Relativity on Radio 4 ..

The non amateur stuff. Hawking, black holes, that sort of thing

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brian livesey
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Relativity on Radio 4 ..

Post by brian livesey »

This evening at 9:30 ( an abridgement of this morning's broadcast ), chaired by Melvyn Bragg, with guests including Martin Rees and Roger Penrose.
Esoteric in parts, but well worth listening to.
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joe
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Re: Relativity on Radio 4 ..

Post by joe »

I listened to this this morning and, even though I know a little about the effects of Relativity, found the explanations largely incomprehensible. It was ok when discussing the life of Albert Einstein.
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brian livesey
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Re: Relativity on Radio 4 ..

Post by brian livesey »

I always have problems with relativity and quantum mechanics Joe. Partly because I don't have the attention span to take it in ( being mostly limited to an appreciation of picturesque similes and metaphors of the subjects ), but mainly because the mathematics involved is quite beyond me, as I suspect it is for most of us :roll: .
For many, it's the practical applications of relativity theory and quantum mechanics that matter most: optics, electronics, etc.
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Cliff
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Re: Relativity on Radio 4 ..

Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian and Joe
For a long time I hoped to get a basic grasp of both Relativity and then later Quantum Mechanics (QED) or whatever anybody wants to call the mysterious subject. Needless to say I failed. Arguably my limited maths probably being a big factor. Not helped because although I like using that abridged name for the subject, others sometimes seem to call it simply "math". Which I sometimes think might be similar to me saying a racing car goes very fast, but people like racing car drivers who know best tend to say the car is quick !
However, I like to think I have my own simplistic grasp of Relativity to a point I can accept it and from what I gather it passes the rigours of experimental tests.
Quantum issues on the other hand seem not just in different leagues but two different ball games.
I look on the problems of trying to find a Unified Theory a bit like trying to unify playing football and cricket.
Having said that I recently attended a talk about Particle Physics. I think it was one of the best lectures I ever heard. Of course quite a lot was said about CERN (or is it CERNE ?). The lecturer put things over in a very (nearly) graspable way - although even just after he finished I would have failed any exam about it.
For perhaps the first time I felt - there might be some sense in this Quantum Nonsense after all - but even so the lecturer seemed to say at the end of the day particle physicists might just continue finding yet more and more "particles" ad infinitum.
When I first heard about particle physics as a young man I probably wasn't the first to think 2they'll just keep finding more and more particles.
But little did I think they'd find ANTIparticles as well.
Still it all seems to fit with my own crude idea that the universe is infinite in every respect. It seems not only does anything that can happen will happen but it all happens an infinite number of times.
Best wishes Cliff - (Nobel Prize still pending!).
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Re: Relativity on Radio 4 ..

Post by brian livesey »

As far as I understand it Cliff, QM is more about "waves" and "probability" than particles. I have a son-in-law with a Doctorate in QM. His current job is to apply probability mathematics to Centrica's profit prospects, which I personally regard as a waste of a great talent, but people follow the money.
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