GMT
"WARNING: If algebra and geometry caused you headaches in school, this post could bring back suppressed According to neuroscience, the left brain is responsible for understanding algebra while..."

Return of the Arsenic Eaters
99 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Mar. 11, 2011 @ 00:49 GMT
"What an excellent couple of months it’s been for the science blogs. It seems like every few weeks we are being treated to another shiny new pebble, to borrow Newton’s analogy, from the endless bea..."

Five Reasons Thinking Computers Won't Destroy Humanity, Probably
138 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Feb. 13, 2011 @ 00:37 GMT
"Here’s a section from a fun news article that ran recently on NPR. (“Fun,” I suppose, only because I find it implausible; if you buy the premise—that within a few decades self-redesigning comp..."

Most Courageous Postdoc Winner: Daniel Bedingham!
10 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 28, 2011 @ 11:08 GMT
"Last September, FQXi put out a call for nominations for a new award honoring the Most Courageous Postdoc conducting research on foundational physics or cosmology. An external panel of experts reviewed..."

Time & Foundations: Awardees Announced
78 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Jan. 18, 2011 @ 21:57 GMT
"On behalf of FQXi, I am pleased to announce the future grantees of our latest grant competition on "Time and Foundations". Aided by a rigorous, two-step process involving multiple, dedicated expert..."

New Year, New Universe?
113 posts  •  created by Matthew Johnson   •  Dec. 31, 2010 @ 19:26 GMT
"Hello! This is Matt Johnson, and I was recently asked to write a brief guest post for FQXi about some of my recent work with Stephen Feeney, Daniel Mortlock, and Hiranya Peiris on observational tests..."

Uncertainty Principle Determines Nonlocality
677 posts  •  created by Florin Moldoveanu   •  Nov. 26, 2010 @ 00:33 GMT
"I’ve blogged in the past about how quantum mechanics isn’t as weird as it could be (See “Spookier than Quantum Mechanics?). Now there is new chapter to add to this In 1935, Einstein, Podol..."

Should We Believe the Dark Matter Rumors?
376 posts  •  created by Mark Wyman   •  Nov. 5, 2010 @ 20:44 GMT
"Over the past couple of weeks, news sites and science blogs have been buzzing about a(nother) possible sighting of dark matter, based on a paper by Fermilab’s Dan Hooper and NYU’s Lisa Goodenough...."

Digital V. Analog: Essay Contest 2010/2011!
1215 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Nov. 1, 2010 @ 18:23 GMT
"After many months of careful preparation, we are now pleased to announce the beginning of the next Essay Contest! We want to thank our contest partners The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and ..."

Is the Stock Market a Quantum Phenomenon?
29 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Oct. 26, 2010 @ 15:09 GMT
"There is something in the deep structure of nature that prevents, or possibly cancels out, quantum effects in macroscopic objects. We don’t know what that thing is: some suppose gravitation to be th..."

Courageous PostDocs!
928 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Sep. 9, 2010 @ 15:07 GMT
"FQXi is now offering a new award, for Most Courageous Postdoc! The $1,000 award was developed with the help of Sabine Hossenfelder, Assistant Professor at the Nordic Institute for Theoretical..."

Should SONY help foundational physics?
75 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 31, 2010 @ 15:41 GMT
"Just a quick post to point you to the BBC’s coverage of FQXi large-grant-winner Gaurav Khanna’s work, using a Playstation supercomputer to test loop quantum cosmology, find out what happened..."

GRW vs Free Will
597 posts  •  created by Florin Moldoveanu   •  Aug. 20, 2010 @ 17:19 GMT
"This is my last post on key results that were presented during the New Directions in the Foundations of Physics conference in Washington DC. (You can see my other posts about building a black hole in..."

Parallel Universe on your iPhone
18 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 16, 2010 @ 21:37 GMT
"Got a tough decision to make and just don't know which option to choose? Well, why not choose both options––but perform each in a different parallel Yes, in what must be one of the bolde..."

Philosophy vs. Physics
919 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Aug. 3, 2010 @ 13:46 GMT
"It’s not quite timeless, but Steven Weinberg’s *Dreams of a Final Theory* is a classic of the popular science genre. In it, he notes that he was an enthusiastic student of philosophy as an undergr..."

The Planck Scale: Gravity’s Ultimate Limit?
64 posts  •  created by Mark Wyman   •  Aug. 1, 2010 @ 21:05 GMT
"Scientific researchers, especially younger ones dreaming of glory and fame, are generally averse to setting boundaries and claiming absolute limits. This stems both from a hopefulness that Nature will..."

Time Travel by Teleportation
736 posts  •  created by Florin Moldoveanu   •  Aug. 1, 2010 @ 20:02 GMT
"Time travel is a fascinating subject. Can we really go back in time and maybe change it? Suppose I can go back in time, would I be able to kill my own grandfather thus preventing my own birth? Here..."

The Massive Gravity Revolution of 2010?
459 posts  •  created by Mark Wyman   •  Jul. 18, 2010 @ 20:00 GMT
"Theoretical physicists love to ask “what if” questions, to explore the limits of mathematical self-consistency, even--perhaps especially--when the questions they are asking fly in the face of..."

Turing Machines, Quantum Effects and Time Travel
145 posts  •  created by Florin Moldoveanu   •  Jul. 18, 2010 @ 18:25 GMT
"Last time I talked about information causality. Today I want to call attention to two other interesting talks at the New Directions in the Foundations of Physics conference in Washington DC. The first..."

Old Light, New Tricks
54 posts  •  created by Mark Wyman   •  Jul. 14, 2010 @ 16:02 GMT
"One of the fastest moving fields in contemporary astronomy involves getting some new tricks out of the oldest light in the Universe. The cosmic microwave background radiation, or CMB for short, is the..."

Definition: Energy
634 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jun. 15, 2010 @ 15:08 GMT
"I was nineteen; I had probably been out partying with friends the night before; those were different days. However it came about, I slept through class that morning. It was “Quantum Mechanics for..."

Spookier than Quantum Mechanics?
40 posts  •  created by Florin Moldoveanu   •  May. 28, 2010 @ 12:16 GMT
"Continuing about the New Directions in the Foundations of Physics conference in Washington DC, the bulk of the quantum mechanics presentations were in the information approach. (You can check my..."

Black Holes in a Tub and the Church of Unitarity
154 posts  •  created by Florin Moldoveanu   •  May. 24, 2010 @ 14:49 GMT
"Recently I attended the New Directions in the Foundations of Physics conference in Washington DC organized by the Foundations of Physics Group (University of Maryland - College Park, Johns Hopkins..."

Experimental Tests for String Theory? Guest post by Anil Ananthaswamy
39 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  May. 10, 2010 @ 12:52 GMT
"From Anil One of the joys of writing a book on modern physics, especially cosmology, is that you get to tackle some mind-expanding concepts, such as string theory and the multiverse. But ..."

Cosmic Consciousness
298 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  May. 9, 2010 @ 23:14 GMT
"I was having dinner with a friend the other day when our discussion turned to the problem of consciousness. Intrigued by the general host of deep science questions, he didn’t see why this famous co..."

The Edge of Physics
459 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Apr. 19, 2010 @ 16:17 GMT
"On a recent trip to the LHC, I met with CERN’s research director, Sergio Bertolucci, who urged me to visit the underground heart of the accelerator before the detectors were finally closed off for..."

Time and Foundations: 2010 Large Grant Round
384 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Apr. 6, 2010 @ 18:49 GMT
"I hereby announce the beginning of the 2010 round of FQXi's Large Grants Program! We now invite proposals for research on foundational questions in physics and cosmology. The focus for this round is..."

Survival in Many Worlds
50 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Apr. 3, 2010 @ 22:23 GMT
"I was recently in danger of my life (really). Out of nowhere last fall I found myself thrust into a serious medical situation requiring immediate surgery, followed by an arduous period of recovery. My..."

E8 theory disproved?
310 posts  •  created by Antony Garrett Lisi   •  Mar. 29, 2010 @ 18:51 GMT
"Here's a note to describe, for those interested, what is going on in the "refutation" of E8 theory by Jacques Distler and Skip In a paper I posted to the arxiv in 2007, I proposed that the a..."

Decoding Entropic Gravity
78 posts  •  created by Vlatko Vedral   •  Mar. 26, 2010 @ 13:09 GMT
"I recently wrote a popular science book called “Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information.” The point I was trying to make is that the fundamental building blocks out of which..."

Essay Contest 2010: What to Ask?
578 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Mar. 23, 2010 @ 14:08 GMT
"We at FQXi are on a mission to build a community of people who support research on fundamental physics questions. We are always looking for creative ways to build connections between researchers in..."

Quantum Dating Market
12 posts  •  created by Daniel Doro Ferrante   •  Mar. 9, 2010 @ 18:22 GMT
"It’s too late for Valentine’s Day, and too early for April Fool’s Day, so when I first saw the paper a paper titled “Quantum Dating Market, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. But in the..."

Free Radical
645 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Feb. 15, 2010 @ 04:00 GMT
"An appreciative farewell is due this month to a true scientific radical. While he wasn’t a member of FQXi, his enthusiasm for deep cosmological questions, coupled with an absolute willingness to dis..."

Bowling with the CMB
11 posts  •  created by Mark Wyman   •  Feb. 7, 2010 @ 19:52 GMT
"A new WMAP data and paper release is always a little Christmas for cosmologists. Among the latest set of papers based on seven years of operation, released last month, one concerning whether there are..."

Astrotheology: Do Aliens Have Their Own Jesus? Are Aliens Sinless?
366 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jan. 27, 2010 @ 15:35 GMT
"Yesterday I attended a meeting at the Royal Society in London about how the discovery of extra-terrestrial intelligence would affect people and society, and was introduced to a whole new discipline:..."

What is Ultimately Possible in Physics: Contest Results Announced!
252 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  Jan. 19, 2010 @ 19:00 GMT
"FQXi is pleased to announce the winners in our Essay Competition, "What Is Ultimately Possible In Physics?" The Review Panel worked hard through the holidays debating the finalists. After lengthy..."

Witten meets Wagner? A Review of a Physics Opera
31 posts  •  created by Rob Morris   •  Jan. 3, 2010 @ 17:20 GMT
"Before I begin, I should say that “The Theory of Everything” by Encompass New Opera Theater hasn’t opened yet. It’s in the final stages of reviews and workshops, and I had the chance to attend..."

How? And Why?
197 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jan. 1, 2010 @ 23:48 GMT
"Not infrequently I witness a basic conceptual divide between those in the natural sciences and those in the humanities, including non-professional people whose personalities simply tend in one or the..."

Dark matter found! Or is it all just hype?
247 posts  •  created by Mark Wyman   •  Dec. 18, 2009 @ 14:55 GMT
"Yesterday, there was a widely hyped (though not, at least publicly, by the experimental team itself) announcement of the results of one of the premier dark matter direct detection experiments, the..."

What's U.P.P.? (Contest Feedback)
71 posts  •  created by Brendan Foster   •  Dec. 11, 2009 @ 17:21 GMT
"Right now, our Panel of Experts is reviewing the 42 finalists in the 2009 essay contest, on 'What Is Ultimately Possible In Physics?'. When their ratings are in, we will combine them with the..."

The Connected Climate: Guest Post by Gareth Mitchell
60 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Dec. 7, 2009 @ 17:17 GMT
"It’s not quite as “foundational” as our usual topics (well it's a "Copenhagen interpretation" of sorts), but with climate issues dominating the news thanks to the start of the Copenhagen summit,..."

The Beautiful Truth
495 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Nov. 20, 2009 @ 01:44 GMT
"My taste in painting runs toward the abstract. Not everyone’s first choice, I understand, but one that never had to be “sold” to me; I seem to have been born with an intuitive appreciation of l..."

The Art of Combining Degrees-of-Freedom
91 posts  •  created by Daniel Doro Ferrante   •  Nov. 11, 2009 @ 17:26 GMT
"What do physicists do? I have been thinking a bit about what I do and what the true job of a physicist is and I think I can state it as finding the fundamental variables that most appropriately..."

3 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Oct. 2, 2009 @ 19:51 GMT
"Winter is icumen in, as Ezra Pound quipped, and it’s all about the ice. Fall is already making the trees crisp and soon enough the streets around Boston will resemble the dirty hearts of comets—on..."

Entanglement from a Local Deterministic Model?
73 posts  •  created by Vlatko Vedral   •  Sep. 10, 2009 @ 15:39 GMT
"Entanglement is a quantum effect that exhibits the clearest departure of quantum theory from the previous classical physics. This is easiest seen through the Bell inequalities which are satisfied by..."

The Great Dome of the Sky
15 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Sep. 7, 2009 @ 14:52 GMT
"I am posting this month from the Holy Land, in an area known locally as the “Galile” but more famous to westerners as the region surrounding the Sea of Galilee. The “sea” is, in fact, a large ..."

The Un-LHC
15 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 31, 2009 @ 16:18 GMT
"I’ve just come back from a trip to the LHC (more popularly known as “the black-hole machine,” of course). I arrived quite soon after the official announcement that the collider will re-start in..."

A Lunar Month
6 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jul. 22, 2009 @ 20:13 GMT
"It’s a summer for celebrating the moon. As anyone interested in our space-faring future knows, we’re commemorating this month the 40th anniversary of humanity’s first stroll on one of the heaven..."

String Theory: A Theory of Condensed Matter
94 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 22, 2009 @ 12:42 GMT
"While the bulk of FQXi’s physicists were clambering over volcanoes in the Azores earlier in the month, FQXi’s Subir Sachdev organized a workshop of his own at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical..."

What is Ultimately (or at least newly) Possible in Physics (essay contests)?
51 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  Jul. 17, 2009 @ 22:47 GMT
"What is Ultimately Possible in That, of course, is the subject of FQXi's current essay contest. FQXi has now approved the first 10 essays, so you should feel free to go to the essay discussio..."

Quantum of Love
11 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jul. 15, 2009 @ 18:01 GMT
"Earlier this summer I heard a piece on NPR – generally known for fine science reportage -- that suggested two people in love may be in a state of macroscopic quantum entanglement. Through this entan..."

Talks, talks and more talks from the Azores
51 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 14, 2009 @ 20:01 GMT
"Now that the Azores conference is officially over, I will try and quickly catch you up on (some of) the more serious sessions and the 46 odd talks that were given. I also recommend visiting..."

Why We Should Nuke Mars and/or Commit Quantum Suicide
24 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 12, 2009 @ 09:42 GMT
"Yes, you read the title of this post correctly. Yesterday at the FQXi conference, Paul Davies gave an argument for why we should detonate a nuclear bomb on Mars--in an effort to _find_ The light-..."

Physicists + Volcano = The Future of the Universe?
8 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 10, 2009 @ 09:43 GMT
"Day three of the FQXi Azores conference (I’ll catch you up on day two I was reminded of the tale of the first “absent-minded professor,” the ancient philosopher Thales of Miletus. Plato a..."

Ethics in the Many World's Scenario
28 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 8, 2009 @ 00:35 GMT
"Back when I was in grad school and I had to teach astronomy labs, my colleagues and I would compile collections of songs that had vague references to physics to amuse the undergrads during the..."

You'll Read This Post If I Mention Michael Jackson
19 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jun. 28, 2009 @ 14:48 GMT
"See, I knew you would. The late King of Pop is dominating the blogosphere this week, and probably well into the remaining summer. Radio, television, tweets, he’s all that. The Gloved One rules in d..."

Entanglement with Irony: Spooks cut funding for spooky physics
14 posts  •  created by Vlatko Vedral   •  Jun. 10, 2009 @ 12:03 GMT
"Every human endeavor has a bittersweet taste. “A cup of honey no one has yet drunk, without mixing it with a cup of gall”, said a Montenegrin nineteenth century bishop, warrior and poet in one of..."

Angels and Demons...
9 posts  •  created by Kevin Black   •  May. 25, 2009 @ 11:40 GMT
"...or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Spaceships inexplicably whizzing by in space with mysterious 'anti-gravity' forces keeping everything nicely in place. Ordinary people tran..."

Does God Know He Is God?
274 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  May. 22, 2009 @ 18:42 GMT
"A philosophical diversion (that connects to Let’s assume, for the purposes of argument, that there are such things as gods. In fact, let’s assume there is only one God, and that He has th..."

We Have Lift-Off (Planck & FQXi)
2 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  May. 22, 2009 @ 13:52 GMT
"You might be wondering why nobody at FQXi was following last week’s successful launch of the Ariane 5 rocket carrying two new observatories: The Planck mission, which will scan the cosmic microwave..."

What is Ultimately Possible in Physics?
180 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  May. 16, 2009 @ 02:02 GMT
"On the subject of warp drives and the like, we're please to finally announce the second FQXi essay contest, on "What is ultimately possible in physics?" (Go here for details.) More specifically, to..."

2180: The Year of the Warp Drive?
533 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  May. 12, 2009 @ 18:35 GMT
"The first thing I should say is that I have not yet seen the new Star Trek movie, though I do intend to. (Is it any good?) But I have seen a raft of articles about the science of Star Trek (what..."

The Dark or the Light?
5 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  May. 5, 2009 @ 18:34 GMT
"Earlier this year, FQXi bloggers (and Perimeter Institute cosmologists) Niayesh Afshordi and Mark Wyman reviewed our current understanding (or confusion) over the nature of dark matter (Niayesh..."

Black Holes and the Edge of Reason
12 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Apr. 30, 2009 @ 13:23 GMT
"FQXi researchers pride themselves on pushing the boundaries of what’s known—positing theories at the edge of what we can conceive. Unfortunately, this almost inevitably involves hypothesizing..."

Erasing the Quantum Past to Avoid Future Catastrophe
23 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Apr. 21, 2009 @ 12:34 GMT
"Well done to Nature of Time contestant Saibal Mitra. His essay “Can we change the past by forgetting?” which you can download here (pdf) has hit the headlines, appearing in New The arti..."

Our Not-So-Special Universe
18 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Apr. 14, 2009 @ 13:30 GMT
"Last year we briefly noted that a paper by FQXi grant winner Fred Adams was getting a lot of attention on science websites. The paper caused a stir because it called into question whether some of the..."

Ancient Magnetism
106 posts  •  created by Mark Wyman   •  Mar. 23, 2009 @ 20:26 GMT
"For me, there’s nothing quite so thrilling as a new and unexplained observation. This is doubly exciting if the people announcing it are themselves baffled by what they’ve found. A perfect..."

Dark Chemistry
3 posts  •  created by Mark Wyman   •  Mar. 16, 2009 @ 17:08 GMT
"Particle physicists, waiting around for new experimental results from the Large Hadron Collider, have become as fad-driven as teenaged girls. All it takes to get them going is a soupcon of a new idea,..."

Universe of Possibilities: The FQX Song
2 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 13, 2009 @ 19:43 GMT
"Now that FQXi’s mini-meeting is over, I’ve been looking for a witty way to sum up everything that happened. But I can’t do better than MIT’s Seth Lloyd, who wrote and performed a song to..."

Universe of Possibilities: Quick Quantum
1 post  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 9, 2009 @ 06:47 GMT
"Before I leave Grand Cayman, I’ll write a quick post to cover the final session of the FQXi meeting on Sunday evening, “Possibility at the Foundation: Quantum Wojciech Zurek, of the Los..."

Universe of Possibilities: Backing-Up Your Brain
3 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 9, 2009 @ 06:15 GMT
"Given the chance, would you back-up your “mind-files” on a computer, to keep your memories in pristine condition? Or agree to become a computer hybrid to enhance your experience of life? Those..."

Universe of Possibilities: Is a Theory of Everything Possible?
8 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 9, 2009 @ 04:23 GMT
"When I saw that the line up for Saturday's session on whether we have any serious chance of finding a “theory of everything” (TOE) included a mix of string theorists and a loop quantum gravity..."

Judgment Day at the End of Time (the Essay Contest)
297 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  Mar. 9, 2009 @ 03:05 GMT
"At last, the results of the essay contest are in! Let's start with the prizes first, then I'll add a bit more about the judging process etc., First Juried Prize: Julian Barbour on "The Nature of..."

Universe of Possibilities: Floating Brains in the Multiverse
1 post  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 8, 2009 @ 18:09 GMT
"The first session on Saturday was given over to MIT’s Alan Guth and Stanford’s Andrei Linde, two inflationary behemoths. They both spoke about the development of inflation--the notion that the..."

Universe of Possibilities: What is (Im)possible?
1 post  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 7, 2009 @ 05:16 GMT
"Following a heavy discussion about ways to improve the funding of foundational research, participants at the FQXi March meeting turned their attention to a somewhat “lighter” question: Just what i..."

Universe of Possibilities: A Paradigm Shift in Funding Physics? *
3 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 7, 2009 @ 05:02 GMT
"Much of Friday was spent discussing the direction in which FQXi should move in the future. FQXi directors Max Tegmark and Anthony Aguirre described some of the successes of FQXi and set up..."

Universe of Possibilities: What Foundational Questions Remain?
2 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Mar. 7, 2009 @ 04:52 GMT
"I don’t know if Nobel Laureate physicist Frank Wilczek often reminds people of British comedian John Cleese but, for me at least, he did today as he opened FQXi’s “Exploring the Universe of..."

Where Does the Time Go?
33 posts  •  created by Grace Stemp-Morlock   •  Mar. 4, 2009 @ 22:31 GMT
"While we’re waiting for the results of the Nature of Time essay contest, I thought I’d tell you about my own efforts to get a better grip on the slippery sands of time, by chatting to Dan Falk, a..."

The End (of Cosmology) is Nigh
31 posts  •  created by Grace Stemp-Morlock   •  Feb. 23, 2009 @ 17:10 GMT
"Scientific American has a podcast up (part 1 and part 2) of a AAAS press conference that I attended last week on the state of cosmology. I encourage you to listen to it, though I warn you that..."

Is Higgs Competition Healthy?
2 posts  •  created by Grace Stemp-Morlock   •  Feb. 19, 2009 @ 18:54 GMT
"I’m now back home having spent the last week in Chicago at the AAAS meeting, and I’ve had a chance to catch up on the news reports that came out the meeting. One of the biggest news stories was..."

The Simulated Universe
16 posts  •  created by Grace Stemp-Morlock   •  Feb. 13, 2009 @ 18:53 GMT
"Well, it's the first real day of the AAAS meeting in Chicago and I’ve found myself in a little session reviewing how supercomputers are improving astrophysics simulations. The simulations are just..."

Where's the NKS at FQX?
13 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Feb. 6, 2009 @ 16:03 GMT
"There’s a nicely done article in the recent issue of Skeptic that would be of interest to those with an interest in all things foundational. Sensibly titled “Whatever Happened to Stephen Wolfram?..."

Greetings from Aspen! Let’s understand the dark sector
3 posts  •  created by Niayesh Afshordi   •  Jan. 29, 2009 @ 14:28 GMT
"I promised the editor to blog about the cosmology workshop that I am attending this week, here at the Aspen center for physics. Now, it turns out that I’m much less reliable than I thought I was,..."

Pushing the Quantum Limits
23 posts  •  created by Vlatko Vedral   •  Jan. 17, 2009 @ 19:12 GMT
"The discovery of quantum mechanics in the mid-twenties was followed by a fierce debate about its meaning and implications. This debate still rages, but there have been many twists and turns since the..."

Breaking the Law
50 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jan. 14, 2009 @ 16:32 GMT
"It’s a commonplace in popular science to note that at the moment of the Big Bang the “laws of physics break down.” By this is generally meant the inability of GR to model what happens in a cosmo..."

The End of Time (The Essay Contest)
110 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  Jan. 2, 2009 @ 15:43 GMT
"Happy New Year! With the end of 2008 comes also the end of the FQXi essay contest on The Nature of Time. Judging will be taking place over the next month or so, after which winners can be announced...."

Has Superluminal Tunneling Been Observed?
44 posts  •  created by Dieter Zeh   •  Dec. 27, 2008 @ 16:58 GMT
"Earlier this month, in Science (Vol. 322, p. 1525), P. Eckle et al. reported an experiment from which they conclude that an electron can tunnel through the potential barrier of an He atom in..."

Cosmology for Kids, FQXi-style
9 posts  •  created by Grace Stemp-Morlock   •  Dec. 23, 2008 @ 21:25 GMT
"It’s that gift-giving time of year and, as a father of two, I’m always on the lookout for books that will amuse my kids. So I jumped at the chance to chat to FQXi’s Brian Greene, who recently..."

Impact, Part Two
2 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Dec. 22, 2008 @ 21:08 GMT
"In keeping with the subject of Earth-shaking historical impacts -- the last resting place of Copernicus has now been positively From Science News: "Polish archaeologist Jerzy Gassowski..."

4 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Dec. 11, 2008 @ 22:33 GMT
"Remember my radical idea from last August? This was the suggestion that microbial life might be lying dormant in the centers of some craters on the moon, having been transferred there, panspermia-styl..."

More is Better, a reply to Dieter Zeh
40 posts  •  created by Vlatko Vedral   •  Dec. 1, 2008 @ 18:03 GMT
"I am very happy that my recent posts have attracted attention and provoked response. There is certainly no point in wasting ink (in this case, computer memory) unless it stimulates a lively debate and..."

Nonlocality versus nonreality, by H. Dieter Zeh
65 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Nov. 28, 2008 @ 12:02 GMT
"One of our new bloggers, Vlatko Vedral, has been posting a lot on the subject of “reality”—raising the hackles of FQXi’s Dieter Zeh in the process. In a guest post, Zeh responds to Vlatko and..."

Is reality really real? asks Vlatko Vedral
27 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Nov. 11, 2008 @ 14:51 GMT
"Is there such a thing as objective reality? Vlatko Vedral looks into an experiment to test how far quantum indeterminism persists in the everyday world. From Vlatko Vedral: I seem to be writing abo..."

The Speed of Spookiness, by Vlatko Vedral
72 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Oct. 31, 2008 @ 11:44 GMT
"While William Orem has been celebrating Halloween by quantum ghost hunting, quantum physicist Vlatko Vedral is fearlessly tackling the controversy over the speed of Einstein’s..."

Quantum Ghost Hunting
3 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Oct. 25, 2008 @ 21:42 GMT
"It’s Halloween time, and the blogosphere is thick with ghosts. (Not those ghosts.) They seem to be staging a comeback as well in popular media, perhaps as a sign of the general anti-science trend th..."

Antimatter Universe
6 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Oct. 10, 2008 @ 18:53 GMT
"Congratulations all around this week to Yoichiro Nambu, Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa, who share in the Nobel Prize for their paradigm-shattering work into such foundational issues ..."

The Parallel Universe Experiment, by Vlatko Vedral
52 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Oct. 7, 2008 @ 13:03 GMT
"Can we detect the existence of parallel worlds in the lab? Quantum physicist Vlatko Vedral checks out the suggestion that a new—and surprisingly simple—experiment could tell us if alternate..."

From Cosmic Lighthouses to Dark Flow, by Niayesh Afshordi
5 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Sep. 30, 2008 @ 19:16 GMT
"Everybody’s been talking about the new and mysterious “dark flow” that’s supposedly tugging on galaxies from beyond the edge of the observable universe. Cosmologist Niayesh Afshordi wonders if..."

Our Human-Shaped Universe, by Mark Wyman
96 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Sep. 11, 2008 @ 16:43 GMT
"What “shape” is the universe? Cosmologist Mark Wyman ponders whether the cosmos is smaller than we might imagine and “shaped” like a human. And how we may never know for From Mark Wyman: ..."

Life Before Earth
3 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Aug. 28, 2008 @ 13:16 GMT
"Because this is FQXi, I want to post another radical suggestion – this time related to the possibility of life on the moon. Before I do, though, one reader has asked a reasonable follow-up question ..."

Is the Moon Alive?
2 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Aug. 18, 2008 @ 18:02 GMT
"Fascinating late-summer reading for FQXi-fans can be found here, in a Time magazine article from December . . . 1967. The article outlines the various precautions that our boys in the Apollo space pr..."

Foundational Physics Apartheid?
3 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 12, 2008 @ 15:33 GMT
"I recently read the hugely enjoyable novel “Final Theory”, a physics thriller in which the hero chases after Einstein’s long-lost Theory of Everything. It seemed like harmless summer reading,..."

Shutdown of the LHC, by Kevin Black
432 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 5, 2008 @ 16:19 GMT
"As the LHC supposedly gears up, Harvard physicist Kevin Black, based at CERN, investigates rumors that the particle accelerator may, in fact, soon be shut down—by ripples from the From Kevin ..."

The Nature of Time? You tell us.
34 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  Aug. 4, 2008 @ 17:52 GMT
"I believe that Henri Bergson, one of my favorite philosophers, once said that "Time is what prevents everything from happening at once." I've also heard it remarked that this clearly is not working..."

A Close Encounter
3 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Aug. 4, 2008 @ 17:41 GMT
"What a great way to wrap up the summer. Cassini finds liquid hydrocarbons on Titan, making it the only other place we know of with natural lakes and charging up the search for life outside Earth. Phoe..."

The LHC rap!
9 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Aug. 2, 2008 @ 16:05 GMT
"Yes, you read the title correctly. It’s a rap. And it’s about the LHC. I’ve often thought that physicists should rap more. OK, that’s a lie, I’ve never thought that. But after seeing the bri..."

What if string theory is wrong? asks Moataz Emam
80 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 29, 2008 @ 15:39 GMT
"As physicists wrangle over whether string theory truly represents reality, FQXi invited Moataz Emam of Clark University to ponder over the fate of string theorists like himself, if string theory..."

Do we really have free will?
11 posts  •  created by Zeeya Merali   •  Jul. 24, 2008 @ 19:31 GMT
"I may have been predestined to write this. There is a new paper this week by John Conway and Simon Kochen that reconsiders what physics has to tell us about free will. I’ve written about an earlier..."

The Big Bang, and Before
5 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jun. 18, 2008 @ 00:06 GMT
"There’s good work coming out of Caltech this month supporting the idea – familiar to readers of FQXi Community – that the universe in which we live is the result of a spontaneous quantum fluctu..."

Constructive Suggestions for Improving the FQXi Community Page
8 posts  •  created by   •  May. 30, 2008 @ 14:25 GMT
"FQXi welcomes your constructive suggestions for how we may improve our Community website. Thank you!"

Gods and Astronomers
5 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  May. 22, 2008 @ 17:46 GMT
"It’s good news this month—of a sort—for Catholics who are also science-savvy. Jesuit astronomer Fr. Jose Funes has announced in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, that it’s okay for..."

Does Time Actually Move?
124 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Apr. 24, 2008 @ 19:42 GMT
"Perhaps the most lasting contribution to emerge from centuries of long-winded continental philosophy is the recognition that what nature does is distinct from what brains perceive. A perceiving consci..."

If the world ended tomorrow, would we notice?
4 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  Mar. 31, 2008 @ 16:09 GMT
"In recognition of FQXi of Doomsday week, suppose the world ended tomorrow. In particular, suppose that, as discussed in Kate Becker's fun article, we live in a 'false vacuum', that can decay to a..."

. . . and a Side of Obliteration
4 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Mar. 29, 2008 @ 20:06 GMT
"Next April 1st-themed Item: In the mood for total planetary annihilation? Strange to say, there is a veritable genre these days of websites, discussion boards and other resources dedicated to the b..."

Dark Matter: the Lighter Side
8 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Mar. 29, 2008 @ 19:59 GMT
"I’m not a nut, but I entertain at least one nutty idea. I can’t imagine any way for my nutty idea to be tested (that hasn’t stopped string theory), and I don’t see why anyone would want to tes..."

Do You See Dark Matter?
3 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Mar. 12, 2008 @ 20:16 GMT
"The good news is, it's foundational either way. In one version, a whopping 4% of the energy density of the universe is baryonic. Another way to say this, of course, is almost everything that exists is..."

Unidentified Foundational Objects
6 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Feb. 27, 2008 @ 18:52 GMT
"The thing I respond to most strongly in these posts is the passion with which the issue is regarded on all sides. Whether we come down for or against counting UFO stories as credible evidence (of some..."

Are UFOs Foundational?
10 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jan. 31, 2008 @ 16:48 GMT
"Readers of this blog have been pressing me (offline) this month with a sensible question: why am I not discussing the Stephenville UFO? After all, what could be more paradigm-shifting than s..."

Hunting LGM
3 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jan. 12, 2008 @ 18:51 GMT
"Time to upgrade that so-last-season flip phone you are still carrying around in favor of a flashing lightweight earpiece? Tech moves so fast these days, in part thanks to the Law of Accelerating Retur..."

Bang / Crunch / Bang
208 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Dec. 7, 2007 @ 21:18 GMT
"I was contacted recently by Peter Lynds, the young physics iconoclast who turned some heads back in 2003 with a paper purporting correctly to resolve Zeno's paradox by defining time as having no quant..."

An Exceptionally Simple Personal FAQ
161 posts  •  created by Antony Garrett Lisi   •  Nov. 20, 2007 @ 04:33 GMT
"Over the past month I have been asked many questions about my personal history and opinions on life, the universe, and everything. I have also received many emails of encouragement from the general..."

The Big-Bang versus the Big-Bang
6 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  Nov. 13, 2007 @ 20:47 GMT
""Big-bang" versus "Big I spend a good bit of time thinking about what happened in the period of time between the Big-Bang and the Big-Bang. No, I'm not crazy (or at least not with respect to thi..."

A Hole in Messier
38 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Nov. 3, 2007 @ 18:17 GMT
"The sci-fi loving public and foundationally minded cosmologists alike are enamored of black holes. Black holes, as everyone knows, form from the crushed remains of certain burned-out stars -- those o..."

4 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Oct. 5, 2007 @ 19:36 GMT
"By some reports (speakers of Russian correct me here) a passable translation of "Sputnik" is "co-traveler," in the sense of "one who travels alongside." There's a whole art to scientific designation..."

Pioneer Slows, Kilogram Goes
14 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Sep. 23, 2007 @ 15:11 GMT
"The late, great Carl Sagan was fond of including this line in his essays: "But I could be wrong." The idea is not merely humble, it is profound: we do not progress in our knowledge of the universe by..."

Summer in Space
2 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Sep. 7, 2007 @ 20:27 GMT
"The summer is at an end. As a capstone to it, I want to go against the mainstream (isn't that what FQX is all about?) of popular science journalism and say that this summer's furor over drunk cosmonau..."

Peering Into the Void
5 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Sep. 1, 2007 @ 15:37 GMT
"By now you've probably heard about the hole in the universe, but it's an interesting enough discovery to bear repeating. Larry Rudnick, a University of Minnesota astronomy professor, is reporting in A..."

The Convexity Club
14 posts  •  created by Matthew Saul Leifer   •  Aug. 15, 2007 @ 16:37 GMT
"Plenty of people have been writing about the recent fqxi conference, which was excellent by the way, so I'll write instead about another fqxi-funded event that happened at the beginning of July in St...."

DNA Dust
3 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Aug. 13, 2007 @ 16:55 GMT
"Connecting to our ongoing discussion in these pages over the likelihood that we will be able to recognize alien life, the multiplicity of possible forms life probably takes, and the difficulties of kn..."

Questions about the foundations of the world: continental plate and glacier edition
2 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  Jul. 30, 2007 @ 16:40 GMT
"I've recently returned from FQXI's inaugural conference in Reykjavik Iceland. After seeing (and driving through) the rift between the Atlantic and European plates, and later being told that the hol..."

Can We Recognize Aliens?
8 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jul. 21, 2007 @ 14:22 GMT
"The National Research Council has released a report on the search for alien life forms that warns -- rightly, in my view -- against "Terran" thinking. Terran, or Earth-based thinking, is the kind of..."

Why This Universe?
9 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Jun. 28, 2007 @ 19:50 GMT
"There's an excellent -- really -- article available for free download from called "Why This Universe?" by Robert Kuhn. The title, disarmingly broad as it is (one thinks of "Love and..."

Open Source Science
2 posts  •  created by Antony Garrett Lisi   •  Jun. 21, 2007 @ 18:26 GMT
"Nature (the magazine, not the universe) recently unveiled their new, open, online preprint Nature Precedings It's intended to be the natural science equivalent to the physics arXiv. But since..."

How do we fund Einstein without funding Crackpots?
28 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  Jun. 20, 2007 @ 17:32 GMT
"Over at Cosmic Variance, Sean has posted a very nice "Alternative science respectability checklist" . The extensive (and somewhat amusing...) commentary there brings up in places an important..."

Quantum Distractions
1 post  •  created by Matthew Saul Leifer   •  Jun. 11, 2007 @ 22:25 GMT
"It's been a while since my last post and the number one rule of blogging is never to apologise for your absence. On the other hand, since fqxi is all about breaking the rules I'll say that I'm sorry,..."

Should we worry if we are weird?
8 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  May. 30, 2007 @ 18:06 GMT
"I've just finished reading an interesting paper by Hartle and Srednicki critiquing the assumption that 'we are typical', used in various cosmological model-testing arguments. Here is the basic issue...."

Baez on Quantum Foundations
2 posts  •  created by Matthew Saul Leifer   •  May. 11, 2007 @ 12:10 GMT
"John Baez's protoblog This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics is about quantum foundational issues this week. It contains a discussion of some of the ideas that people working on the boundary of..."

Is the world made of wave-vectors?
71 posts  •  created by Matthew Saul Leifer   •  May. 7, 2007 @ 20:44 GMT
"It seems appropriate to start my contribution to quantum foundational debates at fqxi with one of the most contentious issues in the subject - the status of the wave-vector. There are essentially two..."

Help Fight Negativity!
2 posts  •  created by Antony Garrett Lisi   •  May. 3, 2007 @ 15:33 GMT
"Throughout his or her tortured existence, a mathematical physicist has two mortal enemies. These enemies are battled constantly, strike at any moment, and can merely wound or actually kill vast swaths..."

Quantum Grantmaking
17 posts  •  created by Anthony Aguirre   •  May. 1, 2007 @ 12:59 GMT
"At about 1 AM GMT on April 20, 2007, the Universe split into at least 32,768 nearly-identical copies. How? And did it The event was precipitated by yours truly gathering a quantum-mechanicall..."

Vita Nuova
93 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Apr. 25, 2007 @ 21:46 GMT
"The days' big news, of course, was the second Earth. This was the discovery of the first "Earth-like" planet outside our solar system. The inglamorously named "581 c" is circling the red dwarf Glie..."

Out of Plato's Cave?
184 posts  •  created by William Orem   •  Apr. 24, 2007 @ 14:19 GMT
"It's becoming something of a trope in contemporary science fiction: the character who believes himself to be in the real world finds out, through a series of enlightenment-style experiences, that what..."

Deferential Geometry
3 posts  •  created by Antony Garrett Lisi   •  Apr. 19, 2007 @ 13:53 GMT
"We've had a series of late season storms sweep through Tahoe this past week. Flurries of snow swirl around briefly, then settle and melt in the spring sun. During a break in the clouds today C and I..."

back to list of Forum categories

Please enter your e-mail address:

And select the letter between 'T' and 'V':

Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.