Stories tagged quantum physics

Here's University of Minnesota physics professor, author ("The Science of Superheroes"), and movie consultant James Kakalios discussing how quantum mechanics can explain Dr. Manhattan's super human powers in the film "Watchmen."

And an extended interview, too:

Regular Buzzketeers might remember Kakalios. He was one of our first Scientists on the Spot.


Every mad scientist movie of the 1950s featured, well, a mad scientist trying to destroy the world. Now it seems like normal, everyday scientists are on the verge of destroying the universe! Or so says a new theory by Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He says that the Universe started out unstable, and has slowly been stabilizing as it matures. Unfortunately, scientists have rest the clock, pushing the Universe back to its unstable beginnings, simply by looking at it!

This has to do with a well-known but little-understood property of some sub-atomic particles. According to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (I think), these particles will actually change their behavior when they are observed. By observing the Universe scientists have changed the Universe, in ways that Krauss fears may be a bit on the catastrophic side.

Other scientists express skepticism, and point to the fact that mankind has been observing the Universe for tens of thousands of years, and has been observing sub-atomic particles for decades, and the Universe has resolutely refused to explode. I, however, agree with Krauss – this is far too elegant a theory to permit mere facts to sway us too much.