Entries by Mark Stuckey

Why the Quantum | A Response to Wheeler’s 1986 Paper

Wheeler’s opening statement in his 1986 paper, “How Come the Quantum?” holds as true today as it did then [1] The necessity of the quantum in the construction of existence: out of what deeper requirement does it arise? Behind it all is surely an idea so simple, so beautiful, so compelling that when — in […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

The Schwarzschild Metric: A Newtonian Comparison

A Short Proof of Birkoff’s Theorem derived the Schwarzschild metric in units of ##G = c = 1##: \begin{equation} ds^2 = -\left(1 – \frac{2M}{r}\right)dt^2 + \left(1 – \frac{2M}{r}\right)^{-1}dr^2 + r^2d\theta^2 + r^2 \sin^2\theta d\phi^2   \label{metric} \end{equation} and I used that metric in The Schwarzschild Metric: Part 1, GPS Satellites to show that Global Positioning System (GPS) clocks […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

The Schwarzschild Metric: The Photon Sphere

  A Short Proof of Birkoff’s Theorem derived the Schwarzschild metric in units of ##G = c = 1##: \begin{equation} ds^2 = -\left(1 – \frac{2M}{r}\right)dt^2 + \left(1 – \frac{2M}{r}\right)^{-1}dr^2 + r^2d\theta^2 + r^2 \sin^2\theta d\phi^2   \label{metric} \end{equation} and I used that metric in The Schwarzschild Metric: Part 1, GPS Satellites to show that Global Positioning System (GPS) […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

The Schwarzschild Metric: GPS Satellites

  A Global Positioning System (GPS) device gives your precise location by receiving light pulses from satellites with synchronized clocks then triangulating your location based on that information [1]. Since light travels at 300 million meters per second, your location will be off by about 1 meter if the clock times are off by only […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

Understanding Retrocausality

In an Insights series “Blockworld and its Foundational Implications,” I quoted Huw Price and Ken Wharton in several places advocating a blockworld approach to physics (called the Lagrangian Schema[1]). While Ken did sign off on my use of these quotes, I wasn’t entirely fair to the Price & Wharton program because I didn’t reveal their […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

Blockworld and its Foundational Implications: Delayed Choice and No Counterfactual Definiteness

  In parts 1 and 2 of this 5-part Insights series, I explained the blockworld (BW) implication of special relativity. In part 3, I introduced general relativity (GR) and brought BW to bear on general relativistic cosmology to ‘explain’ what puzzles so many people about big bang cosmology, i.e., the origin of the universe. The bottom […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

Blockworld and its Foundational Implications: General Relativity and Closed Timelike Curves

  In parts 1 and 2 of this 5-part Insights series, I explained the blockworld (BW) implication of special relativity (SR). In part 3, I introduced general relativity (GR) and brought BW to bear on general relativistic cosmology to ‘explain’ what puzzles so many people about big bang cosmology, i.e., the origin of the universe. […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

Blockworld and its Foundational Implications: General Relativity and the Big Bang

  In parts 1 and 2 of this 5-part Insights series, I explained the blockworld (BW) implication of special relativity (SR). Geroch sums up the BW perspective nicely with this quote[1]: There is no dynamics within space-time itself: nothing ever moves therein; nothing happens; nothing changes. In particular, one does not think of particles as […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

Blockworld and Its Foundational Implications: The Relativity of Simultaneity and Blockworld

  In part 1 of this 5-part Insights series, I introduced two consequences of the second postulate of special relativity (SR): time dilation (“moving clocks run slow”) and length contraction (“moving objects shrink”). Since moving clocks run slow, if you and observers at rest with respect to you (hereafter simply “you”) see me moving, you […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

Blockworld and Its Foundational Implications: Time Dilation and Length Contraction

  This is the first in a 5-part series of Insights that will introduce blockworld (aka “block universe”) and use it to address a puzzle (origin of the universe), paradoxes[1] (of closed timelike curves), and conundrums[2] (of quantum nonlocality) that I have seen discussed on Physics Forums. Blockworld (BW) says the past, present and future are equally ‘real’, i.e., […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

Weak Values Part 2: The Quantum Cheshire Cat Experiment

In a previous Insight, Weak Values Part 1: “Asking Photons Where They Have Been,” I showed different methods for computing the relative intensities in the weak measurements done by Danan, Farfurnik, Bar-Ad, and Vaidman (DFBV)[1]. In that experiment, DFBV had a weak transverse signal, created by mirrors oscillating with small amplitudes transverse to the beam path through an interferometer, piggyback […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

Weak Values Part 1: Asking Photons Where They Have Been

In a previous Insight on retrocausality, I explained an experiment by Danan, Farfurnik, Bar-Ad, and Vaidman (DFBV)[1], “Asking Photons Where They Have Been” using various retrocausal models. In this Insight, I will give a brief introduction to the formalism for computing the relative power spectra in that experiment. Specifically, I will show how the weak […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

The Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger Experiment

In two previous Insights, I shared Mermin’s explanation of the Hardy experiment[1] and the Mermin device[2]. Both of his corresponding AJP papers presented nontechnical arguments against “instruction sets” aka “counterfactual definiteness” for quantum mechanics (QM). In the case of the Mermin device, Elitzur & Dolev showed a particular experimental instantiation yielded a quantum counterpart to the liar paradox[3]. Herein I will share a third Mermin AJP paper[4] […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.

The Quantum Liar Experiment: An Instantiation of the Mermin Device

In 1981, Mermin published a paper[1], “Bringing home the atomic world: Quantum mysteries for anybody” in which he explained the mystery of quantum nonlocality[2] without requiring the formalism of quantum mechanics (QM). I will summarize that argument then show how the QM formalism fits his results and how his device is instantiated in Elitzur & Dolev’s quantum liar experiment (QLE)[3]. The quantum state […]

PhD in general relativity (1987), researching foundations of physics since 1994.