electromagnetic theory

Patterns are magical marks, open pictures for the mind to travel through.

Akin to the visible spectrum in electromagnetism that colours our imagination, pattern offers structure, to the realm of ideas. In this region metaphor is at one end, concrete realisation at the other. A contemplation of one leads to the other.

To give meaning to pattern we impose scale – a molecule map or a road map – but pattern is invariant; a fix at one level raising a speculation at another. A meditation on pattern suggests connectivity – and in here are the archetypes of structure, the networks of configuration.

The diagram acts as a catalyst, and continues its private haunting, attacking certainties. Whatever is seen in a reduced reality seems to have a ghost in another dimension – the mystery denies dogma as a natural state. Mind seems to have its own subversive structure; to find out, I ran the templates.
—  Cecil Balmond
List of Free Science Books

Here’s an alphabetical list of all available free books. Note that many of the links will bring you to an external page, usually with more info about the book and the download links. Also, the links are updated as frequently as possible, however some of them might be broken. Broken links are constantly being fixed. In case you want to report a broken link, or a link that violates copyrights, use the contact form


  • A Beginner’s Guide to Mathematica
  • A Brief Introduction to Particle Physics
  • A First Course in General Relativity
  • A New Astronomy
  • A No-Nonsense Introduction to General Relativity
  • A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century, Fourth Edition
  • A Review of General Chemistry
  • A Simple Guide to Backyard Astronomy
  • A Text Book for High School Students Studying Physics
  • A Tour of Triangle Geometry
  • About Life: Concepts in Modern Biology
  • Acoustic Emission
  • Adaptive Control
  • Advanced Calculus
  • Advanced Learning
  • Advanced Mathematics for Engineers
  • Advanced Microwave Circuits and Systems
  • Advanced Technologies
  • Advances in Computer Science and IT
  • Advances in Evolutionary Algorithms
  • Advances in Geoscience and Remote Sensing
  • Advances in Haptics
  • Advances in Human Computer Interaction
  • Age of Einstein
  • Aging by Design
  • AMPL:  A Modeling Language for Mathematical Programming
  • An Introduction to Elementary Particles
  • An Introduction to Higher Mathematics
  • An Introduction to Many Worlds in Quantum Computation
  • An Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning
  • An Introduction to Mathematics
  • An Introduction to Proofs and the Mathematical Vernacular
  • An Introduction to Relativistic Quantum Mechanics
  • Analysis 1 (Tao T)
  • Analysis 2 (Tao T)
  • Analytic Functions
  • Astronomical Discovery
  • Astronomy for Amateurs
  • Astronomy Today
  • Astronomy with an Opera-Glass
  • Automation and Robotics


  • Basic Algebra, Topology and Differential Calculus
  • Basic Concepts of Mathematics
  • Basic Concepts of Thermodynamics
  • Basic Concepts of Thermodynamics Chapter 1
  • Basic Ideas in Chemistry
  • Basic Math: Quick Reference eBook
  • Basic Mathematics for Astronomy
  • Basic Physics
  • Basic Positional Astronomy
  • Basic Principles of Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics
  • Basic Principles of Physics
  • Basics of Physics
  • Beginner’s Botany
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry (practice book)
  • Biology
  • Board Notes for Particle Physics
  • Book of Proof


  • Calculus
  • Calculus Based Physics
  • Celestial Navigation, Elementary Astronomy, Piloting
  • Circuit QED — Lecture Notes
  • Classical Dynamics
  • Classical Geometry
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Climate Models
  • Collaborative Statistics
  • College Algebra
  • Complex Analysis
  • Computational Geometry
  • Computational Introduction to Number Theory and Algebra
  • Computational Physics with Python
  • Conceptual Physics
  • Consistent Quantum Theory
  • Cook-Book Of Mathematics
  • College Physics
  • Crude Oil Emulsions- Composition Stability and Characterization
  • Curiosities of the Sky


  • Decoherence: Basic Concepts and Their Interpretation
  • Do We Really Understand Quantum Mechanics?
  • Differential Equations
  • Diophantine Analysis
  • Discover Physics
  • Dr. Donald Luttermoser’s Physics Notes
  • Dynamics and Relativity


  • Earthquake Research and Analysis
  • Earthquake-Resistant Structures – Design, Assessment and Rehabilitation
  • Einstein for Everyone
  • Electromagnetic Field Theory
  • Elementary Mathematical Astronomy
  • Elementary Linear Algebra
  • Elementary Particle Physics in a Nutshell
  • Elementary Particles in Physics
  • Elements of Astrophysics
  • Embedded Systems – Theory and Design Methodology
  • Encyclopaedia of Mathematics
  • Encyclopedia of Astrophysics
  • Engineering Mathematics 1
  • Engineering Mathematics with Tables
  • Essential Engineering Mathematics
  • Essential Physics
  • Exoplanet Observing for Amateurs
  • Experimental Particle Physics


  • Fields
  • Foundations of Nonstandard Analysis
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Calendars
  • Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics
  • Fundamentals of Analysis (Chen W.W.L)
  • Further Mathematical Methods
  • Fusion Physics


  • General Chemistry
  • General Relativity
  • General Relativity
  • Geometric Asymptotics
  • Geometry and Group Theory
  • Geometry and Topology
  • Geometry Formulas and Facts
  • Geometry Study Guide
  • Geometry, Topology and Physics
  • Geometry, Topology, Localization and Galois Symmetry
  • Great Astronomers


  • Handbook of Formulae and Physical Constants
  • High School Mathematics Extensions
  • Higher Mathematics for Engineers and Physicists
  • History of Astronomy
  • Homeomorphisms in Analysis
  • How to Use Experimental Data to Compute the Probability of Your Theory


  • Intelligent Systems
  • Intrinsic Geometry of Surfaces
  • Introduction to Astronomy and Cosmology
  • Introduction to Cancer Biology
  • Introduction to Chemistry
  • Introduction to Cosmology
  • Introduction to Elementary Particles
  • Introduction to General Relativity
  • Introduction To Finite Mathematics
  • Introduction to Particle Physics Notes
  • Introduction to PID Controllers
  • Introduction to Quantum Mechanics with Applications to Chemistry
  • Introduction to Quantum Noise, Measurement and Amplification
  • Introduction to Social Network Methods
  • Introduction to String Field Theory
  • Introduction to the Time Evolution of Open Quantum Systems
  • Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
  • Introductory Computational Physics
  • Introductory Physics 1
  • Introductory Physics 2


  • Kinetic Theory


  • Laboratory Manual for Introductory Physics
  • Laws of Physics
  • Learn Physics Today
  • Lecture Notes in Discrete Mathematics
  • Lecture Notes in Quantum Mechanics
  • Lecture Notes in Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Lecture Notes in Particle Physics
  • Lecture Notes on General Relativity
  • Lectures on Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Cosmology
  • Lectures on Particle Physics
  • Lectures on Riemann Zeta-Function
  • Light and Matter


  • Mag 7 Star Atlas Project
  • Many Particle Physics
  • Math Alive
  • Mathematical Analysis I(Zakon E)
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Mathematical Methods 1
  • Mathematical Methods for Physical Sciences
  • Mathematical Methods of Engineering Analysis
  • Mathematics, Basic Math and Algebra
  • Mathematics for Computer Science
  • Mathematics for Computer Science
  • Mathematics for Computer Scientists
  • Mathematics For Engineering Students
  • Mathematics Formulary
  • Motion Mountain
  • Music: A Mathematical Offering
  • Mysteries of the Sun


  • Natural Disasters
  • New Frontiers in Graph Theory
  • Noise Control, Reduction and Cancellation Solutions in Engineering
  • Nondestructive Testing Methods and New Applications
  • Nonlinear Optics
  • Notes on Coarse Geometry
  • Notes on Elementary Particle Physics
  • Notes on Quantum Mechanics


  • Observing the Sky from 30S
  • On Particle Physics
  • Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces


  • Particle Physics Course Univ. Cape Town
  • Particle Physics Lecture Notes
  • People’s Physics Book
  • Perspectives in Quantum Physics: Epistemological, Ontological and Pedagogical
  • Photons, Schmotons
  • Physics Lectures
  • Physics Tutorials
  • Physics Study Guides
  • Pioneers of Science
  • Practical Astronomy
  • Practical Astronomy for Engineers
  • Preparing for College Physics
  • Primer Of Celestial Navigation
  • Principal Component Analysis – Multidisciplinary Applications
  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific Volume 1


  • Quantum Dissipative Systems
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Quantum Fluctuations
  • Quantum Information Theory
  • Quantum Magnetism
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Quantum Mechanics: A Graduate Course
  • Quantum Mechanics: An Intermediate Level Course
  • Quantum Notes
  • Quantum Physics Notes
  • Quantum Theory of Many-Particle Systems
  • Quantum Transients


  • Recreations in Astronomy
  • Relativistic Quantum Dynamics
  • Relativity: The Special and General Theory
  • Review of Basic Mathematics
  • Riemann Surfaces, Dynamics and Geometry Course Notes


  • Short History of Astronomy
  • Sintering of Ceramics – New Emerging Techniques
  • Solitons
  • Some Basic Principles from Astronomy
  • Special Relativity
  • Spherical Astronomy
  • Star-Gazer’s Hand-Book
  • Statistical Physics
  • Street-Fighting Mathematics
  • String Theory
  • Structures of Life
  • Supernova Remnants: The X-ray Perspective
  • Superspace: One Thousand and One Lessons in Supersymmetry
  • System of Systems


  • The Astrobiology Primer: An Outline of General Knowledge
  • The Astronomy and the Bible
  • The Astronomy of the Bible: An Elementary Commentary on the Astronomical References of Holy Scripture
  • The Basic Paradoxes of Statistical Classical Physics and Quantum Mechanics
  • The Beginning and the End
  • The Beginning and the End of the Universe
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Sun
  • The Convenient Setting of Global Analysis
  • The Eightfold Way: The Beauty of Klein’s Quartic Curve
  • The General Theory of Relativity
  • The Geology of Terrestrial Planets
  • The Geometry of the Sphere
  • The Handbook of Essential Mathematics
  • The Moon: A Full Description and Map of its Principal Physical Features
  • The Open Agenda
  • The Origin of Mass in Particle Physics
  • The Particle Detector Brief Book
  • The Physics Hypertextbook
  • The Physics of Quantum Mechanics
  • The Planet Mars
  • The Small n Problem in High Energy Physics
  • The Story of Eclipses
  • The Story of the Heavens
  • The Structure of Life
  • The Wonder Book of Knowledge
  • The World According to the Hubble Space Telescope
  • The Zij as-Sanjari of Gregory Chioniades (June 27, 2009)
  • Three Dimensional Geometry


  • Understanding Physics
  • Unfolding the Labyrinth
  • Utility of Quaternions in Physics
  • Uses of Astronomy

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, and futurist. He was an important contributor to the use of commercial electricity, and is best known for developing the modern alternating current (AC) electrical supply system. His many revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were based on the theories of electromagnetic technology discovered by Michael Faraday. Tesla’s patents and theoretical work also formed the basis of wireless communication and the radio. 

Tesla was renowned for his achievements and showmanship, eventually earning him a reputation in popular culture as an archetypal “mad scientist.” His patents earned him a considerable amount of money, much of which was used to finance his own projects with varying degrees of success. He lived most of his life in a series of New York hotels, through his retirement. He died on 7 January 1943. His work fell into relative obscurity after his death, but in 1960 the General Conference on Weights and Measures named the SI unit of magnetic flux density the tesla in his honor. Tesla has experienced a resurgence in interest in popular culture since the 1990s. Read More | Edit

“Aristotle taught that there was an immovable ‘entelechy’ in the universe that moves everything and the thought was its main attribute. I am also convinced that the whole universe is unified in both material and spiritual sense. Out there in the universe there is a nucleus that gives us all the power, all the inspiration; it draws us to itself eternally, I feel its mightiness and values it transmits throughout the universe; thus keeping it in harmony. I have not breached the secret of that core, still I am aware of its existence, and when wanting to give it any material attribute I imagine LIGHT, and when trying to conceive it spiritually I imagine BEAUTY and COMPASSION. The one who carries that belief inside feels strong, finds joy in his work, for he experiences himself as a single tone in the universal harmony.”Nikola Tesla (From the text “Nikola Tesla, Our First Great Ambassador in the USA” of Vladislav Savic, published in ‘Tesla Magazine’ 1951.)

Calculus I: Integrals are Gonna Carry that Weight

Calculus is the branch of mathematics that tells us how to break down mathematical objects and put them back together. Whether you credit Isaac Newton or Gottfried Leibniz with its invention, there’s no denying physics is built upon a foundation of calculus.

We frequently break calculus into two subfields:

  • The derivative calculus, which–like breaking a staircase into individual steps–tells us how to deconstruct wholes into constituents, and
  • The integral calculus, which does the reverse: given an assortment of steps, it manages to build a staircase. 

Today, we introduce the latter topic. We do so in the context of finding the area of a shape in the real plane, and then generalize this procedure to craft our real goal: the integral. The integral is a powerful machine, capable of feats akin to mathematical alchemy.

Are you ready? Okay, 3… 2… 1… Let’s jam!

Keep reading


The Mona Lisa is more than a portrait but an expression of experience. Leonardo worked on this painting for almost 20 years and imbued it with as much knowledge as he could. One example was his use of color which wasn’t just chosen or applied arbitrarily but with examples of color theory. He realized that colors would appear differently when placed next to certain hue’s and that they changed in shadow and became less colorful as they receded from the eye. He applied some of these rules and broke others. The painting wasn’t really painted from life with a woman sitting in front of a specific window, or overlooking a specific back ground, or with certain lighting. She is as symbolic and figurative as the colors used and the background itself.

 Although the colors have faded and been changed slightly from age and the tint of the varnish we can still see the change in color and hues follow an interesting trend. From Red, Yellow, Green, to Blue. These follow the visual spectrum of colors that we can perceive. This adds a type of innate beauty to the painting because it combines a type of universality that just ‘fits’ into how we see - because it was designed that way. These same visual/ color rules can be used to create optical illusions and it’s likely the painting also possesses these qualities but are less evident due to the deterioration and faded colors. It’s probable that the painting would have originally caused a type of visual movement due to the color theme used. Or in other words the painting itself, the order of the colors used, as they recede into the distance follow the electromagnetic spectrum.

This is the type of optical illusion that the painting probably would have caused (to a lesser extent) in it’s prime. It’s not a gif, your mind makes it move - based on the colors and their gradation used alone. 


Physicists discover hidden aspects of electrodynamics

Radio waves, microwaves and even light itself are all made of electric and magnetic fields. The classical theory of electromagnetism was completed in the 1860s by James Clerk Maxwell.

At the time, Maxwell’s theory was revolutionary, and provided a unified framework to understand electricity, magnetism and optics.

Now, new research led by LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Assistant Professor Ivan Agullo, with colleagues from the Universidad de Valencia, Spain, advances knowledge of this theory.

Their recent discoveries have been published in Physical Review Letters.
Maxwell’s theory displays a remarkable feature: it remains unaltered under the interchange of the electric and magnetic fields, when charges and currents are not present.

This symmetry is called the electric-magnetic duality.

However, while electric charges exist, magnetic charges have never been observed in nature.

If magnetic charges do not exist, the symmetry also cannot exist. This mystery has motivated physicists to search for magnetic charges, or magnetic monopoles. However, no one has been successful.

Agullo and his colleagues may have discovered why.

“Gravity spoils the symmetry regardless of whether magnetic monopoles exist or not. This is shocking.

The bottom line is that the symmetry cannot exist in our universe at the fundamental level because gravity is everywhere,” Agullo said.

Gravity, together with quantum effects, disrupts the electric-magnetic duality or symmetry of the electromagnetic field.

Agullo and his colleagues discovered this by looking at previous theories that illustrate this phenomenon among other types of particles in the universe, called fermions, and applied it to photons in electromagnetic fields.

“We have been able to write the theory of the electromagnetic field in a way that very much resembles the theory of fermions, and prove this absence of symmetry by using powerful techniques that were developed for fermions,” he said.

This new discovery challenges assumptions that could impact other research including the study of the birth of the universe.

The Big Bang

Satellites collect data from the radiation emitted from the Big Bang, which is called the Cosmic Microwave Background, or CMB. This radiation contains valuable information about the history of the universe.

“By measuring the CMB, we get precise information on how the Big Bang happened,” Agullo said.

Scientists analyzing this data have assumed that the polarization of photons in the CMB is not affected by the gravitational field in the universe, which is true only if electromagnetic symmetry exists.

However, since this new finding suggests that the symmetry does not exist at the fundamental level, the polarization of the CMB can change throughout cosmic evolution.

Scientists may need to take this into consideration when analyzing the data. The focus of Agullo’s current research is on how much this new effect is.

The NTPs

ENTP and INTP: *heatedly discussing the Fermi paradox*

ENTP and INTP: *walk into a room*

ENTP: Wait, why did we come here?

INTP: I was counting on you to lead the way.

ENTP: I wanted something from this place, but I can’t remember what exactly…

INTP: Retrace your steps, then.

ENTP: *begins walking backwards*

INTP: I didn’t mean literally *chuckles*

ENTP: *grins* everything is energy, right? And thoughts are electromagnetic waves. Energy doesn’t dissipate into nothingness; it’s conserved. So if I return to the place where I had that thought, I will remember what I wanted from this room.

INTP: *mumbling to herself* hmm… I did read about the electromagnetic theory of consciousness… but…

INTP: *grins back at him* sounds like an opportune way to test the theory! *proceeds to walk backwards with ENTP*

Everyone in the room: ?????

Calculus III: the Dirac Delta, a Bridge Between Dimensions

Today, I’m going to teach you a magic trick. This trick connects two very different tools from two very different worlds: the area integral of two-dimensional regions and the line integral of one-dimensional curves. The time has come to join these disparate items under a common framework.

Last week, we described how to find the length of a curve using a line integral. Today’s trick tells us how to find the length of a curve using a surface integral instead.

To accomplish this, we’re going to need something unlike anything we’ve seen before: an ethereal mathematical object called the Dirac delta distribution, which possesses the ability to bridge dimensions.

Come one, come all! The show is about to begin…

Keep reading

I should not be trying to understand how Gems bodies work

I’ll write up a full theory later but here are some thoughts:

We know that
•their gem is the real organism, their body is a “projection”
•when their body is destroyed, it pops and releases gas
•they appear to have a limited amount of surface area they can work with (note that fusions have more volume than their components)
•they can increase their buoyancy at will (not mass since accepting that they can violate the laws of physics defeats the purpose of this endeavor)

My conclusion is that gems are actually made of cells of room-temperature plasma filled with inert gas.

Since plasma is charged it can be manipulated by magnetic fields and generate fields of its own. It’s known to form cell-like structures and can be created easily from nearby air just by building up a strong enough magnetic charge. Gems could also increase in buoyancy by sucking in air through their permeable plasma membranes

Of course it would require some pretty ridiculous internal circuits within the gemstone along with serious processing power to create a sort of “magnetic skeleton” that would in turn move more plasma altering the magnetic field even more, but we’ve already seen that plasma skeleton when the gems reform

sorry, can’t hear you over the awesomeness of my gemini squad
  • Margaret Fuller (American journalist, critic, and women’s rights advocate) 
  • Diego Velasquez (Spanish painter who was one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age)
  • Paul Gauguin (His work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse)
  • Gustave Courbet (French painter who led the Realist movement, he rejected academic convention and the Romanticism of the previous generation of visual artists)
  • Daniel Fahrenheit (German physicist best known for inventing the mercury-in-glass thermometer and for developing atemperature scale now named after him.) 
  • Rachel Carson (American marine biologist and conservationist  credited with advancing the global environmental movement.)
  • Mary Anning (British paleontologist with findings that contributed to important changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the histpry of earth)
  • Francis Crick (British molecular biologist, biophysicist, andneuroscientist, most noted for being a co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule)
  • James Maxwell (Scottish scientist in the field of mathematical physics. His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation)
  • Carl Linnaeus (Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern biological naming scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology.)
  • Barbara McClintock (American scientist and cytogeneticist who demonstrated  the notion of genetic recombination by crossing-over and  produced the first genetic map for maize, linking regions of the chromosome to physical traits.)
  • Peter Higgs ( British theoretical physicist, invented the Higgs mechanism, which predicts the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson, the detection of which became one of the great goals of physics.)
  • Robert Mullikan ( American physicist and chemist, primarily responsible for the early development of molecular orbital theory) 
  • Marilyn Monroe   do i
  • Angelina Jolie    even
  • Chris Evans        need
  • Chris Pratt          to?
  • Queen Victoria (Her reign is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire)
  • Jurgen Habermas (German sociologist and philosopher  widely recognized as one of the world’s leading intellectuals.)
  • Jane grant (American journalist and co-founder of The New Yorker who was also the first full-fledged reporter at The New York Times.)
  • Aloysius Alzheimer (Alzheimer is credited with identifying the first published case of “presenile dementia”, also called Alzheimer’s disease.)
  • Virginia apgar (American obstetrical anesthesiologist, she introduced  obstetrical considerations to the established field of neonatology and invented the Apgar Score)
  • Nathaniel chapman (American physician, he was the founding president of the American Medical Association)
  • Joseph guillotin (French physician and freemason who proposed the use of a device to carry out death penalties in France, as a less painful method of execution. The device was later named the guillotine)
  • Anne frank  (She is one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Her diary  documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.)
  • Walt whitman (Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time. “Oh Captain! My Captain!”)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Scottish writer and physician, most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction.)
  • Ian Fleming (English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer, best known for his James Bond series of spy novels.)
  • Thomas Mann (German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate.)

What is a black hole?

When a star runs out of nuclear fuel, it will collapse. If the core, or central region, of the star has a mass that is greater than three Suns, no known nuclear forces can prevent the core from forming a deep gravitational warp in space called a black hole.

A black hole does not have a surface in the usual sense of the word. There is simply a region, or boundary, in space around a black hole beyond which we cannot see.

This boundary is called the event horizon. Anything that passes beyond the event horizon is doomed to be crushed as it descends ever deeper into the gravitational well of the black hole. No visible light, nor X-rays, nor any other form of electromagnetic radiation, nor any particle, no matter how energetic, can escape. The radius of the event horizon (proportional to the mass) is very small, only 30 kilometers for a non-spinning black hole with the mass of 10 Suns.

Can astronomers see a black hole? Not directly. The only way to find one is to use circumstantial evidence. Observations must imply that a sufficiently large amount of matter is compressed into a sufficiently small region of space so that no other explanation is possible. For stellar black holes, this means observing the orbital acceleration of a star as it orbits its unseen companion in a double or binary star system.

Searching for black holes is tricky business. One way to locate them has been to study X-ray binary systems. These systems consist of a visible star in close orbit around an invisible companion star which may be a neutron star or black hole. The companion star pulls gas away from the visible star.

As this gas forms a flattened disk, it swirls toward the companion. Friction caused by collisions between the particles in the gas heats them to extreme temperatures and they produce X-rays that flicker or vary in intensity within a second.

Many bright X-ray binary sources have been discovered in our galaxy and nearby galaxies. In about ten of these systems, the rapid orbital velocity of the visible star indicates that the unseen companion is a black hole. The X-rays in these objects are produced by particles very close to the event horizon. In less than a second after they give off their X-rays, they disappear beyond the event horizon.

However, not all the matter in the disk around a black hole is doomed to fall into the black hole. In many black hole systems, some of the gas escapes as a hot wind that is blown away from the disk at high speeds. Even more dramatic are the high-energy jets that radio and X-ray observations show exploding away from some stellar black holes. These jets can move at nearly the speed of light in tight beams and travel several light years before slowing down and fading away.

Do black holes grow when matter falls into them? Yes, the mass of the black hole increases by an amount equal to the amount of mass it captures. The radius of the event horizon also increases by about 3 kilometers for every solar mass that it swallows. A black hole in the center of a galaxy, where stars are densely packed, may grow to the mass of a billion Suns and become what is known as a supermassive black hole.


Grand Unification may be a dead-end for Physics

“It may still turn out that grand unification is correct, and that it’s an important step on the road to a Theory Of Everything: the ultimate holy grail of many theoretical physicists. But it may also turn out that nature doesn’t unify at high energies, and that our biases towards simplicity, elegance and more unification is completely wrongheaded and has nothing to do with our physical Universe. In science, as in all things, we cannot afford to be driven by our own preconceptions of how things ought to be. Rather, we owe ourselves to view the Universe exactly as it is, and to listen to the story it tells us about itself.”

One of the greatest discoveries of the 20th centuries was not only that there were just four fundamental forces describing all of nature, but that two of them — the electromagnetic and the weak force — unify into a single “electroweak” force at high energies. Given the equivalences between electric charges in the strong nuclear force sector and the electroweak sector, could there be a grand unification between those as well? In a great theoretical development, Grand Unification Theories (GUTs) became all the rage, making bold predictions like additional bosons, flavor-changing neutral currents, and proton decay. But in the more than 30 years since their inception, the ideas of GUTs have all fallen flat, implying the question of whether the entire concept of unifying forces and interactions into larger groups and structures is completely wrongheaded.

Experiments and measurements don’t lie, but it’s up to the scientists who work on it to choose to go in a different direction. Perhaps it’s truly time.

grandmasterbox  asked:

hey rocco, can you explain the meaning behind the Timbo vid?

Sure! More or less, life’s meaning through fighting, combat, and existentialism. According to existentialism, each man and each woman creates the essence (meaning) of his and her life; life is not determined by a supernatural god or an earthly authority, one is free. As such, one’s ethical prime directives are actionfreedom, and decision, thus, existentialism opposes rationalism and positivism. In seeking meaning to life, the existentialist looks to where people find meaning in life, in course of which using only reason as a source of meaning is insufficient; this gives rise to the emotions of anxiety and dread, felt in considering one’s free will, and the concomitant awareness of death. According to Jean-Paul Sartre, existence precedes essence; the (essence) of one’s life arises only after one comes to existence.

Søren Kierkegaard spoke about a “leap”, arguing that life is full of absurdity, and one must make his and her own values in an indifferent world. One can live meaningfully (free of despair and anxiety) in an unconditional commitment to something finite, and devotes that meaningful life to the commitment, despite the vulnerability inherent to doing so.

Arthur Schopenhauer answered: “What is the meaning of life?” by stating that one’s life reflects one’s will, and that the will (life) is an aimless, irrational, and painful drive. Salvation, deliverance, and escape from suffering are in aesthetic contemplation, sympathy for others, and asceticism.

For Friedrich Nietzsche, life is worth living only if there are goals inspiring one to live. Accordingly, he saw nihilism (“all that happens is meaningless”) as without goals. He stated that asceticism denies one’s living in the world; stated that values are not objective facts, that are rationally necessary, universally binding commitments: our evaluations are interpretations, and not reflections of the world, as it is, in itself, and, therefore, all ideations take place from a particular perspective.

Logical positivists ask: “What is the meaning of life?”, “What is the meaning in asking?” and “If there are no objective values, then, is life meaningless?” Ludwig Wittgenstein and the logical positivists said: ”Expressed in language, the question is meaningless”; because, in life the statement the “meaning of x”, usually denotes the consequences of x, or the significance of x, or what is notable about x, etc., thus, when the meaning of life concept equals “x”, in the statement the “meaning of x”, the statement becomes recursive, and, therefore, nonsensical, or it might refer to the fact that biological life is essential to having a meaning in life.

The things (people, events) in the life of a person can have meaning (importance) as parts of a whole, but a discrete meaning of (the) life, itself, aside from those things, cannot be discerned. A person’s life has meaning (for himself, others) as the life events resulting from his achievements, legacy, family, etc., but, to say that life, itself, has meaning, is a misuse of language, since any note of significance, or of consequence, is relevant only in life (to the living), so rendering the statement erroneous. Bertrand Russell wrote that although he found that his distaste for torture was not like his distaste for broccoli, he found no satisfactory, empirical method of proving this:

When we try to be definite, as to what we mean when we say that this or that is “the Good,” we find ourselves involved in very great difficulties. Bentham’s creed, that pleasure is the Good, roused furious opposition, and was said to be a pig’s philosophy. Neither he nor his opponents could advance any argument. In a scientific question, evidence can be adduced on both sides, and, in the end, one side is seen to have the better case — or, if this does not happen, the question is left undecided. But in a question, as to whether this, or that, is the ultimate Good, there is no evidence, either way; each disputant can only appeal to his own emotions, and employ such rhetorical devices as shall rouse similar emotions in others … Questions as to “values” — that is to say, as to what is good or bad on its own account, independently of its effects — lie outside the domain of science, as the defenders of religion emphatically assert. I think that, in this, they are right, but, I draw the further conclusion, which they do not draw, that questions as to “values” lie wholly outside the domain of knowledge. That is to say, when we assert that this, or that, has “value”, we are giving expression to our own emotions, not to a fact, which would still be true if our personal feelings were different.

But then at one point, the combatant battling Timbo states he is beginning to pass out, which is an entire statement on consciousness. 

The nature and origin of consciousness and the mind itself are also widely debated in science. The explanatory gap is generally equated with the hard problem of consciousness, and the question of free will is also considered to be of fundamental importance. These subjects are mostly addressed in the fields of cognitive science, neuroscience (e.g. the neuroscience of free will) and philosophy of mind, though some evolutionary biologists and theoretical physicists have also made several allusions to the subject.

Hieronymus Bosch’s Ascent of the Blessed depicts a tunnel of light and spiritual figures, often described in reports of near-death experiences.
Reductionistic and eliminative materialistic approaches, for example the Multiple Drafts Model, hold that consciousness can be wholly explained by neuroscience through the workings of the brain and its neurons, thus adhering to biological naturalism.

On the other hand, some scientists, like Andrei Linde, have considered that consciousness, like spacetime, might have its own intrinsic degrees of freedom, and that one’s perceptions may be as real as (or even more real than) material objects. Hypotheses of consciousness and spacetime explain consciousness in describing a “space of conscious elements”, often encompassing a number of extra dimensions. Electromagnetic theories of consciousness solve the binding problem of consciousness in saying that the electromagnetic field generated by the brain is the actual carrier of conscious experience, there is however disagreement about the implementations of such a theory relating to other workings of the mind. Quantum mind theories use quantum theory in explaining certain properties of the mind. Explaining the process of free will through quantum phenomena is a popular alternative to determinism, such postulations may variously relate free will to quantum fluctuations, quantum amplification, quantum potential and quantum probability.

Based on the premises of non-materialistic explanations of the mind, some have suggested the existence of a cosmic consciousness, asserting that consciousness is actually the “ground of all being”. Proponents of this view cite accounts of paranormal phenomena, primarily extrasensory perceptions and psychic powers, as evidence for an incorporeal higher consciousness. In hopes of proving the existence of these phenomena, parapsychologists have orchestrated various experiments, but apparently successful results are more likely due to sloppy procedures, poorly trained researchers, or methodological flaws than to actual effects.

So more or less, that stuff, but it was also a parody of a Kimbo Slice video where he punches this guy in a parking lot really hard. Anyway, hope that helps!


On this Day in 1777 Hans Christian Ørsted was born.

Ørsted was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered in 1820 that an electric current in a wire causes a nearby magnetized compass needle to deflect, showing that the electric current in a wire induces a magnetic field around it. This discovery can be seen as the starting point for the development of electromagnetic theory. For this, he can be called “the father of electromagnetism,” and his name was adopted for the magnetic field strength in the CGS system of units (for which the SI system now uses the henry unit). 

Ørsted was also the first person to isolate aluminium as a metal in 1825 and he made the first accurate determination of the compressibility of water in 1822.

Footage from the Royal Institution video archive.

A cartoon depicting a victorious William Preece, touting experience over experiments, standing over Oliver Lodge, 1884. The two engaged in a heated public debate over the nature of lightning conductors and lightning discharges. Preece was a Post Office engineer who had no formal training in electricity or magnetism, whereas Lodge was a physicist who was a proponent of Heaviside’s emerging theoretical work on self-inductance - much of the debate was centered around practice versus theory. While the cartoon depicts otherwise, Lodge’s theoretical approach eventually won out over Preece’s practical approach and profoundly affected the development of electromagnetic theory.