Honors 100 knowledge across the disciplines
Download
1 / 20

Honors 100: Knowledge Across the Disciplines - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 82 Views
  • Uploaded on

Honors 100: Knowledge Across the Disciplines. Vladi Chaloupka University of Washington www.phys.washington.edu/users/vladi October 30, 2008. Assigned Task: 1) discuss the methodology of your field 2) encourage students to cross disciplinary boundaries

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Honors 100: Knowledge Across the Disciplines' - pascal


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Honors 100 knowledge across the disciplines

Honors 100: Knowledge Across the Disciplines

Vladi Chaloupka

University of Washington

www.phys.washington.edu/users/vladi

October 30, 2008

Assigned Task:

1) discuss the methodology of your field

2) encourage students to cross disciplinary boundaries

In my case, that would mean discussing research in Physics, and how physics can collaborate with Chemistry, Biophysics, Computer Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics/Cosmology, …


Honors 100 knowledge across the disciplines1

Honors 100: Knowledge Across the Disciplines

Vladi Chaloupka

University of Washington

Professor of Physics

Adjunct Professor of Music

Adjunct professor of International Studies

Science

Philosophy

Music +

Religion

Human Affairs


An advertissement
An advertissement:

  • Winter 2009: H A&S 220: Science and Society

  • Spring 2009: PHYS216 / SIS 216: Science and Society

  • Either class can be taken towards either NW or Civ/I&S requirements

  • => very rich enrollment / “microcosm of society”


I physics
I. Physics

  • Why It There Something Rather Than Nothing?

  • The Central Mystery of Quantum Physics

  • Seeing the Andromeda with naked eye

  • -----------

  • Consider a system of two particles say the system (Earth + Moon):

  • M(Earth+Moon) = m(Earth)+m(Moon)?

  • M(Earth+Moon) < m(Earth)+m(Moon)?

  • M(Earth+Moon) > m(Earth)+m(Moon)?


Honors 100 knowledge across the disciplines

What is the mass of bound system: M -> m1 + m2

Mc2 + E(binding) = m1c2 + m2c2

Therefore M = m1 + m2 – E(binding)/c2

and M < m1+m2 !!!

  • => For sufficiently strong binding M -> 0 !!!

  • => (???) Creation of the Universe out of Nothing (???)

  • Recent Physics Colloquium:

    “Why is there Something rather than Nothing?”

    Conclusion: “Maybe there is Nothing,

    cleverly disguised as Something.”


Example of modern physics the central mystery of quantum physics
Example of Modern Physics: The Central Mystery of Quantum Physics


Example of modern physics the central mystery of quantum physics1
Example of Modern Physics: The Central Mystery of Quantum Physics


Example of modern physics the central mystery of quantum physics2
Example of Modern Physics: The Central Mystery of Quantum Physics


Honors 100 knowledge across the disciplines

The Andromeda Galaxy: 2 million light years away. The most distant object visible by naked eye (you have to know where to look, and find a really dark place, but the experience is very much worth it!)

Note: for details on when and how to see Andromeda, see

http://www.physics.ucla.edu/ ~huffman/m31.html


Conclusions from physics
Conclusions from Physics: distant object visible by naked eye (you have to know where to look, and find a really dark place, but the experience is very much worth it!)

  • Physics is Different: we don’t really know what we are doing / what we are talking about, but agreement of predictions with experiment and practical applications show there is Truth in it:

  • Cf. Einstein: “The most incomprehensible thing about the Universe is that it is [it appears to be] comprehensible”


Ii science and human affairs
II. Science and Human Affairs distant object visible by naked eye (you have to know where to look, and find a really dark place, but the experience is very much worth it!)

  • Molecular Biology is Different, too, but differently different:

  • what you see is what you get (but it gets fantastically complex, awesome and useful)


Honors 100 knowledge across the disciplines

Fig. 19: Marvelous Molecular machines contd. distant object visible by naked eye (you have to know where to look, and find a really dark place, but the experience is very much worth it!)

Left: “spontaneous” assembly and disassembly of a microtubule

Above: a kinesin molecule walks[sic] along a microtubule, carrying an organelle

See http://multimedia.mcb.harvard.edu/anim_innerlife_hi.html


Ii science and human affairs1
II. Science and Human Affairs distant object visible by naked eye (you have to know where to look, and find a really dark place, but the experience is very much worth it!)

  • Molecular Biology is Different, too, but differently different:

  • what you see is what you get (but it gets fantastically complex, awesome and useful)

  • you can do it in your basement

  • => the Basic Problem and the Big Gap


The basic problem
The Basic Problem distant object visible by naked eye (you have to know where to look, and find a really dark place, but the experience is very much worth it!)

  • For the first time in human history, the capability of causing extreme harm is, or will soon be, in the hands of individuals or small groups. This is the 'Basic Problem'.  The actual manifestation of the problem will come as an intentional or accidental misuse of our new powers.

  • Illustration: knowledge of nuclear physics is not sufficient to actually build a nuclear weapon (expense, detectability).

  • Contrast with molecular biology

    (which I love !!!)


Honors 100 knowledge across the disciplines

  • the Basic Problem is a reflection of the Big Gap: the ever-increasing gap between the cumulative, exponential progress in science and technology on the one hand, and on the other hand, the lack of comparable progress in our ability to use our new technological tools thoughtfully and responsibly.


Honors 100 knowledge across the disciplines

Aristotle as a case study: ever-increasing gap between the cumulative, exponential progress in science and technology on the one hand, and on the other hand, the lack of comparable progress in our ability to use our new technological tools thoughtfully and responsibly.

Aristotle Physics: F = m times v

F = m times a

Aristotle Philosophy:

"of the above mentioned forms, the perversions are as follows:

of monarchy, tyranny;

of aristocracy, oligarchy;

of constitutional government, democracy."


Honors 100 knowledge across the disciplines

III. What about culture / music / Bach’s music? ever-increasing gap between the cumulative, exponential progress in science and technology on the one hand, and on the other hand, the lack of comparable progress in our ability to use our new technological tools thoughtfully and responsibly.

“what is the value of Elementary Particle Physics for National Defense?”

“none, except it makes the Nation more worthy of defending”

-------

“what is the value of J.S.Bach’s Art of Fugue ?”

“none, except it (or something equivalent for you) makes the Civilization more worthy of preserving”

-------

To solve the Basic Problem, we will have to find a way to combine Exuberance and Humility – and (Bach’s) Music can help!


Exuberance and humility in music and science
Exuberance and Humility in Music and Science ever-increasing gap between the cumulative, exponential progress in science and technology on the one hand, and on the other hand, the lack of comparable progress in our ability to use our new technological tools thoughtfully and responsibly.

Left: The pipe organ at the St. Marks Cathedral in Seattle

Above: the 1743(Bach was just composing the Art of Fugue then!) instrument at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg.


Conclusions
CONCLUSIONS ever-increasing gap between the cumulative, exponential progress in science and technology on the one hand, and on the other hand, the lack of comparable progress in our ability to use our new technological tools thoughtfully and responsibly.

  • Physics, properly understood and taught, leads (if not to one of the mainstream, revealed religions) to a highly spiritual, idealistic, non-materialistic worldview.

  • It is an excellent glue between different Science disciplines – and even between Sciences and Humanities.

  • This may make it possible to re-establish the original meaning of the concept of a “University” and of Science as “Natural Philosophy” – so that we deserve our PhD titles!

  • Solving the Basic Problem will be very difficult, but YOU will have to do it.

  • Solution will require education, risk assessment, study of preventative measures, coping with the aftermath of upheavals, and reform and strengthening of international law. It will require courage, thinking out of the box, and a genuine transdisciplinary cooperation of Sciences and Humanities.

  • If you succeed, the sky is the limit!