Wednesday, January 31, 2007

1/30/07 Photon Slit Experiment

I think my favorite physics experiment is the photon slit experiment. Actually, the variations of the experiment are what get me. If I were to rank my top ten physics experiments, I'd have to say (just kidding... I'm going dork tonight. But we're not going there. Yet). To tell you the truth, I've been waiting almost 2 years to sit down and talk to someone about the photon slit experiments. But the opportunity has never come up. I mean, half of all conversations lately have been, "How about 'dem Bears?" And unless you know me really, really well, I'm not going to respond, "Rex Grossman in the Superbowl is as crazy as putting a photon detector and eraser in the same experimental setup so that the photon seems to know that the knowledge of its measured position would be erased and continue its wavelike properties, ceasing to be a particle." Anyways, I've yet to figure out how to accurately explain the experiment without graphics. (And I've yet to figure out how to draw diagrams on my computer screen). So until then, I'll suggest a few things. 1) Further research 2) Knowledge that this experiment alone has me absolutely perplexed as to the foundation of everything I've ever learned and, more than anything before it, made me realize that my/our feeble minds understand so little about anything, that well, I haven't the slightest clue what's "possible" or "impossible" anymore. 3) Read "The Fabric of the Cosmos". This book introduced me to the this experiment as well as many other creepy secrets of the universe. And 4) If you want to talk about it, I've been waiting 2 years. So fire away.

Oh, and here's something for you. According to Einstein, the closer you travel towards the speed of light, the slower time passes. To the point where, if you could travel as fast as light, you wouldn't age. (But you'd also weigh infinity pounds, which is a good reason why it won't happen). Photons (individual particles of light) travel how fast? The speed of light. Which makes them how old? Those reflections of light that you see off of the ocean, lake, puddle (whatever) haven't aged a second since the beginning of time. (Why do I get the feeling I'm the only person that finds this remotely awesome?)


Ok, here are a few more things that maybe more of you will find more awesome:

Nintendo Acapella. (Thanks, Gary)

Ladies and gentleman... the vice president of the United States. (Waaah!)

And finally, the Sports Guy has branched out. He took photos at Superbowl Media Day. And commented on them. (Real good move on his part to try something new). My favorite is Kyle Orton and Brian Griese sitting together.

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