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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Kevin Pryor: on 1/9/20 at 2:59am UTC, wrote If neurons sometimes send and receive electromagnetic signals an obvious...

Georgina Woodward: on 1/6/20 at 5:16am UTC, wrote Input to the visual system is electromagnetic radiation which causes...

Kevin Pryor: on 1/6/20 at 2:30am UTC, wrote The most important part of physics might be totally undiscovered and not...

Jason Wolfe: on 1/6/20 at 0:47am UTC, wrote If... little creature is hungry, THEN little creature finds food. IF......

Lorraine Ford: on 1/3/20 at 21:49pm UTC, wrote Even the most primitive living things (that don’t have brains) need to do...

Lorraine Ford: on 1/2/20 at 23:20pm UTC, wrote I’m Australian, and I’m living through the heat and fires; there is a...

Georgina Woodward: on 1/2/20 at 10:45am UTC, wrote What's happening in Australia is terrible. I have just read that New...

John Cox: on 12/30/19 at 18:49pm UTC, wrote Greetings, Ian interesting highlights regardless of one's preferred...


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FQXi BLOGS
January 22, 2020

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: 2019: The Physics Year in Review [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Dec. 29, 2019 @ 19:47 GMT
As 2019 draws to a close, we're counting down some of the biggest stories in foundational physics and related fields.

Once again, items have been chosen by quantum physicist Ian Durham, of Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.

In the first part of the rundown, Ian lists a few highlights that haven't quite made his top 5, but which are nonetheless noteworthy. I'll be posting his top 5 soon. Listen to the podcast and let us know, if you agree (or disagree) with his choices.

And in the second part, Ian completes his list -- and admits he struggled with which of top two should come in first.

Free Podcast

2019: Year in Physics Review Part 1

Beginning our countdown of the biggest stories of the year in physics, as chosen by quantum physicist Ian Durham.



LISTEN:







Go to full podcast



Free Podcast

2019: Year in Physics Review Part 2:

Concluding our countdown of the biggest stories of the year in physics, as chosen by quantum physicist Ian Durham.



LISTEN:







Go to full podcast



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John R. Cox wrote on Dec. 30, 2019 @ 18:49 GMT
Greetings, Ian

interesting highlights regardless of one's preferred paradigm. Aside from the subjects, the audio recording of your side of the teleconference was not as badly distorted by feedback echo as is quite common.

Many in the sciences are rightfully concerned with the public apathy and reactionism towards the climate crisis. Extinction Rebellion for all its appeal to passionate youth and a potential pool for change in the future, is in many ways counter-productive in the present. The science exceeds attention span for most people, but in a more immediate sense and in my own interpersonal experiences the principle deterrent is simply that people recognize that they can't afford it in todays artificial financial model of consumer capitalism. But none can conceive of going back to customer cash transactions, and really know nothing of the mathematics of the exponential function in compounding interest. People always say they want change, but they really don't. They only want their position to improve and if change is happening societally then how could one guess if their own position was improving or not in relation to that change. People are changing the climate but given humanity's track record, that is going to continue until the climate changes people. Happy New Year - jrc

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Georgina Woodward replied on Jan. 2, 2020 @ 10:45 GMT
What's happening in Australia is terrible. I have just read that New Zealand's pristine white glaciers have turned brown as if caramelized from dust and ash blowing over the sea from Australia, and the air a hazy yellow in the lower South Island. "Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said "extensive smoke haze" had been seen across eastern New South wales and Victoria "and extends both northwards to Queensland and also extends from the north Central Coast of NSW across the Tasman Sea"".Stuff Jan 02 2020

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jan. 2, 2020 @ 23:20 GMT
I’m Australian, and I’m living through the heat and fires; there is a strong smoke smell in the air right now, and the sky is hazy.

But the only relevant issue for physics is that physics is all about automatic outcomes like balls rolling down inclines; according to physics, ALL situations are fully described by 3 elements: 1) laws of nature; 2) numbers that apply to the variables in the laws; and 3) “randomness”. Physics has no 4th element whereby logical deductions can be made about situations; and no 5th element whereby action can be taken on these logical deductions. It is probably difficult for people who don’t understand mathematics and logic to appreciate that 1 2 and 3 do not imply 4 and 5.

In other words, despite what PHYSICISTS might claim, PHYSICS itself denies that action on climate change is possible. Physics says: what will be will be.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jan. 3, 2020 @ 21:49 GMT
Even the most primitive living things (that don’t have brains) need to do (what we would represent as) an IF…THEN… logical analysis of the situation they find themselves in, where the IF part represents evaluating the situation (4 above) and the THEN part represents an outcome taken (5 above) [1]. This outcome was due to the result of an information analysis; the outcome was not due to laws of nature or “randomness”.

This IF…THEN… behaviour cannot have just arisen ex nihilo with the arrival of living things: clearly the double slit experiment is an example of a primitive IF…THEN… logical analysis of a situation and it’s outcome.

But physics has not yet faced the fact that logical analysis of a situation and the outcome of logical analysis (4 and 5 above) is an aspect of the world that is fundamentally different to the aspect of the world that is represented by laws of nature. So physics denies that action on climate change is possible because, without 4 and 5 above, outcomes cannot be due to logical analysis of situations, outcomes can only be due to the blind laws of nature which take no account of situations.

1. See Lorraine Ford replied on Jan. 2, 2020 @ 23:20 GMT

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Jan. 6, 2020 @ 00:47 GMT
If... little creature is hungry, THEN little creature finds food.

IF... little creature feels scared THEN little creature runs away.

It just seems like the whole point of creation is to feel and experience, yet the whole point of creation is lost to "theorists" who think they can write a program to make a cheap copy of the miracle of life.

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Kevin Pryor replied on Jan. 6, 2020 @ 02:30 GMT
The most important part of physics might be totally undiscovered and not looked for in experiments. Despite all the technological progress science has brought, maximum life span has not increased -- some people made it over 100 years old, thousands of years ago.

If we could move minds to highly engineered artificial bodies we could all live a very long time and each year artificial bodies could get better and be designed for a wide variety of environments in the universe.

The thing most holding this dream back is that most elite physicists don't believe minds exist and therefore don't do experiments looking for minds and aren't trying to come up with new theories of mind.

Panpsychism and cosmopsychism might offer a theory if taken seriously. Very high mass particles or very large quantum coherent molecules might be able to see, hear and think, and make free will decisions because its universal parent -- the Universe -- can also do these things and the particle inherited those capabilities.

A homuncular particle or molecule might be real in the brain. It might communicate with the brain using an electromagnetic wireless code. If we do experiments looking for an electromagnetic code sending information in the brain maybe we will find the homunculus molecule or particle. That would be the greatest scientific discovery of all time leading to people living till their billionth birthday.

Even if you believe in a ghost in the machine rather than an homunculus that too might be discovered by looking for a electromagnetic wireless code to receive sense data and send voluntary free will actions. Of course, most scientists don't believe in a homunculus or soul so they don't look for them and therefore they don't find them. Lack of faith makes them not discover the most important thing that can be scientifically discovered.

Do you know of any electromagnetic wireless codes the brain uses?

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Georgina Woodward replied on Jan. 6, 2020 @ 05:16 GMT
Input to the visual system is electromagnetic radiation which causes electric signalling to be produced from photo-receptors. In some cases it causes quieting of a signal that is the default condition. In the brain nerve impulses are electric and there are also chemical neurotransmitters involved in impulse transmission between nerve cells. I don;t think electromagnetic "light" signals play a role in the brain except in stimulating the pituitary gland and by doing so helping in the setting of the circadian rhythms

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