SGU Episode 225

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SGU Episode 225
November 11th 2009
Two Slit Experiment.jpg
SGU 224 SGU 226
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
“I believe that through its rational evaluation of truth and indifference to personal belief, science transcends religious and political divisions and so does bind us into a greater, more resilient whole.”
Brian Greene
Links
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


Introduction[edit]

You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, your escape to reality.

News Items ()[edit]

Psychic Finds Skeleton ()[edit]

Dystonia Flu Shot Follow Up ()[edit]

More LRO Images ()[edit]

Paying for Prayer ()[edit]

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question # 1 - Wave Particle Duality ()[edit]

Great show guys, LOVE IT! I have finally caught up after 6 months and am now very disapointed to have to wait for it once a week. I have been studying quantum physics for a bit now and was hoping that Bob could give his explanation of The Uncertainty Principle and Wave/Particle duality. My understanding so far is: The amplitude of a wave defines a particle's position. The wavelength defines its momentum. We can not know both of the things at the same time. Only one or the other. This is NOT an artifact of the inaccuracies of our tools for measuring, but a fundamental property of subatomic particles. My first question is... Is the drawing of a wave (on paper) just a 2D representation of a more abstract idea of what a wave really is? or can we literaly imagine a particle flying through space oscillating up and down along it's amplitude.(quantum oscillation?) My second qeustion is how this relates to Photon slit experiments... Does the photon display the properties of a wave as it is flying towards the slit, and then display the properties of a particle when it hits the wall? IS this why we cannot predict where the photon will land? Because it is displaying the characteristics of a wave and therefore exist anywhere within the oscillating amplitude, even if all places at one? Am I trying to visualize something that cannot be visualized? (YES) If you please, I would like to hear Bob and the SGU's understanding of Wave/Particle duality, The Uncertainty Principle, and Photon slit experiments. Thanks! Dan Kress Rochester, NY

JREF Announcements ()[edit]

  • With Bart Farkus, who is heading the JREF's fundraising initiatives.

Special Report ()[edit]

  • Including interviews with Simon Singh, Jon Ronson, and Adam Savage

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item # 1: Scientists studying the frozen remain of penguins find that existing genetic dating techniques may underestimate species age by 200-600%. Item # 2: Biologists have discovered a deep-sea crab that lives entirely on wood and leaves. Item # 3: Swiss pathologists have begun performing robotic autopsies using a fully-automated mini-robot inserted into cadavers.

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week - Madeleine Duncan Brown

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

“I believe that through its rational evaluation of truth and indifference to personal belief, science transcends religious and political divisions and so does bind us into a greater, more resilient whole.” —Brian Greene

S: The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by the New England Skeptical Society in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation and skepchick.org. For more information on this and other episodes, please visit our website at www.theskepticsguide.org. For questions, suggestions and other feedback, please use the 'contact us' form on the website, or send an email to 'info @ theSkepticsGuide.org'. If you enjoyed this episode, then please help us to spread the word by voting for us on Digg, or leaving us a review on iTunes. You can find links to these sites and others through our homepage. 'Theorem' is produced by Kineto, and is used with permission.

References[edit]


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