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I Looking for a few questions on "foundations of quantum physics" for Adam Becker

  1. Feb 12, 2018 #1
    I have an interview lined up with UC Berkeley's Adam Becker.

    I am looking for a few "foundations of quantum physics" questions for him. Now is the chance to get that question answered!
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2018 #2


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    Will he answer maths problems?

    I thought about the: "How bright is the Tesla Roadster?" question the other day, and was dumbfounded that we still use ≈2000 year old units of measurements.
    It made my brain hurt just to think of the maths involved: Logs and squares, and more squares, and, BOOOOM! (Not willing to give myself another stroke/TIA)



    Q: "What's your opinion of still using 'Apparent Magnitude' in astronomy."
  4. Feb 12, 2018 #3
    What is considered an inertial frame in astronomy/cosmology, etc. ? Can you point out an actual one?
  5. Feb 13, 2018 #4

    stefan r

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    Slightly different question. Suppose there was a beat up Chevy Nova or Mercury (Ford) Comet approaching or passing Earth. At what range would it be detectable? At would range would it be likely (50+%) to be recorded? Which telescope/group would find it first? At what range would someone (professional + PhD) claim it did not look natural (or looked like nothing observed before)? At what range could it be identified as a 1986 Chevy Nova hatchback? If there were millions of them orbiting the sun and spread over an astronomical unit at what range would the fleet likely be noticed?

    Possible follow ups: How much would dusting a car off and applying new paint change the probable detection ranges? How long would the cars have to orbit the sun before it difficult to tell which was the Tesla Roadster and which was the Chevy Nova hatchback?
  6. Feb 13, 2018 #5
    Thanks all! I'm also looking for big idea open ended type questions.
  7. Feb 13, 2018 #6
    As I understand it from popular descriptions, objects passing through the event horizon of a black hole do not “experience” anything unusual – there is still space to travel through until the singularity (or whatever state the mass/energy at the center of black hole is in) is reached. I’ve also read descriptions stating that to an external observer, however, the in-falling object, if it could radiate light, would appear frozen in time at the event horizon. This understanding (possibly misunderstanding) of general relatively is a preface for my question.

    During the merger of two black holes, when the smaller mass first passes into the larger one’s event horizon, can energy still be radiated out as gravitational waves? If not, as I would assume is the case, what happens to this energy? Angular momentum or gravitational binding energy of the new black hole? Or am I thinking too classically, it depends somehow on who is observing, and perhaps the concepts of "after" passing through an event horizon and "before" the masses meet are not valid? And if the latter, please explain if possible . . .
  8. Feb 13, 2018 #7


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    I saw that your thesis was on primordial non-Gaussianity. Is there anything you found particularly interesting about the evolution of the structure of the universe while working on your thesis? What about your thesis' topic did you find particularly challenging?
  9. Feb 13, 2018 #8
    [E.g. in relevance to your thesis and research, etc.] Do you have an explanation for the Cosmic Axis of Evil and the Spin of Galaxies?
  10. Feb 13, 2018 #9


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    What are some of the challenges you've faced in communicating science, particularly astrophysics and cosmology, to the average person? Can you recall any specific incidents that stand out as particularly challenging or noteworthy in some manner?
  11. Feb 14, 2018 #10


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    Q: As a scienc historian, can you generalize your insights about the lines of inquiry that have enjoyed traditional success in approaching big questions tackled by astrophysicists, and how these compare or may apply to big questions surrounding dark matter and dark energy? Somtimes, I suspect it as much a matter of posing the right questions as it is in finding the right answer
  12. Feb 22, 2018 #11
    Can we still ask questions?
  13. Feb 22, 2018 #12
  14. Feb 22, 2018 #13
  15. Mar 13, 2018 #14
    Adam Becker is working on his questions but has told me his new book coming out is about the foundations of quantum physics and he'd love to answer a few questions about the topic. Please send in your questions quantum foundations questions below and get it answered :)
  16. Mar 13, 2018 #15


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    Do you think a consistent Bohmian formulation of QFT is possible?
  17. Mar 13, 2018 #16


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    Concerning the different interpretations of quantum mechanics..., could one determine if one interpretation is more fundamental or more encompassing than another? An experimental test? A successful quantum theory of gravity or of unified fields?
  18. Mar 13, 2018 #17

    Wes Tausend

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    We can add additional quantum physics questions for Adam Becker here? Open ended foundational questions?

    Ok, I've often wondered it there is any quasi-structure assigned to the atomic nucleus by some proposed models. As an example, to explain chemistry we may reasonably have a tetrahedral-like distribution structure assigned to the valences of electron sheath that surrounds the core, but I find the nucleus itself is often merely described as a mysterious dense ball.

    Another related question, since the nucleic 'ball' is supposed held together by the strong force, one might assume the strong force acts equally upon neutrons and protons alike for some reason. Since the neutrons are considered to contain slightly more mass than the protons, and we might assume gravity still prevails, what keeps the neutrons from 'falling' to the middle? If so, since neutrons may not repel one another, might the core collapse into a large, somewhat homogenous neutron ball surrounded by equally spaced protons?

    As you can tell, I'm definitely not a scientist. It sounds like I might be a good candidate for your book as a layperson.

  19. Mar 13, 2018 #18


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    Do you have a view on the 'reality' of the wave function ?

    Whether it is real or just a description, is it possible to define a mathematically consistent WF for the universe ?
  20. Mar 13, 2018 #19

    Paul Colby

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    Perhaps a better title than "What is Real?" would be "What is a Question?"
  21. Mar 13, 2018 #20
    When we analyze the simplest mode of a rectangular waveguide, relativistic and quantum equations naturally appear, in mutual agreement and in accordance with classical electrodynamics. They appear even though we have never heard of relativity or quantum, that is, without application of these two theories. Should we think that is simple casuality ? Or should we think that there is something fundamental in that?
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