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BBC2 tonight 9.00


Alan_B
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If I followed it correctly, what he was trying to get over was that if you rub a £1,000,000 diamond in your hands to make it warm, a star implodes in a galaxy far far away to form the universe's biggest diamond worth 10 to the power of 27 million quid :)

Or something like that :icon_salut:

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I guess it's yer "Feynman Path integrals", innit? The double slit experiment used to feature in the first chapter of most "Modern Physics" books - And left many, none the wiser? LOL. I almost got an inkling from:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Grand-Design-Stephen-Hawking/dp/0553819224/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324294471&sr=8-1

Maybe Cox and Forshaw do better in their latest (coincidental Xmas) book? :)

The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen: Amazon.co.uk: Brian Cox, Jeff Forshaw: Books

Although genuinely TIRED of the TV-persona and "New Age bashing" silliness, I'm intrigued by any possibility of a NEW approach to explaining such things... Anyone actually READ the latter? Is it any good? :icon_salut:

Edited by Macavity
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If I followed it correctly, what he was trying to get over was that if you rub a £1,000,000 diamond in your hands to make it warm, a star implodes in a galaxy far far away to form the universe's biggest diamond worth 10 to the power of 27 million quid :)

Or something like that :icon_salut:

Or a star in a galaxy far, far away forms and one of the socks in your drawer goes missing. :)

I always said there was a rational explanation!

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Chiltonstar, I agree, from what I've read, the Pauli Exclusion Principle seems to refer to single atoms, not every atom in the universe. I would be grateful for clarification too.

I agree with most of the comments, it was an interesting lecture and taught me a few things I didn't know (or had forgotten!) The editing however meant that the flow of his arguments got a bit lost at times

Stu

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Hi,

If the BBC can run this programme at a reasonable hour and get an audience, why not run The Sky at Night at 21:00 on the first Sunday of a month. Running it after 23:00 excludes most of the next generation of young people who have school the next day.

I enjoyed the programme, but didn't fully understand it. Maybe we should do a discussion at one of the SGL Star Parties.

Cheers

Adrian

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It's a shame Brian didn't have Dara O'Briain instead of Ross. I thought Ross was a waste of time on Stargazing Live, as he was on last nights show. At least Dara has a definite interest in astronomy and understands the principles. Ross only appeared as he was bought a scope he had no idea how to use....

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Not bad at all, been looking forward to this. It could have done with being longer I thought. He was having to skim over to pretty deep subjects and with more time it could have been made more interesting and could have covered a broader range of the subject.

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Or a star in a galaxy far, far away forms and one of the socks in your drawer goes missing. :icon_salut:

I always said there was a rational explanation!

Well that would explain this picture from our last wash. I found it amusing enough to photo it, the wife less so.

post-21042-133877707318_thumb.jpg

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Dare I suggest that, in Brian's continued zeal(?) to get a few "digs" in at the "New Age" (Why, frankly?) something was lost - Even on the BBC "celebrity" audience? You can "play" with quantum mechanics - It is an ODD thing (As underlined in the *ironic* asides by famous theorists!) but I never thought it was "Woo Woo" either - Merely something around the LIMITS of my own intellect and imagination? No need for defense... or confrontation? :icon_salut:

Ironically, I wonder, if the fans of "distant influence" will actually feed on this. Feynman (Wheeler) once teased that there is but ONE electron in the universe - But it gets about a lot! But I sense common experience suggests there are quite a few more... :)

To me, science is (potentially!) wonderfully simple. I was once prepared to (easily) TRUST greater minds than my own. These days, I am more circumspect. Science is "popular", but seems to carry a lot more "baggage" these days... :)

Edited by Macavity
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I understood that the Pauli Exclusion Principle referred to electrons in a single atom not having the same energy, rather than all electrons in the Universe which is what (I think) he was implying.
(caveat- I'm no expert!) It was taught to us (several decades ago !) that it was the electrons in the atom, as you say. But I think that was a convenient way of dealing with it.

However the electron probability density function (or do I mean wavefunction ?) extends to infinity and thus no other electron (also extending to infinity) can 'overlap' our electron. IYSWIM So strictly yes it is all electrons everywhere but the probability of our electron being found outside our atom (or molecule or crystal lattice) is vanishingly small.

I am still annoyed with him, even after sleeping on it :icon_salut: , for that shambles with J.Ross, wonder how much that cost ?

Edited by Ptarmigan
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...the accessibility via the internet - you should see some of the rubbish spouted at him in twitter.

Heheh - Certainly THAT is universal! I am currently having "another go" at Twitter... Quite why, I'm not sure. :icon_salut:

Edited by Macavity
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I didn't see the need to have the celebrity audience, nor for Jim Al-khalili (and no doubt many others) to be wasted as an audience members. Although apparently the people of the Twitterverse disagree with me on this.

A better idea would be have been to make it three shows, got a public audience in and try to re-popularise the RI Christmas Lectures again in primetime.

On another note, why aren't Brian Cox's usual public lectures like this? Or is it just someone on his TV production team that knows when to dress them up like Feynman's?

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Enjoyable, although I think he could have used a lot more hydrogen foam with James May....

I wondered about some of the facts; in the dim and distant days when I sat in a university lecture theatre listening to some other rather drier professors intoning away, I understood that the Pauli Exclusion Principle referred to electrons in a single atom not having the same energy, rather than all electrons in the Universe which is what (I think) he was implying. Can someone more up to date on their physics put me right here?

Chris

Yes, same here. His comments about the Pauli Exclusion Principle has raised similar questions across several forums. It is true within a single lump of metal, say, or crystal. But I'm sceptical whether it is true for every electron in the universe. But then it's a long time since I did quantum theory. It may be one of those things that is strictly true, but is predominantly dominated by local effects.

Edited by Ouroboros
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Maybe Cox and Forshaw do better in their latest (coincidental Xmas) book? :p

The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen: Amazon.co.uk: Brian Cox, Jeff Forshaw: Books

Anyone actually READ the latter? Is it any good? :(

An excellent read and not particularly dumbed down.

Some of it might be a bit daunting if you are "mathematically illiterate" (in which case just ignore the equations).

A decent attempt at presenting mind boggling concepts, theories and hypotheses.

And all for a tenner in hardback! :)

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It seems that a lot of people are approaching this with a certain amount of knowledge of quantum theory, I think the program wasn't really aimed at you, it was from what I could tell a more accessible show and did reasonably well in explaining concepts that are phenominally abstract to an audience that is not used to thinking that abstractly.

I quite like the TV persona, although I think it's been more thrust upon him, if you want people supporting science causes then you have to have someone that comes across well, otherwise it's just another eccentric scientist or a geek in a lab.

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Pretty much mimicing what most others have said. I enjoyed the show and feel I came away understanding more than I did before I watched it so in that sense its an achievement. But even as the prof was drawing the electron pairing diagram I wanted to know why the arrows were the opposite up. Can anyone some this up easily or is it complicated?

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The arrows represent quantum states, spin up/spin down.

Spin down has a little more energy than spin up (I think), so at each level you fill the shells with spin up (up pointing arrows first) and then when you have all the up arrows in place, you start filling with downs. If you have electrons left, move onto the next shell.

So for oxygen, you have 8 electron, and start with the inner shell (1s - 2 positions)

Put in a ^ then a v - so 6 left.

Onto 2s (2 positions again) ^ and v - 4 left

2 p shell (6 positions) ^ ^ ^ and then v for the first one.

Things get a little more complex when you get onto f and d shells - but lets skate over those.

Edited by JulianO
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I think the big theme he was trying to get across was, anything is possible, it's just a matter of probability. He nicely demonstrated the chances of the diamond 'tunnelling' (that's the word physicists - and electronic engineers - use) out of the box, and showed what a silly figure it is. Well and good.

But we wouldn't have any computers - nor indeed any electronics - if it weren't for the 'tunneling' that occurs all the time at the microscopic, quantum mechanical level. All semiconductors and ICs work on that principle.

So - on the cosmological scale: yes - I suppose, if you disturb an electron in an atom somewhere here on Earth, it might cause an electron in an atom somewhere in a distant galaxy, also to change state. But it's all down to probabilities. The chances of that remote electron occupying the same eigenstate are ... well, I'd have worn my '0' key right down to the centre of the Earth before I finished typing all the noughts .... :)

Edited by 661-pete
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There was a point I didn't grasp. He said that no two electrons in the entire universe had the same energy levels. I don't fully understand this.

He then went on to earm the diamond in his hands and stated thet every electron in the universe must therefore change it's energy levels. Why?

*scratching my head ove this one.

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