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location Utrecht, Netherlands
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May
12
comment How is the Breit-Rabi formula derived?
@Lubos Thank you! If you answer, I'll accept. In the meantime an arxiv search turned up this paper which also seems relevant, especially sections II and III.a.
May
8
awarded  Student
May
7
awarded  Editor
May
7
revised How is the Breit-Rabi formula derived?
Made question more precise, and showing where the 'knowledge gap' is.
May
7
asked How is the Breit-Rabi formula derived?
Apr
7
comment What is the wavefunction of the observer himself?
For what it's worth, Egan winces at the scientific flaws of the novel and discusses in great detail where he departs from reality here: gregegan.customer.netspace.net.au/QUARANTINE/QM/QM.html
Mar
21
awarded  Supporter
Mar
9
comment Maxwell's Demon - laser cooling
@Peter : Thanks, I didn't know that! Most of my physics knowledge comes, vicariously, from my girlfriend who's doing a Ph.D. on laser cooling of fermions.
Mar
9
comment Maxwell's Demon - laser cooling
@Peter I'd guessed as much, but my intuition was that since the cooling step (presumably) is opto-mechanical, the time scales there would be much larger than the decaying of the atoms. I guess that assumption was wrong, then!
Mar
9
awarded  Precognitive
Mar
9
comment Maxwell's Demon - laser cooling
I think Michael means to ask why the energy from the excitation beam (the orange one) doesn't heat up the atoms. My guess would be that they in fact do heat it up, but by an amount that is much less than the amount the gas is cooled down by the subsequent expansion. My question is how can the excited state be stable?