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Sascha VongehrRSS Feed of this column.

Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙], physicist and philosopher, studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory) at Sussex University... Read More »

Why is there something rather than nothing?” studies have become a field provided with copious Templeton funding. Yale recently had the 2011 WITA (Why is there Anything?) conference (see their blog), which was funded by the Templeton and Yale Divinity School. Rutgers sports the Rutgers Templeton Project in Philosophy of Cosmology, and they now have a blog where they ask a list of questions ending in a grand finale with lucky number 13 being the ‘WITA question ’ in its better known version:


Quantum physics is close to the ultimate foundation of everything, but not because it is about little things. Quantum physics is not about little things; a radio-wave photon can be hundreds of meters long (in terms of wave length as well as coherence length). Physics is fundamentally the question of what is possible at all. With quantum mechanics, physics arrived at a point where we either face up to uncomfortable facts or refuse to follow science any further. Quantum physics is not important to consciousness because of some quantum magic in the brain that switches the light on, but because physics is fundamentally about all that is possibly possible for consciousness to be conscious about – a consistent description of all phenomena, telling us what is possible.

It may be of interest for those outside of science and academia to get a closer look at what diverse scientists’ work environments are like.  Some may be surprised about the drab conditions.  Only few places look like the mad scientists’ secret laboratory in movies, although my previous lab was just like that (see below).

Here is my present work place at the National Laboratory for Solid State Microstructures, University of Nanjing, China.  Most of the day, I am in front of a computer in My Office, which I sometimes convert into a standing desk deal; see Dumpster Diving For Longevity:

Do you accept science as far as has been experimentally verified? Are you a modern agnostic knowledgeable about the difference between pseudo-science and the proper stuff? Yes? Good, I was looking for you. Allow me to ask you a question. Well, let me first prepare the background a little, but trust me, I will only ask you one question, namely “Do you honestly believe that?

Often when reading about cutting edge physics and the amazing feats of the Large Hadron Collider, we are treated to crazy scenarios involving “virtual particles”, also variously referred to as “ghost particles” or worse. These labels clearly distinguish the involved concepts from "real particles" like atoms. Not being bound by restrictions of reality, virtual particles “borrow” energy from nothing, go faster than light, travel back in time, do an infinite amount of loops creating an infinity of other virtual particles during every single infinitesimal moment.

I am pleased to present once again an interesting TED talk. O.K., the talk is a little on the slow side, but Jack Horner’s Shape Shifting Dinosaurs is worth watching, for it shows yet again something that cannot be repeated often enough: Scientists have a big huge ego and are therefore some of the easiest fooled people around.