Category Archives: Physics

The Meaning of ‘Nothing’

ImageThe following is an excellent book review of “The Universe From Nothing,” by Lawrence Krauss. It is often alleged that the origin of the universe has now been explained by science, with the vacuum states described by models of quantum physics removing the need for an external cause, ie. God. David Albert, in this review of the aforementioned book, examines this idea- and his conclusions are well worth a read. Continue reading

Design, or the Illusion of Design?

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In his piece, “Our Universe. Order or Chaos?” T. Nasser has already argued against the claim made by Victor J. Stenger in “God: The Failed Hypothesis” that the universe only exhibits pockets of complexity, by pointing out that the uniformity found in the universe indicates design. This article will further deal with the same atheistic arguments, and principles. The extract in question is presented below: Continue reading

Our universe. Order or chaos?

In 2007 Victor J. Stenger, an Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Hawaii and former particle physics researcher published the book ‘God: The Failed Hypothesis’. Not only did this book prove to be a hit with other scientific atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, but it quickly jumped into the list of New York Times’ bestsellers, proving successful with the public also.

The stated premise of the book is supposedly the rational, scientific (and therefore surely impartial?) analysis of the hypothesis of the existence of a higher power (i.e. God), by examining the information available. The title of the book somewhat gives away the conclusion. Stenger believes that a rational analysis of the universe leaves a person no choice other than atheism.
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Science and Religion: A shared wonder

In a recent article in the Guardian, Jeff Forshaw a particle physicist, writes that “Science and Religion are united in a shared sense of wonder” about the universe. It is a interesting read, where Forshaw expounds on the danger of not acknowledging the limits of science.

“By overstating science’s power and not acknowledging its limitations, we risk fostering the growth of a religion-substitute, with the scientists as high priests. Such hubris not only irritates people, but more significantly it risks promoting the misconception that science deals with certainty – and that is the very antithesis of good science.”

He explains how science and religion answer a different set of questions. Science is not concerned with the meaning of life. If the universe has any point to it or not, it doesn’t matter from a scientist perspective. Irrespective, of their viewpoints, science and religion are united on one point, that our existence, and nature in general “inspires glory and wonder”.

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‘Life from Water’- Life on Enceladus?

Plumes spurting ice particles, water vapor and trace organic compounds from the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

1400 years ago, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was vouchsafed the revelation that, “…we made of water every living thing.” (21:31) Today, this same principle is used as the basis for the the search of extra-terrestrial life! What a marvel that an unlettered dweller of the Arabian desert was given this knowledge on account of his spiritual perfection, whereas it took well over a millenium for the rest of the world to even conceive of the idea of extra-terrestrial life- let alone devise the means for finding it! Continue reading

Newton and Enlightened Science

[The following was obtained from gonashgo Blog]
by Professor Alan Charles Kors

Isaac Newton entered Trinity College in Cambridge University in 1661. Every other college at Cambridge was dominated by the Aristotelian Scholastics, but Trinity College, Cambridge, was the one college in the university that was a Cartesian stronghold. That had a profound influence on the education of Isaac Newton because he was introduced to Descartes as an undergraduate, to Descartes’s mathematics, in particular. Descartes had founded analytic geometry, which made extraordinarily easier the sorts of calculations in which Kepler had engaged. Newton, then, early on was a student both of Descartes’s mechanical philosophy and of higher mathematics.
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Human cell becomes living laser

laser cell

[This article is from Nature News]

Jellyfish protein amplifies light in first biological laser.

by Zoë Corbyn

Microscope image of a living laser in action. Due to the irregular internal structure of the cell, the laser spot has an apparently random pattern.Malte Gather

Scientists have for the first time created laser light using living biological material: a single human cell and some jellyfish protein.

“Lasers started from physics and are viewed as engineering devices,” says Seok-Hyun Yun, an optical physicist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who created the ‘living laser’ with his colleague Malte Gather. “This is the first time that we have used biological materials to build a laser and generate light from something that is living.” The finding is reported today in Nature Photonics 1.

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The Wonder of Electricity

Can you imagine? Knowing nothing of artificial light. Your days being lit by the sun and the night by candle light? What a terrifying shock it would have been to observe the blinding light from a electric spark? The wonder of electricity, from creating light to moving the dead, electricity must have been incredibly frightening.

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Awards Galore 2011

As many around the world, will have been following the announcements of the various Nobel Prizes for 2011 (more on this tomorrow), few might be aware of another set of medals/awards being given out this week by the Institute of Physics (IoP). A total of 17 awards!

I have chosen some here for your perusal. Please feel free to click the below link to visit the official website.

IoP Award Winners 2011

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Isaac Newton Medal of the Institute of Physics
Professor Leo P. Kadanoff, University of Chicago
For inventing conceptual tools that reveal the deep implications of scale invariance on the behavior of phase transitions and dynamical systems. Continue reading