subatomicuniverse

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons createphyd within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.

Aaron Freeman (via indecenciesandobscurities)
fuckyeahquantummechanics
kvetchlandia:

Uncredited PhotographerTheoretical Physicists Murray Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman1959
“…will you understand what I’m going to tell you? …No, you’re not going to be able to understand it. …I don’t understand it. Nobody does…. The scale of light can be described by numbers—called the frequency—and as the numbers get higher, the light goes from red to blue to ultraviolet. We can’t see ultraviolet light, but it can affect photographic plates. It’s still light… Light is something like raindrops—each little lump of light is called a photon—and if the light is all one color, all the ‘raindrops’ are the same color… Every instrument that has been designed to be sensitive enough to detect weak light has always ended up discovering that the same thing: light is made of particles…” Richard Feynman, “QED : The Strange Theory of Light and Matter” 1985
“Just because things get a little dingy at the subatomic level doesn’t mean all bets are off.” Murray Gell-Mann

••••••
These two are my favorite. 
Gell-Mann’s { The Quark and the Jaguar } is possibly the best, most clarifying book I’ve read, about quantum physics (and systems, to date).
My outline of { Notes } and { Questions } from that title.
Feynman was one of the first to truly open my eyes to the incredible nature of this world, via { The Meaning of it All }. 
A { Quantum Chess } set inspired by Feynman’s { analogy } for understanding Nature’s laws.

kvetchlandia:

Uncredited Photographer
Theoretical Physicists Murray Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman
1959

“…will you understand what I’m going to tell you? …No, you’re not going to be able to understand it. …I don’t understand it. Nobody does…. The scale of light can be described by numbers—called the frequency—and as the numbers get higher, the light goes from red to blue to ultraviolet. We can’t see ultraviolet light, but it can affect photographic plates. It’s still light… Light is something like raindrops—each little lump of light is called a photon—and if the light is all one color, all the ‘raindrops’ are the same color… Every instrument that has been designed to be sensitive enough to detect weak light has always ended up discovering that the same thing: light is made of particles…” Richard Feynman, “QED : The Strange Theory of Light and Matter” 1985

“Just because things get a little dingy at the subatomic level doesn’t mean all bets are off.” Murray Gell-Mann

••••••

These two are my favorite.

Gell-Mann’s { The Quark and the Jaguar } is possibly the best, most clarifying book I’ve read, about quantum physics (and systems, to date).

Feynman was one of the first to truly open my eyes to the incredible nature of this world, via { The Meaning of it All }.