Future Train Wreck: Mine or Modern Physics talk Next Thursday, Jan. 26

If you are in Cambridge, MA on Thursday, Jan. 26, you can see me live at MIT in room 3-270 from...

Holiday Physics Card, 2016

Just put them in the mail on December 24...It was a fun year of thinking, whether the idea is right...

Unified Mathematical Field Theory Talk

I gave a 15 minute talk at a local Americal Physical Society Meeting.  Here is the title and...

Holiday Card 2015

Here is my holiday card for 2015, a tradition of mine going back to 1990.  Enjoy.On the back...

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Doug SweetserRSS Feed of this column.

Trying to be a semi-pro amateur physicist (yes I accept special relativity is right!). I _had_ my own effort to unify gravity with other forces in Nature. It ran into quite a number of technically... Read More »

The Maxwell source equations will be derived using quaternions - an approach James Clerk Maxwell himself tried and yet failed to do. As far as I am aware, this technique is not in the literature, up to an isomorphism (meaning actually it is there but under a different name, math in disguise). By using quaternions, the approach can be extended to generate field equations for particles with the weak and strong force symmetries, SU(2) and SU(3). The extension is a technical speculation, which I define as precise math whose applicability to Nature I have not a clue :-)

Warning: doing a classic field theory calculation in detail requires far more math than is customary on this site. The blog is my longest so far...
The Maxwell equations govern light, electricity and magnetism as a trinity. The Big Goal for the next five weeks is to understand my variations on those equations. I want readers to see both the forest and the trees, the planet and the subatomic particles, the math behind the curtain.

Many may fear they don't have the math chops to follow this five week march. The names of the players and their jobs will be explained. There is repetition in this process which may make the steps start to sound familiar. After three weeks, the diligent reader will be rewarded with a deeper understanding of the mathematical intricacies of light, unknowable to poets or priests. My variations are nothing more than that, variations.
Asking a specific question which has a specific answer is the sign of fertile soil instead of another shovel full of fertilizer. One question leads to variations on that query. Even dull looking questions can be informative. Snarky puzzle answers usually has four problems, but the fifth installment has a bonus fifth problem.

Aug. 1,2011: Shot in the Head

Snarky Puzzle
To celebrate a half year of effort, this is a blog on weekly blogging. Three tangibles are created by the process: the Science20 blog, a YouTube videoblog, and a chapter in a book of blogs (still under development). I will go through my technical suite used in production. The 20-25 hours per week will be broken down. Some data on the level of interest will be shown. Finally, the rewards of this work will be reviewed.
I don't like Steven Weinberg.

Good, I have said it. I will provide a brief biographical sketch and a short list of his lengthy accomplishments. I read one of his science outreach books, "Dreams of a Final Theory: The Search for the Fundamental Law of Nature".  I will pluck out three issues from the book to show why our scientific beliefs are divergent.
Quantum interference is really, really, really well-supported by data, data, data. Visualizing quantum interference is a blank slate. This may be a root source of frustration with any world view based on quantum mechanics. More of our brains are devoted to visualization than any other process. Given a diet of equations and stories, the visual section of our brains in the back of the skull must sit idle. "Idleness is the devil's workshop."