User talk:Mike of Wikiworld

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Welcome[edit]

Welcome!

Hello, Mike of Wikiworld, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this page and then place {{helpme}} before the question. Again, welcome! Cptmurdok (talk) 21:34, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Biflagellate[edit]

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The article Biflagellate has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

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While all contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

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Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing {{dated prod}} will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. The speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 19:03, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Was this your question?[edit]

Hi,

I just noticed that some rather authoritarian individual has deleted the following question, which I think you wrote:

I have just watched Leonard Susskinds lectures on modern physics and I think I understand the basis of the uncertainty principle, although Im only 15, so im probably not fully grasping the idea, here is my understanding of the uncertainty theory

you can only store info on the length of landa as it directly relates to planks constant and you can't store multiple sets of info on one plank constant, and that when you increase the amount of landa in a wavepacket you inadvertantly increase its energy due to E=hf. So if you reduce the uncertainty in its area, you have to hit it with a very strong wave packet, and since you measure directional momentum by detecting an objects position multiple times over a period of time, if you hit it once it bounces of in a random direction and your next detection will be random, by a factor of the momentum of the wavepacket.

I was confused as to when he mentioned random, because why couldn't you just measure the momentum and direction (by analysing the molecular structure of the photon producing atoms) of the photon you hit the particle with, and then calculate how much you had changed its course, and then detract the change in its course from its detected course, yielding its origional direction?

Is this because when you hit a particle its properties change from particle to wave randomly?

Im really confused, can someone who is somewhat older and possibly posses a PhD clear this up for me.

ThanksMike of Wikiworld (talk) 19:50, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

It may have been deleted because, technically, the discussion pages are supposed to be used to discuss how to make the article better. I never pay much attention to that rule myself.

Heisenberg discovered something immediately upon making the breakthrough that allows physicists to predict (and to account for) the strengths (amplitudes) of the several discrete frequencies in the spectrum of hydrogen. In the visible part of light emitted by a hydrogen light (made like a neon light), there are four bands of color: one red, one blue-green and a couple more that are shades of blue. He made a "magical" equation that predicted the brightness (amplitudes) of these bands and the bands in infrared and ultraviolet. He knew right away that there were some weird consequences, and I think in the beginning he must have believed that he could get rid of them if he worked things out better. But he was exhausted. He had suffered so much from allergies that he went out to an island where there weren't any bothersome plant pollens, and then he worked really hard at the math. He went in to the university and gave his results to his supervisor, a professor at that university. His professor thought it was a really weird equation, too. But he worked on it for a while and then realized it was an equation that could describe or determine a matrix. Hardly anybody knew about matrix math at that time because it wasn't known to be particularly useful for anything. But as soon as Dr. Born saw it was something to be handled by matrix math he almost immediately realized that Heisenberg's equation was not a mistake but a key to something that Heisenberg worked out more fully when he got back from vacation and called the "indeterminancy principle." Other people started calling it the "uncertainty principle," which was too bad because it subtly prejudices how people think about what the math means. It does not mean merely that we are uncertain about something that is actually one way or the other, but that things are indeterminate to start with. I won't bother to go through all the details, which you can see in Introduction to quantum mechanics.

In part of the debate that erupted over these results, Heisenberg wrote an article that included many of the ideas that you mentioned above. The head of the institute where he worked warned him it would cause trouble, but he published it anyway, and it caused trouble. I've got to quit writing now, but later on I'll explain what Neils Bohr, his boss and one of the kindest and most brilliant of physicists, saw was going to be a problem. It wasn't wrong, but it was misleading. P0M (talk) 20:00, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

The difficult thing for us to understand is the idea of position in modern physics. When we ask where something in the size range of ordinary objects is, we mean that we can find the thing and then measure its position either in terms of something like a street address, GPS coordinates, measures of the distance from a couple of well known places, etc. Even if it is something that is moving very fast, such as a bullet in flight, we can use high speed photography to find the bullet's position at the time the photo was made. When we ask where something like an electron is, the physicists say we cannot get anything more than a probability back for an answer. The photon that is uninterfered with is not in any position. But it has a range of probabilities related to where it might show up if, for instance, we put a detector screen in its path. Once we do something to it to make it "show up," we have interfered with it. Perhaps we have put a positive ion in its path and the nucleus of that atom grabs the electron because it is short on electrons itself. (But if we try to get clearer on where in the atom it is at any given time, we are back to square one. If we are careful we might be able to guarantee that it is in the lowest possible orbit of a hydrogen atom, but we would not know where in that orbit it is. So Neils Bohr wanted Heisenberg not to do anything that would imply that the electron ever had a definite position.

Heisenberg's article, however, said something like this: If we assume that an electron is like a steel ball from a car's ball bearing only smaller, and we investigate what would happen if we tried to locate the steel ball by firing BBs at it, it is clear that the instant we hit it with a single BB it would move from where it was. If we fired foam balls at it to try to move the steel ball less, we would get a less precise result because the foam ball might not hit it dead on, and we would have no way of knowing that. If we tried to get a clearer idea of where it was at some time by firing a smaller thing faster, then we would get a bigger change in the position of the steel ball. Heisenberg discussed this thought experiment in more realistic terms, which you can see in the article on Heisenberg's microscope. So what he was saying was that even if classical physics were right, you still could not measure the position of (locate) an electron. The measurement would have to be off because of the energy delivered to the electron in hitting it with gamma rays. Bohr didn't like this way of arguing because it implied that the electron had a position that was changed, rather than saying that it had a "cloud" of possible positions that was shaped by the impact of something else with its own "cloud" of possible positions.

There is another confusion, and I'm not sure exactly how this confusion continues to be propagated. Planck's constant is a proportionality constant. That is all it is. When you say 1 yard = k feet, k = 3. All it means is that one way of measuring length is related to another way of measuring length. There is nothing holy about either way of measuring. Or if you say 1 yard = f meters, it's the same kind of thing. There is not some universal constant called f that structures the universe.

One way of making this clearer is to use what physicists call natural units. Since I can make the distance from my nose to the tip of my extended index finger a "mard," and have a proportionality constant that I use when I go to the lumber yard and want a piece of plywood cut to 1 mard wide and have to talk to an employee who only knows about yards, I can also make a unit of energy that is equal to the frequency of a photon. The essential thing that Planck discovered is that energy is always proportional to frequency. If human weights were always proportional to human heights, you could measure either a guy's weight or his height, and you wouldn't have to measure the other one. One example that we already use is liquid measure and weight measure for water. An ounce volume of water weighs an ounce on the scale. So what this boils down to, in terms of Heisenberg's microscope, is that the higher the frequency of light you would use to try to "put a spotlight on" an electron, the harder you knock it off its original course.

The other thing that is very confusing about quantum physics is the way people talk about electrons or photons being "both waves and particles." The basic idea of modern science is that if you can do an experiment that proves some idea is wrong, then you have to give up that theory, but that you can never prove that a theory is right. The reason you can never prove that a theory is right is that each time you test a hypothesis (or a theory) you may find something never observed before. The classical example of this kind of situation involves the color of swans. Before global exploration became possible, some biologist in England could have declared: "All swans are white." Anybody could have gone out looking for a non-white swan and they would only have confirmed his idea -- until somebody finally got to Australia where the first swan they found would have been black.

The trouble with the particle theory of light is that it is wrong. You can easily perform an experiment that shows that light is not a particle, and the trouble with the wave theory of light is wrong for the same reason. Light is not a wave and it is not a particle, but there are situations in which we can get good predictions if we treat it as though it were a wave, and there are situations where we have to treat it as a particle to get a reasonable idea of what it is doing.

I am pretty sure it was Dirac who worked out a mathematical formulation that resolved the conflict that we experience when using ordinary language and find that light seems to be both wave and particle. Basically the idea his math makes precise is that light is whatever it is, but that if we measure it (go out and find where it is, how fast it is going, etc.) we can make it show up as a wave or show up as a particle depending on how the measurement is done. Figuratively speaking, if you ask a photon what its frequency is, it will tell you that it is a wave of such-and-such frequency, but if you ask it where it hit the wall, it will tell you that it is a particle that hit at a single location.

λ Lambda is the Greek letter that corresponds to our "L," and it is used to mean "wave Length."

ν Nu is the Greek letter that is used to mean "frequency." That's really confusing in most fonts because it looks so much like the English "v" that we use for "velocity." I generally use "f" just to avoid that confusion.

In natural units, ν = E, and so h = 1.

Have you run across a book called One, Two, Three... Infinity by George Gamow? He was one of the physicists who was involved in developing the atomic bomb -- definitely not a lightweight. He wrote the book for his son, so he is very careful to try to speak clearly and not to say anything wrong or confusing. I'm not sure it is still in print, but you should be able to locate a copy in your local library. Sometimes it is easier to follow things when they are pinned down on the page. P0M (talk) 23:21, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Answered on...[edit]

I answered your message on my own user discussion page. P0M (talk) 22:19, 15 June 2010 (UTC)


WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles assessment drive[edit]

At WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles, in which you are listed as a member, we're working on a pretty massive backlog (1000+ articles!) of unassessed articles. We would appreciate it greatly if you would help assess the articles in the link. It's simple to do!

  1. Read over the article.
  2. On the discussion page, look for the {{AARTalk}} template. Add in a "class" and "importance" parameter if the template does not have them already. Example: {{AARTalk|class= |importance= }}
  3. For the class, fill in the article's quality using the WikiProject's quality scale: stub, start, C, B, GA, A, or FA. Most unassessed articles will probably be stubs or start class articles, and definitely B or lower.
  4. For the importance, fill in the article's importance to the WikiProject using the importance scale: low, mid, high, or top. Most unassessed articles will probably be low or mid importance.
  5. Then you're done!

It's not a difficult task, but there's a lot to get done. Our hope is that we can chip through the backlog and assess every article within the auspices of the project. Thanks, bibliomaniac15 00:31, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Invitation to take part in a pilot study[edit]

I am a Wikipedian, who is studying the phenomenon on Wikipedia. I need your help to conduct my research on about understanding "Motivation of Wikipedia contributors." I would like to invite you to a short survey. Please give me your valuable time, which estimates only 5 minutes. cooldenny (talk) 07:53, 15 April 2011 (UTC)