I found this particular set of thoughts from Neil deGrasse Tyson really interesting and thought provoking. Think about this notion of if humans are only 1-2% different genetically different from chimps, and what this means in terms of how much more advanced we are from them, then what if there is some organism out there that is some very small percentage different from humans, in the direction of increased intelligence...then we humans would be their chimps! They would be SO far ahead of us, it is difficult to comprehend how much more advanced those beings would be. I have never thought about this, but what a truly intriguing thought!
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Read about Emmy Noether, a Great Mathematician and Forgotten Hero of Relativity - largely because she was a Woman
A wonderful summary of how Emmy Noether helped other great mathematicians get a handle on Einstein's General Relativity back in the first quarter of the 20th century can be found here. Many of her contemporaries, including Einstein, suggested she is the most important woman in the history of mathematics. What is now known as Noether's theorem is at the heart of all physical theories, which states if there is a conservation law, then there must be a quantity that is invariant, and vice versa. For GR, she basically showed energy is still conserved, but it is much more challenging to see it, compared to classical systems and theories, because of the warping of spacetime by mass-energy densities.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Former Chem-Phys student Sarah Posner is in the U. of Michigan's Stamps School of Art and Design, and has some wonderful work posted on her Tumblr site. Check out many of the pieces that have a science and symmetry influence. The notion of design, especially in engineering, is a big deal, as well as some of the naturally beautiful patterns and objects scientists study - this is the push behind changing STEM to STEAM. Regardless of what to call it, just enjoy some wonderful art from a talented young lady!
Monday, May 18, 2015
I had the pleasure to be at teh dinner at President Schapiro's house at Northwestern last wek, which was in honor of the evening's lecturer, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. It was a wonderful time, of course, and Dr. Tyson gave a wonderful 2.5 hour popular talk about science, the media and how it reports science, modern issues in the U.S. and the world, and so on. Here is the link to the Maher interview.