Friday, July 22, 2011

what i'm reading now

The Dancing Wu Li Masters and overview of the New Physics is not just an account of the latest development in quantum theory  that a layman can read but it also connects the new physics to some of the concepts of eastern thought and religion. Here are some passages from the book that I found intriguing:
"Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of western religion.  Rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of western science.  In other words, religion has become a matter of the heart and science has become a matter of the mind.  This  regrettable state of affairs does not reflect the fact that, physiologically, one cannot exist without the other.  Everybody needs both. Mind and heart are only different aspect of us."

"Physicists are people who have pursued tenaciously this endless series of questions.  What they have found is startling.  Wood fibers, to continue the example, are actually patterns of cells.  Cells, under magnification, are revealed to be patterns of molecules.  Molecules, under higher magnification,  are discovered to be patterns of atoms, and, lastly, atoms have turned out to be patterns of subatomic particles.  In other words, "matter" is actually a series of patterns out of focus. The search for the ultimate stuff of the universe ends with the discovery that there isn't any."

"...classical physics says that there is one world, it is as it appears, and this is it.  Quantum physics allows us to entertain the possibility that this is not so.  The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics eschews a description of what the world is "really like", but concludes that whatever it is like, it is not substantive in the usual sense.  The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics says that different editions of us live in many worlds simultaneously, an uncountable number of them, and all of them are real."

1 comment:

Steven said...

I have to read it! I only wish I had been so curious about physics when I was in high school...