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Everything posted by pmb

  1. That's also part of linear algebra, which I use quite often.
  2. As an undergraduate one of my majors was mathematics. One of the required courses was abstract algebra. While I'm sure that group theory and all the stuff about fileds and rings is useful somewhere in physics, I myself have never had cause to use it need it in my studies an research.
  3. Do you except cyberbucks? If so then here {cha-ching! - $11.00}. I added a doller for prompt service. The wave characteristics of particles also applies to single particles. When a single particle approaches a step potential part of the wave is transmitted and part is relfected. That's the wave character manifesting itself. A wave function can apply to single paricles. A wave can be a continuous superposition of waves to give a wave packet too. That wave packet can scatter off of a point potential like the potential associated with a nucleus.
  4. Engineers rarely take more than Physics IO, II and III. Even then they quickly forget most of it. And those courses don't even touch base with astronomy or cosmology.
  5. That's not quite right. I wasn' concerned about his actions. That was taken care of in the other forum. I asked the following question and after presenting the example I inquired And that is the essenf this thread. And I've been nothing except very polite' date=' reasonalble and logical in all my reponses and inquiries. The example is completely anonymous. Both the name of the person and the name of the forum is kept a secret so as to esure that this doesn't get at all personal. In fact when someone, who also frequents that forum, mentioned his name I promptly asked then to delete the name from their post, and then were kind enough to do so. This is [i']purely[/i] an intellectual exercise. That's correct. But to be precise, he said or in short You're out to get me. To me, when someone says You're out to get me its an attack on my character. His response had nothing to due with my original argument, i.e. him that a particle with rest mass can't move at the speed of light. In the course of this discussion I gained a precise knowledge of what an ad hominem is and as such I now know that it was a personal attack aka ad hominem. I quickly deleted that comment so I will not discuss it. I later said that I his comment expresses frustration since the purpose of the comment Oh, for crying out loud. is to express frustration. I even looked it up just to make sure. And I gave that link - http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/for_crying_out_loud Its not a subjecctive comment but an objective one. Nope. Its not an attack when there's no question that its frustration. swansont will probanbly agree that he was frustrated, hence his remark. That can't be used as a premise to claim that my observation of that was an attack on his person. In essence all I said was Why are you impatient which I changed to Why are you frustrated?. Those aren't attacks on a person by any means. Please don't take this conversation into a negative mode. There's just no call for that kind of thing here. The purpose of this thread was to distinguish whether something was an ad hominem or not. I just happened to use a real life example. The persons name and the forum's name was intentionally left out of this thread so as to keep it a secret. This has nothing to do with that person or that forum but merely the definition and example of ad hominem. Before this thread I wasn't 100% clear on what an ad honinem was. Now I cleary know all about them. The rest of my responses were answers to questions posed of me and commenting on others responses. This is an exercise in an intellectual analysis of a particular part of cogent arguments. In particular its an analysis of the fallacy known as the personal attack aka ad hominem. I've been quite polite and logical throughout this thread, avoing negative deviations from the main topic. I've been reading the book Practical Logic: An Antidote for Uncritical Thinking. Its part of my study of critical thinking and constructing cogent arguements and recogning logical fallacies. The personal attack which I used as an example was just that, an example. I created another thread as a continuation of this study. The name of that thread is Critical Thinking Skills.
  6. No. The first five responses were explaining why his thread served its purpose without the part that I told him was wrong. Those responses had absolutely nothing to do with my argument.
  7. Sorry. I don't want to give more life to something which was merely an inquiry. Recall, again what a personal attack is That's quite different than a simple attack on a person? An attack on a person need not have anything to do with a argument. It could just be anger at a person. You seem to be reading it literally where in fact its taken as a single term which has the above meaning. The actual argument was me explaining that a particle with rest mass can't travel at the speed of light. His character assasination never mentioned that argument. That's what makes it a personal attack aka ad hominem.
  8. Also, I wouldn't say that the properties of spacetime couldn't be explained by QM. E.g. nobody has ever used QM to derive the expression for time dilation or length contraction. Black holes can't be explained by QM either. Myself, I never use wide sweeping generalizations like that. There are always exceptions to every rule such as the ones I mention here. Young's double slit experiment is a good example of the wave-particle duality. If you set up an ensemble of such experimental set ups and let just one photon go through the double slit and then compare all the results then (1) in each individual set up you'll see that only a single photon is detected on the screen and (2) the collected results will show the interference phenomena. It's pretty cool!
  9. That's a very complicated problem to solve. It depends on the thermal properties of the various kinds of matter which the earth is made up and how that matter is distibuted It's possible to solve it but IU sure don't know how to do it. One needs to be skilled in thermodynamics to solve a problem like that and thermodynamics was always my worst subject.
  10. I believe that is an inaccurate perception. I think about 35% of all physcists believe in God. The 65%who don't certainly don't all speak badly about religion. Sure they do. I believe that's a false impression that you gained somewhere/somehow. Perhaps from the few who are very noisey on that kind of thing. I'm a physicist and I'm a Christian and I certaintly don't think that way. Even when I wasn't religious I never thought badly about people who were religious Oh, I don't know about that. I tend to disagree on that point. I believe that such people believed in God but perhaps don't believe in the Bible. A lot of people seem to put them hand in hand. I think a lot of people who see a believed in God automatically assume they must be judeo-christian, which obviously isn' implied merely because one believes in God, although I'd say that the majority does think that.
  11. In my opinion Jesus is the most influential person in the history of the world.
  12. You do understand, don't you, that its not that the galaxy is moving through space, its just that there is space being created inbetween gallaxies and that yields an effective increasing distance at a rate which makes the distance between some gallaxies appear faster than the speed of light?
  13. Wonderful. Well said sir!! So well put that it brings a tear to me eye!
  14. I found where Feynman explains in QED that electrons have a wave-like property. It's on page 84.
  15. I think that its a fair way to speak though. It would become cumbersome to keep repeating according to the laws of physics as they are presently known ..... I always take that as a given and that the scientist who says those things understands that.
  16. Consider a large number of Young's Double Slit experiment. Allow just one photon to go through the slit. It will be detected on the screen behind it by the "click" of one photon detector. If you were to look at the ensemble of all those experimental setups you'd see that there is an interference phenomena present. Its for this reason that its said that there is a wave-particle duality and why Feynman said "It's like neither.' Note: The quote from Feynman's QED only addresses light/photons. It makes no mention of electrons. I have the check the context. What page is that on?
  17. I do have a psychological disorder which affects my memory. ADD etc. It's terrible. I lost my keys again today the third time within the last month. It sucks big time. So sure, that could be the case. Or maybe I only hit preview! Yeah! That's the ticket! I think that's what I did! Yay! I figured it out. Thanks.
  18. I love the way Feynman explains it in his Lectures. In V-II page 1-1 Someone once coined the term wavicle (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wavicle) as a comprimise but it never really took. Today physicists ue the term "particle" not because they behave like particles, but because there is no other term and its good enough since nobody ever gets confused by it and actually thinks that photons and electrons are "really" particles. Although I'm sure there are a lot of people who are confused on this point. The wave function, like any mathematical quantity in physics, is a quantity that has the physical meaning that the square of the magnitude is related to probability. For a continuous wave the square of the magnitude is a probability density.
  19. The thing about quantum mechanics is that you can't talk about what a system is doing until you make a measurement. Asking about an electron is doing when it hasn't been observed is a meaningless question in QM. There are states in the atom which stationary states. Once you measure owhat state its in then you can make a statement about it.
  20. This is wonderful. Everyone chipping in with other ways of thinking is a great way to add to the spirit of this page. I want to thank everyone for their contribution and sat "Keep'em cummin". Note: Somethings wrong. Several times now I've posted a message only later to see it missing. What's going on?
  21. Please don't put words into my mouth. The thought of "picking on me" never entered my mind. Btw, I made a mistake. Oh, for crying out loud is not an attack, its meant to show the emotion of either frustration, exasperation, or annoyance. See http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/for_crying_out_loud. In any case I deleted that comment because I thought that it was unwarrented. Sometimes we all say things we regret later. I've decided to delete those things when I can so as to be as polite as I can. I imagine that's fine with you? That's correct. They are. And yo used it wronig. The only way I Can see to resolve any misunderstanding with the definition is to realize that a personal attack is not simply not an attack on a person. They are not the same thing. That's clear from the definition. Note: I've already said I'm done with ad hominems so I won't adress them again with you. I believe that you and have already paved that road.
  22. You are very wrong. So wrong that I'm quite surprised by this response. Let us, for the sake of argument, say that it was an attack on you (which it really wasn't. It was an observation). It's not an ad hominem because its lacking that part instead of the arguement since I addressed your argument. And just because I observed that you seemed impatient it doesn't mean that its a personal attack. Are you telling me that Oh, for crying out loud. cannot be interpreted as you being impatient? And are you saying that when someone observes you being impatient and mentions it that you think its an attack? If yes then how so? And I can just as well claim that your commentOh, for crying out loud is a attack on me because that kind of thing is only said to people when the person saying it is impatient and that its purpose was to insinuate that I'm "thick" in some way.
  23. I didn't ingnore that at all. I did a detailed analysis in a previous post and you for all practical purposes ignored it. You mad no of my detailed analysis. You're merely repeating your claim now. Which is what the opponent did by claiming I was out to get them. That was an attack on my character. The criteria of an ad hominem is Whenever we attack a person instead of his or her argument. I've explained, many times now, that the opponent, instead of addressing my assertion that v = c does not hold for partilces with non-zero rest mass, attacked my character by claiming I was out to get him. It's that simple and that's an ad hominem, by definition. We are obviously not getting anywhere. I've already explained in detail how precisely that was an ad hominem and you don't address that, but address something that I've never said. At this piint I don't see that anything else I can say will resolve our differences so I must cease my contribution to this argument. We will simply have to agree to disagree.
  24. Aethelwulf - Take my word for itmy friend, don't continue. Any attempt at explain yourself and your point of view, regardless of the circumstances, always looks bad. Nobody can win under such circumstances. Just a friendly suggestion.
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