Tyler Simko

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Tyler Simko

Quantumaniac is where it’s at - and by ‘it’ I mean awesome.

Hi! My name is Tyler Simko. Over here, I post a ton of astronomy / math / general science in an attempt to make your brain feel good. My aim is to be as informative as possible while posting fascinating things that hopefully enlighten us both to the mysteries of our truly wondrous universe(s?). Plus, how would you know if the blog exists or not unless you observe it?

Boom, just pulled the Schrödinger’s cat card. Now you have to check it out - trust me, it said so in an equation somewhere.

Please check out my web design company, O8 Labs, we build websites and mobile apps - let us build yours!

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Classic Feynman - Book Review
In life, it seems that there are two types of geniuses - great minds and great teachers. Many of each type have come along throughout modern history, minds like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Niels Bohr, and teachers such as Nadia Boulanger, Socrates and Annie Sullivan. Very infrequently, genetics will stumble upon a phenomenal combination that provides both within once person - this was Richard Feynman.
Despite his incredible mind, he also had a knack for explanation and story-telling - a talent that no doubt arose from his love of the unorthodox. In this book, a collection of all of Feynman’s greatest tales are collected for any readers, young or old, to divulge and enjoy. There are very few books in which ‘Quantum Electrodynamics’ and ‘strip clubs’ can make contextual sense in the same sentence, but Feynman flawlessly manages to make it work.His tales are much more than mere fun stories of a silly old scientist, as they both entertaining and enlightening. One of my favorite sections from the book details a discussion that Feynman had with a friend of his, an artist. His friend attempted to tell Feynman that his scientific understanding of the flower only diminished its beauty, dragging it down to the boring depths of esoteric textbook terms and definitions. However, Feynman rejected his friend’s claim, stating that he could “see much more about the flower than [the artist] sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there’s also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes…All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts.”These interesting tales of explosions, safe-cracking, Los Alamos, nude painting and science allow us all to see into the nature of this incredible man - a truly ‘curious character.’

Classic Feynman - Book Review

In life, it seems that there are two types of geniuses - great minds and great teachers. Many of each type have come along throughout modern history, minds like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Niels Bohr, and teachers such as Nadia Boulanger, Socrates and Annie Sullivan. Very infrequently, genetics will stumble upon a phenomenal combination that provides both within once person - this was Richard Feynman.

Despite his incredible mind, he also had a knack for explanation and story-telling - a talent that no doubt arose from his love of the unorthodox. In this book, a collection of all of Feynman’s greatest tales are collected for any readers, young or old, to divulge and enjoy. There are very few books in which ‘Quantum Electrodynamics’ and ‘strip clubs’ can make contextual sense in the same sentence, but Feynman flawlessly manages to make it work.

His tales are much more than mere fun stories of a silly old scientist, as they both entertaining and enlightening. One of my favorite sections from the book details a discussion that Feynman had with a friend of his, an artist. His friend attempted to tell Feynman that his scientific understanding of the flower only diminished its beauty, dragging it down to the boring depths of esoteric textbook terms and definitions. However, Feynman rejected his friend’s claim, stating that he could “see much more about the flower than [the artist] sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there’s also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes…All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts.”

These interesting tales of explosions, safe-cracking, Los Alamos, nude painting and science allow us all to see into the nature of this incredible man - a truly ‘curious character.’

sciencesoup:

Badass Scientist of the Week: Richard Feynman
Richard P. Feynman (1918–1988) was perhaps the most original theoretical physicist of his time, best known for his work in quantum mechanics and particle physics. He taught himself elementary mathematics before he learnt it in school, and by fifteen he’d mastered differential and integral calculus. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree at MIT in 1939 (after switching from mathematics to electrical engineering to physics), and then went on to receive his Ph.D. at Princeton in 1942, where he assisted in the development of the atomic bomb project. Feynman soon became head of the theoretical division of the project in Los Alamos. After WWII, he was appointed as a professor of theoretical physics at Cornell University, and in 1950 he moved to Caltech to fill the same position, returning to researching the quantum theory of electrodynamics he’d been working on before the war, including the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, and a model of weak decay. He was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1965 with Schwinger and Tomonoga for his fundamental work in this field. His other work included particle spin and a theory of ‘partons’, which led to the current theory of quarks, and he wrote many popular books. He became part of a committee to investigate the explosion on the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 and became a public scientific figure, but his health gradually deteriorated. Cancer was found in his abdomen, and he died in 1988. He’s remembered for his insatiable curiosity, gentle wit, brilliant mind and playful temperament.

sciencesoup:

Badass Scientist of the Week: Richard Feynman

Richard P. Feynman (1918–1988) was perhaps the most original theoretical physicist of his time, best known for his work in quantum mechanics and particle physics. He taught himself elementary mathematics before he learnt it in school, and by fifteen he’d mastered differential and integral calculus. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree at MIT in 1939 (after switching from mathematics to electrical engineering to physics), and then went on to receive his Ph.D. at Princeton in 1942, where he assisted in the development of the atomic bomb project. Feynman soon became head of the theoretical division of the project in Los Alamos. After WWII, he was appointed as a professor of theoretical physics at Cornell University, and in 1950 he moved to Caltech to fill the same position, returning to researching the quantum theory of electrodynamics he’d been working on before the war, including the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, and a model of weak decay. He was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1965 with Schwinger and Tomonoga for his fundamental work in this field. His other work included particle spin and a theory of ‘partons’, which led to the current theory of quarks, and he wrote many popular books. He became part of a committee to investigate the explosion on the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 and became a public scientific figure, but his health gradually deteriorated. Cancer was found in his abdomen, and he died in 1988. He’s remembered for his insatiable curiosity, gentle wit, brilliant mind and playful temperament.

Feynman Diagrams
The interactions of subatomic particles can be challenging to understand - and even more-so to express mathematically. Although the mathematics that these diagrams represent is highly complex - the events are usually fairly simple. Typically, these diagrams are most useful in QED (Quantum Electrodynamics) and QCD (Quantum Chromodynamics.) 

For example, in this diagram - an electron, shown as e-, and a positron, shown as e+, collide. Since a positron is the antimatter equivalent of an electron, upon collision the two particles annihilate one another - creating a photon, described by the blue wiggly line. The photon eventually produces a quark, anti-quark pair - one of which releases a gluon (shown by the green line.) 
Feynman diagrams are remarkable for their way of bringing these complex equations down to an easily comprehendible level - they allow physicists to take a step away from the pages of equations to take a look at what is really happening. 
The position and representation of the axes are up to personal preference, the two dimensions of time and space can be on either the x or y-axis - whichever is more easily comprehendible by the particular scientist. 
Plus, drawing a few of these little buggers on random papers makes you look super-smart. 

Feynman Diagrams

The interactions of subatomic particles can be challenging to understand - and even more-so to express mathematically. Although the mathematics that these diagrams represent is highly complex - the events are usually fairly simple. Typically, these diagrams are most useful in QED (Quantum Electrodynamics) and QCD (Quantum Chromodynamics.) 

For example, in this diagram - an electron, shown as e-, and a positron, shown as e+, collide. Since a positron is the antimatter equivalent of an electron, upon collision the two particles annihilate one another - creating a photon, described by the blue wiggly line. The photon eventually produces a quark, anti-quark pair - one of which releases a gluon (shown by the green line.) 

Feynman diagrams are remarkable for their way of bringing these complex equations down to an easily comprehendible level - they allow physicists to take a step away from the pages of equations to take a look at what is really happening. 

The position and representation of the axes are up to personal preference, the two dimensions of time and space can be on either the x or y-axis - whichever is more easily comprehendible by the particular scientist. 

Plus, drawing a few of these little buggers on random papers makes you look super-smart. 

Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.

Richard Feynman

All the matter that makes up the human race could fit in a sugar cube
Despite what our intuition about atoms may be, they are 99.9999999999999% empty space. As Tom Stoppard put it: “Make a fist, and if your fist is as big as the nucleus of an atom, then the atom is as big as St Paul’s, and if it happens to be a hydrogen atom, then it has a single electron flitting about like a moth in an empty cathedral, now by the dome, now by the altar.” 
If you were to force all of the matter together, thus removing all of the empty space within and between them, a block the size of a single sugar cube would weigh an incredible five billion tons! (To put this into perspective, this is about ten times the weight of all humans currently living.) 

Another way to look at the astonishingly small size of atoms is with this clever analogy. If you were to take a regular sized apple and magnify it so that it was as large as the earth, then each individual atom in the original apple would be about the size of the entire apple within the new earth-sized apple. 

All the matter that makes up the human race could fit in a sugar cube

Despite what our intuition about atoms may be, they are 99.9999999999999% empty space. As Tom Stoppard put it: “Make a fist, and if your fist is as big as the nucleus of an atom, then the atom is as big as St Paul’s, and if it happens to be a hydrogen atom, then it has a single electron flitting about like a moth in an empty cathedral, now by the dome, now by the altar.” 

If you were to force all of the matter together, thus removing all of the empty space within and between them, a block the size of a single sugar cube would weigh an incredible five billion tons! (To put this into perspective, this is about ten times the weight of all humans currently living.) 

Another way to look at the astonishingly small size of atoms is with this clever analogy. If you were to take a regular sized apple and magnify it so that it was as large as the earth, then each individual atom in the original apple would be about the size of the entire apple within the new earth-sized apple.