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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.


Jul
16
comment How is information related to energy in physics?
Jaynes argument for the second law is very explicitly based on an empirical fact. That fact is that we, as experimenters and engineers, are able to directly influence the initial conditions of an experiment, but we can't affect the final conditions except indirectly, by changing the initial conditions. Jaynes' argument says that given this asymmetry, the second law follows. However, this empirical fact in itself is then in need of an explanation, which Jaynes' argument can't help us with, and that's probably where you have to start thinking about the boundary conditions of the universe.
Jul
16
comment Why does wet skin sunburn faster?
Another reason is that if your skin is wet then you probably just washed off all your sunscreen...
Jul
16
comment How is information related to energy in physics?
He makes the argument much more clearly in section 4 of this paper.
Jul
16
comment How is information related to energy in physics?
I think you've misunderstood Jaynes' proof. Jaynes doesn't say the system's components become uncorrelated, he says that (some of) the correlations become irrelevant for making predictions about the system's future behaviour, so you can safely forget about them. Thus we pretend that the system's components have become uncorrelated, even though we know they haven't really, because this allows us to do calculations that would be completely intractable otherwise.
Jul
14
reviewed Close Photoelectric effect - calculating a current in the photocell in which only $5\%$ of photons manage to cause the effect
Jul
14
reviewed Reopen Good reading on the Keldysh formalism
Jul
14
reviewed Reopen Apart from Alfvenic turbulence, what is the most important unsolved problems in plasma physics?
Jul
14
awarded  Pundit
Jul
13
comment Would a super-hot object launch itself into the air?
I agree with this answer, but I'm not so sure there'd be no net motion in the deep fluid case. The heated surroundings would rise due to buoyancy, and maybe that would carry the box upward...
Jul
13
reviewed Leave Open Vectors with more than 3 components
Jul
13
comment How can you weigh your own head in an accurate way?
Voting to reopen because it patently is about physics.
Jul
12
reviewed Leave Open Prof Lewandowski's paper about different space time for different particles
Jul
12
reviewed Reopen Can the laws of quantum mechanics be derived from a more fundamental theory?
Jul
10
awarded  Electorate
Jul
10
comment A Cosmological horizon at the Hubble radius?
I'm not sure but I think a relevant observation is that in order to keep $D$ fixed, the clock at the other end would have to accelerate in order to overcome the expansion of space. I suspect that the time dilation you calculate is actually associated with this hypothetical acceleration. An object at the Hubble distance would have to maintain an infinite acceleration to remain at a constant distance from us, and would therefore experience infinite time dilation.
Jul
10
reviewed Leave Open Canonical everyday-life example of a technology that could not work without humans mastering QM in analogy to the application of GR in GPS?
Jul
10
reviewed Close How much energy is consumed by a aircraft to maintain a speed of sound?
Jul
9
awarded  Custodian
Jul
9
reviewed Approve suggested edit on Reconciliation of a particle's rest frame and the uncertainty principle
Jul
9
reviewed Looks OK If components of differing resistance are wired in parallel, how does a common voltage drop arise?