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Thursday, 20 December 2012


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"Does quantum physics make it easier to believe in God?" Not for me, it doesn't. It makes it easier to understand spectroscopy and radiative heat transfer though: yeah, it is essential to the understanding of same. Wot you need to read, Duffers, is The Strange Story of the Quantum by Banesh Hoffmann. It meant that when I left school I was particularly well prepared for that bit of freshman physics. Which was just as well since there were great tracts of physics of which I knew precious little.

(The great secret of freshman physics that I discovered was that it didn't matter too much if your school physics teaching had been dud, what mattered was that your school maths teaching had been good. And mine had been excellent, thank goodness.)

DM, it wasn't that my physics teaching was dud - but that *I* was! I think I have mentioned before that it was 'The Dancing Wu Li Masters' by Gary Zukav which started me off on quantum mechanics - I mean, who could resist a title like that? Since then I have bought various books on the subject, some more understandable than others, but I finally realised that I could never fully grasp the subject because I simply did not 'speak' the language - maths!

However, I did grasp enough to understand that there are some deep mysteries 'out there' and I entirely agree with Prof. Barr that a materialist view of existence is (for the moment) out of court.

Quantum? Oh please! Now if you really want to be confused try some String Theory:

Some nice 'simple' descriptions for you (and not a jot of 'sums' in sight, although the mental gymnastics needed to consider 9, 11 or 26 dimensions some of which are compressed can become tiring - I find a glass or two of a single malt seems to help).

Look forward to your opinion ;-p

I don't think you have to bother with quantum theory for these arguments. Nobody could ever prove that the universe is entirely composed of physical phenomena, so in that sense we don't have to disprove it.

It is just a metaphysical standpoint - a rather restrictive one.

Able, when I first became intrigued (more accurate word than 'interested') in quantum mechanics I found that if I sat quietly and concentrated I just about grasped it - but then along came string theory and what passes for my brain shrivelled! However, as I am planning a calm Christmas I may well give you link a look.

Quite so, AK, and that is what provides neutrals like me with such pleasure - of the sort to be had from holding someone's coat whilst they have a fist fight!

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