neil-bohr

Einstein, Dirac, Pauli, Marie Curie, Bohr, Schrodinger and many more of the scientific greats. All in one epic picture.

The Solvay Conference,1927.

Back row: Auguste Piccard, Émile Henriot, Paul Ehrenfest, Édouard Herzen, Théophile de Donder, Erwin Schrödinger, Jules-Émile Verschaffelt, Wolfgang Pauli, Werner Heisenberg, Ralph Howard Fowler, Léon Brillouin. Middle: Peter Debye, Martin Knudsen, William Lawrence Bragg, Hendrik Anthony Kramers, Paul Dirac, Arthur Compton, Louis de Broglie, Max Born, Niels Bohr. Front: Irving Langmuir, Max Planck, Marie Sklodowska Curie, Hendrik Lorentz, Albert Einstein, Paul Langevin, Charles-Eugène Guye, Charles Thomson Rees Wilson, Owen Willans Richardson.

This was motivated by @intp-as-fuck’s post, but is in no way particularly aimed towards that blog or that post, it’s just something that has always bothered me since I learned about it a decade ago:

“Schrödinger’s Cat” wasn’t some clever thought experiment. It was a common sense argument to one of Neils Bohr and Werner Heisenberg’s claims, which basically said all non-quantum (“macro”) objects also live in two states at once until observed.

Erwin Schrödinger replied (and I’m paraphrasing) “Nah. If I hide my cat in a poisonous box and you can’t see it, the cat isn’t both alive and dead; it’s just dead.”

“Schrödinger did not wish to promote the idea of dead-and-alive cats as a serious possibility; on the contrary, he intended the example to illustrate the absurdity of the existing view of quantum mechanics.”

That’s all “Schrödinger’s Cat” is. It’s just a physicist screaming “Y'all’s shit is WEAK, yo.”

Three of my favorite Zizek jokes/anecdotes

A man was psychotic, suffering from a delusion that he was a piece of grain. His greatest terror was to be eaten by a chicken. After medication and therapy he was cured. He no longer believed he was a piece of grain. But he was still terrified of being eaten.

“Why?” asked his therapist. “You know you’re not a piece of grain.”

“Yes,” said the man. “But does the chicken know?”

—-

Rabinowitz applies to leave the Soviet Union. The emigration officer asks him, “Why do you want to leave?”

“Two reasons,” Rabinowitz says. “First, I’m worried that if Communism falls, everyone will blame my people, the Jews.”

“But Communism will never fail!” the officer says.

“Yes,” Rabinowitz replies. “That’s my second reason.”

—-

It’s said that the physicist Neils Bohr had a horseshoe nailed above his front door. This is a common tradition in Europe; the horseshoe is believed to ward off evil spirits. Once a friend of his asked, “But you’re not a superstitious man. Do you really believe in this horseshoe?”

“Of course not!” Bohr replied. “But I was told it works even if you don’t believe in it.”

Could Einstein’s dreams come true?

Grand Unified Theory, the idea that all four fundamental forces (electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear, gravitational) could have the same strength at a particular energy level, brings to a close a series of posts exploring the potential results of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) as it restarted on April 5, 2015 after a two year repair period.

Following his papers in the 1920s where Albert Einstein derived his field equations for General Relativity, the theory of gravitation, many argue that he spent the later days of his research wasting his time. In 1927 at a conference in Brussels, he became at odds with mainstream physics which was heading in the direction of quantum mechanics and how it describes reality. Neils Bohr suggested that any single particle could not occupy a definite position until someone measures it—a direct result from the quantum mechanics theory. Einstein quickly countered: “Do you really believe that the moon is not there unless we are looking at it?” Rejecting this new era of physics, Einstein spent the last two decades of his life searching for a unification of the forces, which, at the time, was only a unification of gravity and electromagnetism since the other two forces were not known.

However, evidence emerged in the 1960s and 1970s suggesting Einstein may have had a point. Theorists began linking electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force upon discovering the “weak neutral current” from the Gargamelle experiment at CERN. This implied the existence of a neutral weak force carrier particle which was found later in 1984 by Carlo Rubbia and Simon van der Meer. These two scientists won the Nobel Prize for their detection of the W and Z particles that carry the electroweak force–the unification of the electromagnetic and weak forces appeared in the laboratory for the first time.

Then the question becomes: will the unification of other forces emerge at higher energies? Some think so, but at energies rivaling those seen in moments just after the Big Bang, before the different components of the Universe separated out as it cooled. While the LHC can’t recreate these conditions of the very early Universe to test these ideas directly, we can look for consequences of grand unification at lower energies, one of the most popular ideas being supersymmetry. (see here and here)

–KSA

For more information on Gargamelle: CERN
For a much better telling of Einstein’s grapple with GUT:
Discover Magazine
For more information on Unified Forces: CERN
Image source of Einstein (left) and Bohr (right) at the 1930 conference in Brussels: Danish Film Institute, Paul Ehrenfest

pan·the·ism: A doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.

Pantheism is the idea that God is in everything. That God does not sit within the world in judgement but is in all things at all times. God is intrinsic to the universe and immanent, something immanent is spread throughout something, it’s innate, intrinsic and inborn.

Although the word “pantheism” is originated with the 16th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza the concept has been around for ages in all religions. Socrates was a pantheist as was Aristotle, Christian thinkers such as Jakob Boehme and Giordano Bruno, Islamic thinkers such as the great philosopher Al-Ghazali, the poet Rumi and the Sufis and modern Western scientists such as physicists Neils Bohr, Albert Einstein and many many others.

The New England Transcendentalists such as Emerson, Thoreau and the poet Walt Whitman were pantheists as were author John Steinbeck and poet Robinson Jeffers. Even Mikhail Gorbachev former president of the Soviet Union was an outspoken pantheist. All of these people reject the idea that there is a benevolence in nature. The universe is entirely indifferent to our particular plight. Yet, this is not to say that there is no purpose to existence or to life. Life is the most “purposeful” thing in the universe. Some would say the ONLY purposeful thing in the universe. Other than living creatures what other thing in the universe acts with a directed intelligent purpose?

The astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an agnostic by declaration but one who seems to hold pantheistic beliefs has been quoted as saying “Every account of a higher power that I’ve seen described, of all religions that I’ve seen, include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence”. He also said “After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”

Many, including the Dalai Lama consider Buddhism as pantheistic. Many people, especially those in the west who were raised in the Abrahamic religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism, do not understand the difference between pantheism and atheism. They can only comprehend “God” as a personal God like Yahweh who is within the world. The idea that God is something else to them seems atheistic. However, the idea of a “God as everything” is more readily accepted in Islam because it is seen as blasphemous to limit Allah who is by definition without limits.

The universal symbols for pantheism are the spiral and the Nautilus shell. I wear a spiral pendant at all times. It is a great way to meet other pantheists. We are everywhere!

๑ Samsaran ๑

What is Pantheism?

by Samsaran

Baruch Spinoza

Pan·the·ism: A doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.

Pantheism is the idea that God is in everything. That God does not sit within the world in judgement but is in all things at all times. God is intrinsic to the universe and immanent, something immanent is spread throughout something, it’s innate, intrinsic and inborn.

Although the word “pantheism” is originated with the 16th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza the concept has been around for ages in all religions. Socrates was a pantheist as was Aristotle, Christian thinkers such as Jakob Boehme and Giordano Bruno, Islamic thinkers such as the great philosopher Al-Ghazali, the poet Rumi and the Sufis and modern Western scientists such as physicists Neils Bohr, Albert Einstein and many many others.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The New England Transcendentalists such as Emerson, Thoreau and the poet Walt Whitman were pantheists as were author John Steinbeck and poet Robinson Jeffers. Even Mikhail Gorbachev former president of the Soviet Union was an outspoken pantheist. All of these people reject the idea that there is a benevolence in nature. The universe is entirely indifferent to our particular plight. Yet, this is not to say that there is no purpose to existence or to life. Life is the most “purposeful” thing in the universe. Some would say the ONLY purposeful thing in the universe. Other than living creatures what other thing in the universe acts with a directed intelligent purpose?

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

The astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an agnostic by declaration but one who seems to hold pantheistic beliefs has been quoted as saying “Every account of a higher power that I’ve seen described, of all religions that I’ve seen, include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence”. He also said “After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”

His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

Many, including the Dalai Lama consider Buddhism as pantheistic. Many people, especially those in the west who were raised in the Abrahamic religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism, do not understand the difference between pantheism and atheism. They can only comprehend “God” as a personal God like Yahweh who is within the world. The idea that God is something else to them seems atheistic. However, the idea of a “God as everything” is more readily accepted in Islam because it is seen as blasphemous to limit Allah who is by definition without limits.

The universal symbols for pantheism are the spiral and the Nautilus shell. I wear a spiral pendant at all times. It is a great way to meet other pantheists. We are everywhere!

Read more about pantheism in our sangha library here.

Pantheism

Pantheism is the idea that God is in everything. That God does not sit within the world in judgement but is in all things at all times. God is intrinsic to the universe and immanent.  Although the word “pantheism” is originated with the 16th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza the concept has been around for ages in all religions.

Socrates was a pantheist as was Aristotle, Christian thinkers such as Jakob Boehme and Giordano Bruno, Islamic thinkers such as the great philosopher Al-Ghazali, the poet Rumi and the Sufis and modern Western scientists such as physicists Neils Bohr, Albert Einstein and many many others.The New England Transcendentalists such as Emerson, Thoreau and the poet Walt Whitman were pantheists as were author John Steinbeck and poet Robinson Jeffers. Even Mikhail Gorbachev former president of the Soviet Union was an outspoken pantheist. Most notably Buddhism and Taoism are pantheistic traditions.

The universal symbols for pantheism are the spiral and the Nautilus shell.

pan·the·ism: A doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.

Pantheism is the idea that God is in everything. That God does not sit within the world in judgement but is in all things at all times. God is intrinsic to the universe and immanent, something immanent is spread throughout something, it’s innate, intrinsic and inborn.

Although the word “pantheism” is originated with the 16th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza the concept has been around for ages in all religions. Socrates was a pantheist as was Aristotle, Christian thinkers such as Jakob Boehme and Giordano Bruno, Islamic thinkers such as the great philosopher Al-Ghazali, the poet Rumi and the Sufis and modern Western scientists such as physicists Neils Bohr, Albert Einstein and many many others.

The New England Transcendentalists such as Emerson, Thoreau and the poet Walt Whitman were pantheists as were author John Steinbeck and poet Robinson Jeffers. Even Mikhail Gorbachev former president of the Soviet Union was an outspoken pantheist. All of these people reject the idea that there is a benevolence in nature. The universe is entirely indifferent to our particular plight. Yet, this is not to say that there is no purpose to existence or to life. Life is the most “purposeful” thing in the universe. Some would say the ONLY purposeful thing in the universe. Other than living creatures what other thing in the universe acts with a directed intelligent purpose?

The astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an agnostic by declaration but one who seems to hold pantheistic beliefs has been quoted as saying “Every account of a higher power that I’ve seen described, of all religions that I’ve seen, include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence”. He also said “After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”

Many, including the Dalai Lama consider Buddhism as pantheistic. Many people, especially those in the west who were raised in the Abrahamic religions Christianity, Islam and Judaism, do not understand the difference between pantheism and atheism. They can only comprehend “God” as a personal God like Yahweh who is within the world. The idea that God is something else to them seems atheistic. However, the idea of a “God as everything” is more readily accepted in Islam because it is seen as blasphemous to limit Allah who is by definition without limits.

The universal symbols for pantheism are the spiral and the Nautilus shell. I wear a spiral pendant at all times. It is a great way to meet other pantheists. We are everywhere!

๑ Samsaran ๑