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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.


Mar
7
comment Numerical Ising Model - Wolff algorithm and correlations
@DavidZ From the summary in the meta-question: "we seem to be taking the position that questions about the interpretation or justification of an algorithm or its results, or about physically motivated algorithm design, are okay". If any question ever fell in to that category, this one does.
Mar
7
comment Numerical Ising Model - Wolff algorithm and correlations
@DavidZ is this the relevant discussion? meta.physics.stackexchange.com/questions/43/… It seems to me from the accepted answer and the question itself that they are specifically *ex*cluded.
Mar
7
comment Numerical Ising Model - Wolff algorithm and correlations
Of course we agreed as a community that software questions are off topic. However, a question about results obtained using a particular algorithm is quite different from a question about a particular piece of software.
Mar
7
comment Numerical Ising Model - Wolff algorithm and correlations
@DavidZ as a statistical mechanics expert, numerically simulating the Ising model is one of the first things I think of when someone says "physics". The help centre says questions about "experimental designs and results" are on topic, and while one can get into philosophical arguments about whether computational results are "empirical", it would seem absurd to me to say that an algorithm for probing the implications of the Ising model is any less on-topic than an experiment to measure the correlations in a real spin system. Or a more analytical approach for that matter.
Mar
7
comment Numerical Ising Model - Wolff algorithm and correlations
@Learning how big is your grid? Since the spatial range of the correlations also diverges at the critical point, the boundary conditions will have a strong effect on the whole system. I guess this can be mitigated somewhat in practice by making it very large, which is why I'm curious about your system's size.
Mar
7
comment Numerical Ising Model - Wolff algorithm and correlations
@DavidZ it's hard to imagine how a question about correlations in the Ising model could be said to be not about physics.
Mar
6
comment Is Sound Considered a Subtopic of Physics? What are the SI Units of Sound?
@CarlWittgoft you're right, I should have mentioned pascals. Decibels are what you'll find used in practice. I'll edit when I'm at a computer.
Mar
6
answered Is Sound Considered a Subtopic of Physics? What are the SI Units of Sound?
Mar
6
revised Mistake in Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
edited tags
Mar
6
comment Huggins Displacement Theory and Retrocausality
Unfortunately this question will be closed. Questions that only ask for discussion are against the rules here. But it's an interesting topic, and if you can come up with some specific questions about it I hope they will be welcome.
Mar
6
comment Huggins Displacement Theory and Retrocausality
Huw Price writes about a different loop-hole in his 1996 book "Time's Arrow and Archimedes' Point". Price's loophole is that it's OK to change the past as long as there's no way that change in the past can be measured. He proposes this as an explanation for entanglement in quantum mechanics: in Price's interpretation, a causal influences doesn't travel faster than light between the two particles, but instead travels back in time to the point when the particles were in contact, and then forward again to the time when the other particle is measured. I've always thought that was pretty neat.
Mar
6
comment Huggins Displacement Theory and Retrocausality
This doesn't seem to work, for the following reason: the theory says I can send a message back in time one year to you, one light-year away. But you can then relay the message back to me one year ago (and one light-year away) as well. That means I receive the message two years before I sent it, leading to grandfather-type paradoxes.
Mar
6
comment Is it possible to avoid the radiation that caused the American flag turned into white on the Moon?
@DavidZ I would say the charitable interpretation of the question is: "what physical process causes the bleaching? Could NASA have predicted it in the 1960s? Are there any materials that wouldn't exhibit such an effect?" Perhaps it could do with some rewording to really bring those questions to the fore, but to me they seem clear enough, and they all seem like physics questions to me.
Mar
5
comment Can Information Travel Faster Than The Speed Of Light?
It could also be considered a duplicate of physics.stackexchange.com/q/2175. The question is framed slightly differently, but the answers to that question explain very well why the pendulum will not instantly drop to the ground.
Mar
5
comment Is it possible to avoid the radiation that caused the American flag turned into white on the Moon?
This question appears to be about physics within the scope defined in the help centre. Therefore I'm voting to reopen.
Mar
1
comment A problem with $E = mc^2$
I fixed your formatting, but I'm not really sure what you're asking.
Mar
1
revised A problem with $E = mc^2$
fixed markup
Mar
1
comment Couder-Fort Oil Bath Experiments and Quantum Entanglement Phenomena
Ok, I've updated my answer with an expanded version of that comment.
Mar
1
revised Couder-Fort Oil Bath Experiments and Quantum Entanglement Phenomena
added 1183 characters in body
Feb
28
answered How to determine “timelike”-ness without using a coordinate system?