want-to-be-a-physicist-develop-an-affinity-for-the-weird-george-musser

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Interactive video lesson plan for: Want to Be a Physicist? Develop an Affinity for the Weird | George Musser

Activity overview:

George Musser explains the central role of weirdness in physics, and shatters the dreams of those who hope humans can one day tap into psychic powers. Musser's book is "Spooky Action at a Distance: The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Time--and What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of Everything" (http://goo.gl/iUwrnU).

Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/george-musser-on-the-strangeness-of-physics-and-telepathy

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Transcript - The whole progress in physics is to start with our everyday experience and to analyze it and to look at it and to look for deviations from it. So the very nature of really all the natural sciences but certainly of physics is to really get away from our experience. So the things physics comes up with are just kind of are weird. They are going to be because that’s just how the world operates. That’s how physics makes sense of the world. Subatomic particles we can’t see them directly at least but we know they’re there. We actually do thought experiments about the things we do see and deduce their existence. So already even with just that limited example we have gone intra beyond our direct experience. And a hundred years ago or so people doubted the existence of atoms, let alone of subatomic particles. Nonlocality, spooky action at the distance is very much in that mold. It’s taken this yet further away from our experience. And therefore we expect it to be weird. It should be weird. That’s why physics is fun. If they were just reproducing the things we already knew I mean who really would care. It’s kind of fun because it’s taking us beyond our experience. It’s transcending our daily experience into this new realm that is weird.

And as other scientists have said you expect it. In fact if the theory isn’t weird you kind of doubt it because you might worry that your own biases are intruding into the theory and causing you to think the world is a certain way when you’re not listening to the way the world actually is. So weirdness is in a sense a test of theory. Now that said you can’t just sit here and kind of just daydream over a beer and come up with more and more weird things. They have to somehow connect back to what we do observe and that’s really the challenge of this whole field is well with subatomic particles how do they connect with what we do see. So they’re not just weirdness for weirdness sake. It’s weirdness in a way that actually relates ultimately back to what we see. And so it has to be with spooky action at a distance with nonlocality that ultimately we get locality back, the quality of space that governs our lives has to emerge. It has to come out of the nonlocality that seems to reside at the very fabric of the deepest levels of the universe.

Tagged under: George Musser,Physics,spooky action,subatomic particles,natural sciences,psychic,psychic powers,atoms,nonlocality,weird,fun,transcending,fact,theory,daydream,test,space,universe,instinct,particles,Hogwarts,London,baseball,existence,spatial,volume,shape,Big Think,BigThink,BigThink.,Education,Educational,Lifelong Learning,EDU

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