77,471 reputation
178166
bio website ratsauce.co.uk
location Chester, United Kingdom
age 53
visits member for 3 years, 3 months
seen 11 hours ago

Semi retired old time computer nerd who started programming on a Commodore Pet.

Since I'm also active in the Physics forum I should add that I started as a theoretical chemist, moved into solid state photochemistry and finally worked in industry as a colloid scientist. I only became a full time computer nerd in 1997.


Apr
12
comment Why does diffraction depend on wavelength?
That's an awfully broad question. You're basically asking us to explain diffraction to you. I would start by browsing the Hyperphysics pages on diffraction and come back to us with specific questions.
Apr
12
comment why cannot fermions have non-zero vacuum expectation value?
The Higgs has a non-zero vev, but there's no reason to suppose this applies to other scalars. It's a special property of the Higgs.
Apr
12
comment Interpretation of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle
There are some relevant commentis in my answer to another question. This is about photons, but the comments apply to any particle.
Apr
12
comment why is universe neutrally charged?
You might be interest to read the paper The electrically charged universe
Apr
12
comment How is the Plane of the Solar System oriented to the Sun's motion through space?
I think the downvote is harsh. There's an obvious interpretation of the motion as discussed in my answer. It's an interesting question and one that had never occurred to me. It turns out the direction of motion seems oddly aligned with various major features of the universe - see the article I've linked for more details. Anyhow, +1 from me and ignore the downvoters!
Apr
12
comment Can you discern the cause of a time shift?
I think the trouble is that the question doesn't really make sense. The equivalence between gravitation and acceleration is local i.e. only local observations can't tell the difference. Looking out of the window would allow you to tell the difference. In this case, you could compare the Earth's position with what your ephemeris says it should be to help work out what had happened.
Apr
11
comment Does non-matter energy curve spacetime?
possible duplicate of What are the factors affecting the spacetime curvature?
Apr
11
comment Grover search algorithm for more than one marked elements
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about computer science
Apr
10
comment Why is $|\Psi|^2$ the probability density?
See this paper by Scott Aaronson. He considers other ways of calculating the probability density and shows that the 2-norm is the only physically reasonable one.
Apr
9
comment Are retrograde capture orbits “easier” than prograde capture orbits?
Isn't it the case that we suspect a moon has been captured because it's orbit is retrograde? If it was prograde how would we distinguish it from the other moons?
Apr
9
comment Could a tetraquark $q \bar{q} q \bar{q}$ be colorless?
The Z(4430) is believed to be made up of quarks, or at least no-one is suggesting differently. It's just that it appears to be made up of four quarks not three.
Apr
8
comment Minkowski Metric Signature
@DoryanMiller: you should probably disregard my previous comment. I was coming over all Tegmarkian. If the metric signature was anything other than what it is the universe would be completely different and we wouldn't be here discussing it.
Apr
8
comment Ion-neutralization processes and its energies
A cation plus electron is always higher energy than the neutral atom. It takes energy to remove the electron, and the cation and electron will recombine if brought together. Likewise an isolated anion is higher energy than the neutral atom plus electron. Ions form only when there is some way to make back the energy required e.g. in NaCl the energy it cost to make the ions is repaid due to the electrostatic attraction between Na$^+$ and Cl$^-$ ions.
Apr
8
comment Minkowski Metric Signature
Sadly, it was arbitrary and just worked. Well, no, it wasn't arbitrary. When Einstein wrote his original paper on special relativity he had to write time with an opposite sign to to space, but he didn't write the metric in the way we do these days. He was more driven by the physics. When Minkowski reformulated SR we got the metric with the signature we use today.
Apr
8
comment Geodesic devation on a two sphere
A downvote? Did I get something wrong? (I answered in a hurry so it's entirely possible.)
Apr
8
comment Difference between the increase in optical path due to refraction and that due to reflection
I think you need to draw a diagram to explain what you mean
Apr
8
comment Resultant wave in the Michelson-Morley experiment
Well yes they do. If the original intensity is $I$ then each leg has half the intensity and they recombine to give intensity $I$ again.
Apr
8
comment Could water physically makeup the core of a planet or otherwise large celestial mass?
Yes, but the pressure would also compress the metal and rock so they would get denser too.
Apr
8
comment Interaction energy between dipole and potential
I've edited your question to typeset the equations using MathJax. Apologies if I've misunderstood any of them.
Apr
8
comment Relationship between existence of forces on a liquid surface, and the tendency to decrease the surface area
You say That is because of their mathematical definitions but this is a misrepresentation. It's because work is force times distance, which is a physical principle rather than a mathematical one.