In fiction and fantasy, magical characters can shape magical forces into constructs of physical forces. For example, Raven from DC Comics can create constructs from the dark energy of her soul form, Constantine can throw fireballs, and Zatanna can summon swords. Evocation in the Dresden Files specifically refers to conjuring blasts of fire, shields of air, and other forms of magical constructs that are physical things. When trying to give physicality to a magical or psychic construct, many people are unable to get it to physically interact with anything, and based on that lack of interaction, some people conclude that Read More
Chaos I: Motion and Determinism
The start of Chaos, with one of the foremost ideas of philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesis, who lived in the sixth century B.C. Creatures develop eternally, things have no substance and everything is always on the move: everything becomes everything, everything is everything. The first minutes of the film illustrate this idea with some everyday examples, as well as some mathematical ones.
How do we study nothing? An empty jar still contains something: molecules of air and a bath of infrared light from its warm environment. But what if we suck out every last molecule of air, chill the jar to absolute zero, and shield it from all external radiation? The jar would contain only empty space, but it turns out that empty space is far from nothing.
Many experimental physicists have spent their careers trying to cool things to absolute zero. This state of absolute cold is the zero-point on the Kelvin temperature scale, corresponding to -273.15 Celsius. Using lasers and magnetic fields, we’ve now managed to cool certain substances to less than a billionth of a Kelvin. Doing so has revealed some bizarre quantum states of matter. But quantum mechanics may also prevent us from ever reaching absolute zero.