I’ve submitted an extended abstract for my paper “Time and Quantum Mechanics” to the Center for Philosophy of Science’s workshop on Quantum Time. I’m not sure what the odds are of my getting in, but at a minimum prepping the abstract for the center has been a big help getting the paper organized, working out what is essential to the argument, and what can be let go.
Category: Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics
Did my Quantum Mechanics, Reality, & You talk at Philcon this last weekend. Had a very energetic & engaged audience. My thanks to Ed Bishop, Tom Purdom, Ron Bushyager, Ferne Welch, Walt Mankowski, & lots of others for great questions! Did five panels as well. Full schedule:
Fri 8:00 PM in Plaza III (Three) (1 hour)
LOVECRAFT’S SUCCESSORS (1107)
[Panelists: John Ashmead (mod), Darrell Schweitzer, Marvin Kaye,
A.C. Wise, Neal Levin]
Is anyone writing good cosmic horror today? What new directions has
cosmic horror been taken in
Fri 9:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Two (1 hour)
COSMOLOGY AND ITS DISCONTENTS (981)
[Panelists: Paul Halpern (mod), John Ashmead, Dr. H. Paul Shuch,
The Standard Cosmological Model is the history of the universe as
arrived at over decades of observation and experiment and accepted
by the majority of scientists. It includes the Big Bang, Cosmic
Expansion, Inflation, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, etc. However, there
are real problems with the SM, and real (non-crank) scientists who
disagree with parts of it. What are the issues with Standard
Cosmology, and what alternative ideas are currently being discussed
Sat 12:00 PM in Plaza II (Two) (1 hour)
QUANTUM MECHANICS, REALITY, AND YOU (1319)
[Panelists: John Ashmead (mod)]
Behold the weird! Wigner and his panel of babies! The case of the
highly charged cat! The collapse of the collapse of the wave
function! And quantum chess! What’s new with quantum mechanics &
what does it all mean
Sat 1:00 PM in Plaza III (Three) (1 hour)
TIME TRAVEL FOR THE MILLIONS (1115)
[Panelists: John Ashmead (mod), Andrew C. Murphy, Gail Z. Martin,
Michael F. Flynn, Glenn Hauman]
If everyone could do it, how would this affect daily life? What are
the most frivolous uses of time travel we can think of? What would
be a time traveler’s practical joke
Sat 7:00 PM in Plaza II (Two) (1 hour)
FICTION ABOUT ITSELF: METAFICTION (1200)
[Panelists: John Ashmead (mod), Gregory Frost, April Grey, Neal
Levin, Alexis Gilliland]
Metafiction is when the story and the text becomes interchangeable,
each a part of the other. What are the roots and nature of this kind
Sun 1:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Three (1 hour)
EXOPLANETS AND SCIENCE FICTION (1124)
[Panelists: John Ashmead (mod), Eric Kotani, Inge Heyer, Walter F.
We now know that planets are as common as stars. Over 500 are known,
nearly 20,000 are suspected.
What impact has this enormous expansion of the known universe had on
Enjoyed putting the talk together. I go thru the interpretations of quantum mechanics — some spectacularly silly — and then argue that quantum mechanics is real, you & I — not so much. :)
Also doing panels at Capclave on Hot Steamed Punk, Practical Uses of Faster-Than-Light Travel, Choose Your Own Apocalypse, & Great Cthulhu: Threat or Menace?
I’ve uploaded a number of my more recent talks to Slideshare. Physics, with occasionally a wee bit of speculation admixed:
- Thought experiments – talk done 1st April 2012 for the Ben Franklin Thinking Society. Role of thought experiments in history, use by Galileo & by noted violinist, how they can turn into real experiments.
- Not Your Grandfather’s Gravity - done last year (2011) on the latest developments in the suddenly hot area of gravity. The stuff on faster-than-light neutrinos is, alas, already out of date: boring won: looks as if the FTL neutrinos were due to experimental error. But Verlinde’s entropic gravity is still one of the most promising lines of attack.
- Temporal Paradoxes - physics talk given at NASA’s Goddard Space Center 2011. A slightly NASA-fied version of a talk I’d given at several SF conventions in 2010.
- Quantum time – physics talk given at Feynman Festival in Olomouc in 2009. I did popular versions of that talk as well.
- How to build a (real) time machine – talk given at several SF conventions in 2009.
- Life, the Universe, & the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Or, the Infinite Probability drive. About the role of entropy in the universe, complete with Babelfish. 2008.
- Faster Than Light - talk on faster than light travel: theory, practice, applications. Given at several SF conventions in 2007.
- Confused at a Higher Level - arguably one of the funniest talks ever given about problems in quantum mechanics. OK, competition not that fierce. Given at several SF conventions in 2004.
- The Physics of Time Travel. Review of time, with respect to the bending, stretching, folding, & tormenting thereof. Given at Philcon & Balticon (in various versions) in 2003.
- The Future of Time Travel - mostly about the science fiction thereof. Probably 2002.
These are not all of my talks — I’ve probably done 20 or 30 SF talks over the last 20 years, at least one per year — these are just the ones done using Keynote or Powerpoint. The 2005 & 2006 talks have gone walkabout. If they reappear, I will upload. I generally talk at Balticon, Philcon, & more recently Capclave. I’ve spoken twice at Farpoint, but that is really more of a media convention, not as good a fit.
Other talk(s), marginally less speculative:
- Overview of Backbone - talk on the jQuery library Backbone, given at PhillyCoders. April 2012.
- How to Destroy a Database – talk on database security. October 2007. Wile E. Coyote & other experts on correctness & security are enlisted to help make key points.
- Getting started with MySQL – talk given at PACS and my Macintosh programming group in 2006. Manages to work in the Sumerians, the Three Stooges, a rocket-powered daschhund, some unicorns, and – of course – dolphins (the totem animal of MySQL).
I had a lot of fun putting my NASA talk Temporal Paradoxes together. The feedback I got from the assembled multitude at the Radnor Library last week was extremely helpful, leading to a near complete rework of the talk, in the interests of making it clearer. Thanks!