12,885 reputation
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bio website nathanielvirgo.com
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visits member for 2 years, 11 months
seen 1 hour ago

I'm a post-doctoral researcher with a wide range of interests. My career is in complex systems science (or maybe cybernetics) and the origins of life, but I also have research interests in

  • the foundations of statistical mechanics and its relationship to information theory
  • Earth systems science
  • non-equilibrium thermodynamics in general

I'm also generally interested in the foundations of quantum mechanics and in black holes, though I wouldn't say I'm an expert on those things.

It's probably worth noting that despite the fact that my research is in physics-related areas, all my degrees are in other subjects. If I occasionally seem to start talking in an alien language, this is probably why.


2h
comment “Delayed choice” quantum imaging experiment - why wouldn't it work?
@phono creating an entangled pair isn't necessarily a measurement - I don't think there's anything fishy about that part.
3h
asked “Delayed choice” quantum imaging experiment - why wouldn't it work?
1d
awarded  Nice Answer
1d
comment How do you add temperatures?
@AndrewMedico ah yes, now I remember that, good point.
2d
comment How do you add temperatures?
@SeanD thanks, corrected. (For future reference: this is Stack Exchange, you can just edit for little things like that.)
2d
revised How do you add temperatures?
edited body
2d
answered How do you add temperatures?
Aug
25
reviewed Edit suggested edit on A problem of thermodynamics
Aug
25
revised A problem of thermodynamics
correct spelling
Aug
23
comment assuming energy is a property of matter, and moving matter has energy but energy dosn't cause moving matter, then what causes matter to move?
Assuming length is a property of matter, and long matter has length but length doesn't cause matter to elongate, what causes matter to be long?
Aug
17
comment Why slightly closing your eyes let you see the rainbow colors?
I think it is diffraction, but not caused by the eyelids forming a small aperture, since looking through a pinhole doesn't cause the same effect. Rather, I think it's light diffracting around the eyelashes, which I guess are quite a bit smaller.
Aug
16
awarded  Deputy
Aug
16
comment General Thermodynamic equation of state
It seems I forgot about your comment. I've edited my answer to take account of it.
Aug
16
revised General Thermodynamic equation of state
added 1062 characters in body
Aug
14
comment Problems with units of entropy in statistical thermodynamics
I don't understand why you think W has to be dimensionful. S and k have the same units, so the dimensions balance when W is dimensionless, which in fact it is, since it's just a number.
Aug
6
revised Wavelength and Frustum shaped resonant cavity
Spelling
Aug
5
comment What is the physical meaning of the action in Lagrangian mechanics?
This is fascinating - I've never seen this explanation before. Does it still hold for non-inertial particles (i.e. when there's a force involved), and for entangled particles, fields etc.?
Aug
5
comment Why do some pressure cookers initially leak
Voting to reopen. Clearly a physics question, clearly a physics answer. Obviously the design of the pressure cooker has something to do with it, but that will be the case for virtually any 'home experiment' type question.
Jul
28
revised Why does nuclear matter tend to maximize pressure?
Sorry for the minor edit, but that comma is not correct English (it is correct German), and since the OP didn't include it it seems better not to edit it in.
Jul
28
comment What does it mean to say “Gravity is the weakest of the forces”?
It may or may not also have been Feynman who said words to the effect that the question "why is gravity so weak?" can be rephrased as "why is the mass of the proton so small?".