Milestones, Notes on everyday life, Physics

Serious answers

Simon told me this morning that he has found the answer to a question that bothered him so much lately -why photons (and gluons) violate E = mc². “It’s because photons are not real particles, they are virtual! That means that you cannot directly detect them. You need a photon to bounce off of an object to detect it. And gluons you cannot detect at all!”

Photons also don’t satisfy Eistein’s more complicated and less well-known equation about energy momentum relation: E² = (c²) + p²c², he added enthusiastically.

Electricity, Experiments, Good Reads, Group, Milestones, Murderous Maths, Notes on everyday life, Physics, Together with sis, Trips

The Maisie Day

For Simon and me, this book (“Infinite Lives of Maisie Day” by Christopher Edge) has probably been one of our most profound experiences of the year. We read it together, sometimes, giggling with joy as we recognized Simon’s favorite topics interwoven in the plot (like that the main character also dreams of proving the Riemann hypothesis), and sometimes tears choking our throats as we went through the sad and scary bits of the story. And what a trip down the memory lane last night, at the Royal Institution in London, where we attended a lecture about the science behind “Infinite Lives of Maisie Day”! As Simon proudly told one of the lecturers (University College London’s cosmologist Dr Andrew Pontzen) after the show, he even predicted something important in the book. Simon recognized that Maisie turned into a mirror image of herself after she had traveled around the Mobius-shaped universe, just as depicted in Escher’s “the impossible staircase” painting . “But that’s only possible if you’re flat, a 2D object! So it’s not correct in the book, but they probably put that in to make it simpler,” Simon laughed. “You’re absolutely right! Keep doing science!” the cosmologist told him. @Ri_Science