quantum uncertainty

At the quantum level our universe can be seen as an indeterminate place, predictable in a statistical way only when you employ large enough numbers. Between that universe and a relatively predictable one where the passage of a single planet can be timed to a picosecond, other forces come into play. For the in-between universe where we find our daily lives, that which you believe is a dominant force. Your beliefs order the unfolding of daily events. If enough of us believe, a new thing can be made to exist. Belief structure creates a filter through which chaos is sifted into order.
—  Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune
Normal Horoscope:

Aries: Nobody tells you that eating wild seeds will cause the plant to sprout in your stomach. The process is always lethal. Practice wild fruit safety.

Taurus: Analog recording devices are surprisingly sensitive. Listen to your old tapes again and hear the tiny voices that whisper along with the song.

Gemini: With hard work and determination people are capable of amazing things. Live your dream of eating an entire library.

Cancer: “Quantum Uncertainty” is not a legally valid excuse for murder unless you are a quark. You’re bothering the prosecutor.

Leo: Contemplation and introspection are not the same thing. People say words but hear feelings.

Virgo: An orgy is only as good as the weakest link.

Libra: Distracted driving is lethal but painless, you were thinking of other things.

Scorpio: Never let the days blend into one another. Nail the morning to the floor. Crucify the day.

Ophiuchus: We, as a species, have almost set the atmosphere on fire several times. Yet, we are still here.

Sagittarius: The comfort you need can be an insane confusing terrifying thing. Comfort isn’t all hugs and hot chocolate. 

Capricorn: Dream big, but always remember where the exits are in case of a fire.

Aquarius: Know that something, somewhere, terrifies the living shit out of your demons.

Pisces: The longest studied and greatest masters are nothing compared to a supreme feat of improvised bullshit

Modernity Reading List


John Calvin (16th c.) †
Institutes of the Christian Religion


Rene Descartes (17th c.)  †
Discourse on the Method
The Geometry (WoM 1.II.)

Gottfried Liebniz (17th - 18th c.)
Discourse on Metaphysics

Spinoza (17th c.)

Empiricism and Idealism:

Hobbes (17th c.)

Locke (17th c.)
Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Berkeley (17th - 18th c.) †
Treatsie concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge

Hume (18th c.)
Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

Kant (18th c.)
Critique of Pure Reason

Hegel (18th - 19th c.)
Phenomenology of the Spirit

Mill (19th c.)
A System of Logic

Modern Science:

Francis Bacon (16th -17th c.)
Novum Organon

Galilei (16th - 17th c.) †
Mathematics of Motion

Boyle (17th c.) †
The Sceptical Chymist
Excellence of Theology compared with Natural Philosophy
Some Considerations about the Reconcileableness of Reason and Religion, with a Discourse about the Possibility of the Resurrection
The Christian Virtuoso

Newton (17th - 18th c.)
Principia Mathematica
On the Binomial Theorem (WoM 1.III.)

D. Bernoulli (18th c.)
Kinetic Theory of Gases

Euler (18th c.) †
Seven Bridges of Konisberg (WoM 1.IIII.)
Letters to a German Princess

Late ‘Modern’ Science:

Laplace (18th - 19thc.)
Exposition du système du monde
Concerning Probability

Faraday (18th-19th c.) †
Chemical History of Candles

Lord Kelvin (William Thompson) (19th c.) †
Treatsie on Natural Philosophy & Elements of Natural Philosophy (co-author Tait)
The Wave Theory of Light

Maxwell (19th c.) †
Treatsie on Electricity & Magnetism

Boltzmann (19th c.)
Kinetic Theory of Gases

Mach (19th c.)
Analysis of Sensations

von Helmholtz, H. (19th c.)
On the Conservation of Force
On the Origin an Significance of Geometric Axioms (WoM 1.IV.)

De Morgan (19th c.)
On the Study and Difficulties of Mathematics
The Group Concept
The Constants of Nature (WoM 2.V)
The New Law of Gravitation and the Old (WoM 2.V)
The Theory of Groups


Periodic Law of the Chemical Elements (WoM 2.V)

Mendel †
Mathematics of Heredity (WoM 2.V)

Irrational Numbers (WoM 1.III.)
World of Mathematics
3.XI.: Mathematical Truth and the Structure of Mathematics
3.XII: The Mathematical Way of Thinking



Beyond Good and Evil
Thus Spoke Zarathustra 

The Myth of Sisyphus


Principia Mathematica
Why I am not a Christian
History of Philosophy
Mathematics and the Metaphysicians
On the Definition of Number (WoM 1.III.)

Mathematics as an Element in the History of Thought (WoM 1.II.)

Logico-Political Tractatus
Philosophical Investigations


How We Think




20th c. 'New’ Science:

Science and Hypothesis
Science and Method
Mathematical Creation


Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge

Physics and Beyond
The Physical Principles of Quantum Theory
The Uncertainty Principle (WoM 2.V)

Heredity and Quantum Theory (WoM 2.V)
Causality and Wave Mechanics (WoM 2.V)

A Mathematician’s Apology

Von Neumann
The Mathematician

Projective Geometry (WoM 1.IV.)

The World of Parmenides

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

How to Solve It


20th c. (category?):

Philosophy, God, and Motion

The Meaning of Conservatism
Sexual Desire
How to Be A Conservative

After Virtue

The Decline of the West

A Study of History

Clash of Civilizations

The Crisis of Western Philosophy: Against the Positivists

This list still needs work. Some authors don’t have works added to them yet. 20th c. section is scrambled.
Also WoM stands for World of Mathematics, a 4 volume set released in the 20th century.
No apologies for the science-heaviness of the list.

Equation #11: Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

Anyone who is not shocked by Quantum Mechanics has not quite understood it”-Niels Bohr

I agree Mr. Bohr, QM does blow your mind. The uncertainty principle is one of those things that prove that our perception of the world is limited. Anything in the universe can be both wave and particle at the same time and that puts a limit to how accurate our measurements can be.
What that means in our context is that, if you try to measure the velocity(or momentum) of a particle as well as its position at the same instant, you cannot have exact values of both. If you measure position accurately, the value of velocity will have some uncertainty associated with it and vice a versa. 

The reason we don’t observe this phenomenon in everyday life is is that the uncertainty values are very, very tiny. A person moving with a velocity of say, 5 km/hr (+or - 0.05 km/hr) and weighing 60 kg will have the uncertainty in position = 1.8 * 10^-35 meters! That’s smaller than the radius of an atomic nucleus. However, when you go into the realm of lightweight, superfast entities(like subatomic particles), the uncertainties get larger and can have a significant effect on the macroscopic properties of an object. 

The uncertainty principle applies to a number of pair of observables other than momentum and position. Most common example is that of energy-time which explains the working of Strong force, according to some theories.

It is important to understand that this fundamental limit is not due to experimental errors, rather a phenomenon of nature itself.

You cannot predict, even theoretically, the exact values of two so called “incompatible” quantities simultaneously.

For uncertainty principle in action, see

For more clarification, see


The nature of the future is completely different from the nature of the past. When quantum effects are significant, the future shows all the signs of quantum weirdness, including duality, uncertainty, and entanglement. With the passage of time, after the time-irreversible process of state-vector reduction has taken place, the past emerges, with the previous quantum uncertainty replaced by the classical certainty of definite particle identities and states. The present time is where this transition largely takes place, but the process does not take place uniformly: evidence from delayed choice and related experiments shows that isolated patches of quantum indeterminacy remain, and that their transition from probability to certainty only takes place later. Thus, when quantum effects are significant, the picture of a classical Evolving Block Universe (‘EBU’) cedes place to one of a Crystallizing Block Universe (‘CBU’), which reflects this quantum transition from indeterminacy to certainty, while nevertheless resembling the EBU on large enough scales.
—  George F. R. Ellis & Tony Rothman, Time and Spacetime: The Crystallizing Block Universe
Rundown of Bill’s AMA


Things to take away from the AMA:

  • Stanley is indeed named Stanley
  • Dipper has an embarrassing first name
  • Bill seems to have a serious grudge with the CIA
  • He doesn’t procreate but he considers the 7 deadly sins his “children”
  • He’s over 1000 years old
  • He once had a family
  • There are two Stans (Stanley and Stanford)
  • When asked if he was once a human being, he referenced his time in Dipper’s body.
  • “Stanley made enough mistakes without my help!”
  • Gompers may have once been “not a goat”, considering Bill likes him “better this way”
  • the guy on the other side of the mailbox in the woods is a “real blabbermouth”
  • Stan’s tattoo means “watch your step” at least for Bill. This may clue in to what people already guessed; it’s a ward to keep out Bill Cipher.
  • When asked about Dipper needing to be cleansed to be rid of Bill for good and wondering if Bill still has a connection to Dipper, Bill replied with saying that religion isn’t real and to have “pleasant dreams”.
  • Bill knows Slenderman, stating that he used to not be so slender.
  • The tapestry of Bill has been around a while, made by the natives of Gravity Falls.
  • Bill makes a “weird” pass at Wendy’s mom by quoting a Fountains of Wayne.
  • Going by the above, it can be assumed that Bill Cipher is, indeed, the invisible wizard.
  • Bill has a lot of nasty things to say about Time Baby. They aren’t on good terms.
  • “Tad Strange” is confirmed as a character by Bill, who calls him a “real square”.
  • Bill exists in a state of quantum uncertainty.
  • Bill can see all alternate realities of himself, making those AUs essentially canon.
  • Bill concedes to a loophole in his design, stating that he is in fact, not all powerful, but he dresses to try and achieve a “promotion”.
  • Chicks dig psychopaths, and his fan girls should make a throne for him in the Nevada desert. 
  • Bill hates puns.
  • AND MANY MORE IM SURE but these seemed like the “most important”.
Family Bonding - Part One

Summary: Ford wants Stan to help test his new teleporter by being his guinea pig–er, assistant. What could possibly go wrong?

Scribe and I both fell in love with @agent-jaselin​‘s adorable Stan-Mabel fusion, one thing led to another and we ended up writing a whole fic about it together. This is part one of two. You can also read it on Scribe’s Ao3 account here!

Warning: Too silly, far too silly and fluffy and cute. May cause the Fun Police to show up and arrest you for reading it.

“Just think of the scientific applications, Stanley!”

“Every time you say that, it takes five months off my life.”

Stan sat on the edge of the sofa, up in what used to be Soos’s break room, looking skeptically at the plans Ford had sketched out on the chalkboard. There were a number of equations he didn’t bother trying to puzzle out, a handful of notes and explanations, and a drawing of himself, smiling and stepping through what he assumed was supposed to represent a hole in space or time or spacetime or something like that. It wasn’t filling him with confidence.

“I dunno, something about this doesn’t feel right. Like, everything about it.” Stan said. “Why do we even need a teleporter on the Stan O’War?”

“For safety reasons, obviously!” Ford explained. “Just think of all the potential dangers out at sea. With this, if we ever find ourselves caught in a whirlpool or trapped in a storm we can’t sail our way out of, we don’t need to worry about going down with the ship. We can just step through a carefully marked doorway and end up here in the Mystery Shack, with no harm done at all!”

Keep reading


Ask Ethan: Could the Universe be a simulation?

“We take for granted, every day, that what we perceive as “real” is actually reflective of some type of objective reality. That the atoms and molecules composing our bodies actually exist; that the photons interacting with us possess energy and momentum; that the neutrinos passing through us are bona fide quantum particles. But perhaps the Universe, from the tiniest subatomic particles to the largest collections of galaxies, doesn’t exist as a physical entity, but merely as a simulation in some other, truer reality.”

If you possessed a computer with enough power, you could conceivably simulate the entire Universe. From the inception of the Big Bang, you could compute the positions and momenta of every particle and every interaction over time, across all 13.8 billion years. If your simulation was good enough, you could even account for quantum processes and uncertainty, and you’d wind up with planets, life, and even human brains at the end. But if this were representative of our reality, would there be any way to tell? Maybe computational short-cuts would show up as some sort of fundamental blurriness at small enough scale. And what would that tell us about our quest to understand the fundamental constants, particles and interactions that define our Universe? Would it all be futile? Perhaps there would still be something important to learn about our existence by asking the right fundamental questions through experiments.

This was a hot topic earlier this year, and thanks to Rudy Kellner and Samir Kumar, it’s the subject of this week’s Ask Ethan!


How Does Quantum Mechanics Allow The Sun To Shine?

“If it weren’t for the quantum nature of every particle in the Universe, and the fact that their positions are described by wavefunctions with an inherent quantum uncertainty to their position, this overlap that enables nuclear fusion to occur would never have happened. The overwhelming majority of today’s stars in the Universe would never have ignited, including our own. Rather than a world and a sky alight with the nuclear fires burning across the cosmos, our Universe would be desolate and frozen, with the vast majority of stars and solar systems unlit by anything other than a cold, rare, distant starlight.”

Inside the nuclear furnace of the Sun, protons and other atomic nuclei are compressed together into a tiny region of space, where the incredible temperatures and energies try to overcome the repulsive forces of their electric charges. At a maximum temperature of 15 million K, and with a long-tailed (Poisson) distribution of energies at the highest end, we can compute how many protons are energetic enough to overcome the Coulomb barrier. That number is exactly zero. When you consider that 95% of stars are less massive and reach lower core temperatures than our Sun, the problem appears to be even bigger. Yet we’re saved by quantum mechanics, where spread-out wavefunctions can overlap, and nuclear fusion as we know it can proceed.

At a fundamental level, it’s only the quantum nature of our Universe that enables the stars to shine at all.

There are also hints that smell is a quantum sense. Our noses appear to work by sensing the natural vibration frequencies of the bonds between atoms in molecules. Those frequencies determine whether a smell receptor is switched on and sends a signal to the brain. The best explanation for experimental observations involves an electron using a phenomenon known as quantum uncertainty to tunnel through a seemingly impenetrable barrier. Essentially, it borrows energy from the universe in order to leap across an empty space in the smell receptors and trigger the brain’s sense of smell. As long as it returns the energy quickly enough, the electron can use as much as it needs. This “quantum tunnelling” phenomenon is also at the heart of modern electronics.“

Then there’s the navigation trick birds use for migration. Studies of the European robin (and the robin had to wear a cute little eyepatch during this research) suggest that a particular configuration of a molecule in the robin’s retina – a configuration that can only be explained by the rules of quantum theory – allows the bird to sense Earth’s magnetic field and thus determine the direction in which it should fly.


Michael Brooks, Five discoveries taking science by surprise | Science | The Observer

What about precognition? That’s how I sense what’s coming and which way to fly.


The mass of quantum particles is fundamentally unknowable

“This is because there’s that same inherent tension-and-uncertainty between energy and time as there is between position and momentum! So if you have a very small uncertainty in the timescale of a particular system, there must inherently be a very large energy uncertainty.

Think about this in terms of a particle’s lifetime, now. If a particle stably (or quasi-stably) exists for a very long period of time, its energy uncertainty can be very small. But what of an inherently short-lived, very unstable particle? Its energy uncertainty must be huge to compensate; Heisenberg demands it.

And now for the kicker: if there’s a large uncertainty in a particle’s inherent energy, and we know that there’s an energy-mass equivalence via E = mc^2, then the shorter a particle’s lifetime is, the less well-known its mass can be, even in principle!”

Just when you thought quantum mechanics couldn’t get any weirder: turns out that the mass of any individual particle is fundamentally UNKNOWABLE. Thanks a lot, Universe.

My partner was just interrogated by her mother over whether or not I’ve had “the surgery.”

Her reply was “it’s none of your business.”

Which is good and all…

But the correct response is “her genitals exist in a state of quantum uncertainty and only take form when they are allowed to be observed. She calls them ‘Schrodinger’s Gonads.’”