As the start of our new series on humans in physics, I would like to give a personal opinion on the lack of (gender) diversity in the natural sciences and its connection to the very human phenomenon of “unconscious bias”. I wrote this article for celebrating “Diversity Day” in the quantum science research cluster in Munich.Continue reading “Gender and unconscious bias in quantum science”
This is the second installment of our “What is…?” series.
During these months of quarantine, a lot of us have probably thought once or twice that we have been putting on some quarantine-weight. And while that is true (or not, for you, athletic reader) what is actually happening, is that you body is acquiring mass. A somewhat trivial difference, you may say, as weight is just the force inflicted by gravity on to some body. And it strikes me as a funny thing that in our everyday physics, everything comes intuitively to us, force, speed, acceleration, rotation stuff. Everything -but mass. It feels intuitive, but the more you think about it, the more you will end up asking yourself… What is mass?
Things are about to get messy.
Give me a moment of your day, and let me put a picture in your mind. Imagine you and a friend each have a soup in a plate, and each soup has two carrot pieces, one potato and not so much broth in it. You are bored, it is a slow afternoon, so you decide to perform a little experiment.
How quantum technologies enable uncrackably secure communication.
In our modern computer world, being able to encrypt messages is not only necessary to keep some information secret from others, but is a key part of technologies such as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Furthermore, the scandals around widespread eavesdropping of intelligence agencies has shown the world that in fact none of the routines used today are really secure. But what if I told you that in ten years all communication will be secure because it is physically impossible to eavesdrop on communication encrypted by quantum cryptography?
I remember the first time I saw a magnifying glass. I was absolutely fascinated by such an object. It allowed me to see so much more than I could normally (even then, when I could actually see something without glasses or contacts). It was the most amazing thing I had seen until then. Well, what was an amazing discovery for me, had been around for ages in human history. Lenses and objects which resemble magnifying glasses date back four thousand years! But of course, our curiosity is boundless, we humans always need more. I quickly found myself wanting to see even deeper into this weird, amplified creatures. Fortunately, humans didn’t wait a lot to yearn for better resolutions.
How information can be teleported through the two most counter-intuitive properties of quantum mechanics.
We all know the quantum world is weird, but in no place does it become as weird as in the protocol allowing almost instant transportation of information from one place to the other termed “quantum teleportation”. That may sound like its impossible – but what if I tell you that this can even be done without the recipient of the information knowing? And that this technology is about to make communication absolutely eavesdrop-safe?
This post was written during the 27th installment of the Quark Matter conference held in Venice in May, 2018.
Today, in Venice, the sun does not shine, it roars. Yesterday, the city was completely soaked as a storm paraded through it, giving thunderous signals of its arrival. But today golden hues flood the air, contrasting with the shadows of the trees near the Palazzo del Casinó. The wind blows calmly and the smell of sea salt fills the air. Outside, the sea hums, the boats sail, and the tourists roam the streets of the islands in search of a taste of the past. I am sitting outside of the venue of the conference, drinking a coffee, admiring the day, and admiring the excruciatingly white buildings in front of me.
This post is a continuation of our last post on chaos. We therefore recommend you to read that one first, but it’s by no means necessary.
Time only moves forward – this is what we experience in our everyday lives. Often, people connect this to the fact that there are clearly processes in nature which cannot be undone: when you boil an egg you can not make the egg-white transparent again, your coffee is very unlikely to go back into the coffee powder, which will never become a full bean again itself.
It is an amazing, yet often overlooked, feeling to go out of your house, fully clad in summer clothes, look up to a blue sky and a bright sun and knowing it will be like that all day. That a storm will not suddenly pop up and ruin your grilling and make you walk soaked to your house, right?
Well, we owe that nice feeling to the countless meteorologists that devote their lives to studying the weather and also try to apply that science to everyone’s everyday life. This is a fundamental property of any scientific theory: prediction. Or in weather-like slang, forecast.
But how is this forecast done, and how is it related to many body physics?