Archive for February 22, 2012

Brian Cox up the Exclusion Principle

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on February 22, 2012 by telescoper

I know a few students of Quantum Mechanics read this blog so here’s a little challenge. View the following video segment featuring Sir Brian of Cox and see if you can spot the deliberate (?) mistake contained therein on the subject of the Pauli Exclusion Principle.

When you’ve made up your mind, you can take a peek at the objection that’s been exercising armchair physicists around the twittersphere, and also a more technical argument supporting Prof. Cox’s interpretation from a university in the Midlands.

UPDATE: 23/2/2012 Meanwhile, over the pond, Sean Carroll is on the case.

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The Expanding Universe

Posted in Poetry, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on February 22, 2012 by telescoper

The furthest stars recede
Faster than the earth moves,
Almost as fast as light;
The infinite
Adjusts itself to our need.

For, far beyond the furthest, where
Light is snatched backward, no
Star leaves echo or shadow
To prove it had ever been there.

And if the universe
Reversed and showed
The colour of its money;
If now unobservable light
Flowed inward, and the skies snowed
A blizzard of galaxies,

The lens of night would burn
Brighter than the focussed sun,
And man turn blinded
With white-hot darkness in his eyes.

by Norman Nicholson (1914-1987).