Of Particular Significance

Busy Day: Book, Website and Podcasts

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 03/05/2024

A lot is happening on this end. 

Carroll is a professor of theoretical physics and philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, while Whiteson is a professor of experimental particle physics — a member of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider — at the University of California, Irvine. Both are well-known authors and great communicators; check them out!

Stay tuned for far more book-related material; there will be a whole wing of this website devoted to answering readers’ questions and providing additional information for those who want to know more!

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  1. A very interesting conversation which I’ve listened to a few times to make sure I haven’t missed the many nuggets of information mentioned. I’ll quote parts of the conversation that stood out for me:

    “makes you wonder if space is real”

    “it is possible that the electromagnetic field may be telling us some property of space-time that is not obvious”

    “why would a stationary dot have energy?”

    “I think… the way to understand gravity… and how it works… is to make really sure your understanding of electromagnetism and the photon is complete. Because the analogies are almost exact”

    “electric forces are associated with the electric field is still just as true before people invented QM. Trying to express it as photons moving back and forth is kinda a math trick and not fundamental from my perspective to the **actual physics** ”

    Right at the end Sean said: “Whether gravity is a force or not… I would say three incompatible languages are all correct, they all describe the same underlying phenomena in slightly different linguistic choices”.
    I don’t think they’re all correct where Einstein’s model contains more correct, physical information than Newton’s model. However, I do believe they’re useful to serve the agenda of the person using them in some social situation. I chuckle to myself as I let go of my pencil, knowing that the desk accelerates to meet the stationary, inertial pencil rather than accelerating via Newton’s gravity to meet the apparently inertial stationary desk, according to Newton.

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