Daily Archives: November 7, 2000

November 7 2000

The meaning of weblogging

Hah! And once again my weblog has proven very useful! Well, at least for myself.

I was just trying to figure something out for my thesis and needed a graph of the Weierstrass pe-function. Normally, I would have looked at Eric Weisstein’s World of Mathematics, but as I learned a few days ago, it’s no longer online.

Luckily, I posted the graph on my weblog a while ago!

But I really do hope they are able to sort out the copyright problem and bring Mathworld back to life.


I searched for more articles on the possible division of electrons:


While people at CERN are desperately trying to find the Higgs particle (the last missing elementary particle of the standard model of physics), a physicist elsewhere might have discovered that the electron can be divided into several parts?! Read Double or quit in the New Scientist:

“‘Electron fragments behave to all intents and purposes like entirely separate particles,’ says Maris, who is based at Brown University in Rhode Island. ‘I call them electrinos.’

Pause a moment to consider what Maris is saying. The electron is the lightest subatomic particle and the one with the greatest claim to being absolutely fundamental. In fact, in the 103 years since its discovery, there has been no other evidence whatsoever that the electron is divisible. It is the modern incarnation of Democritus’s ‘uncuttable’ atom.

The claim that electrons are divisible is therefore nothing short of a bombshell dropped into the world of physics. ‘If Humphrey is correct, it means a Nobel Prize,’ says Gary Ihas of the University of Florida. Nobel prizewinner Philip Anderson of Princeton University thinks Maris must be wrong. ‘But it’s not obvious why,’ he admits.

Maris does not have definitive proof of his hypothesis. But earlier this year he published a paper that put it on a firm theoretical basis, and marshalled supporting evidence from past experiments. Now he is doing his own experiments, trying to break up the electron.

Whether Maris succeeds or not, he may have found a large crack in one of the foundation stones of modern physics. ‘Humphrey has succeeded in exposing a fundamental flaw in the framework of quantum theory,’ says Peter McClintock of the University of Lancaster.”

The article claims that electrons can be divided if they are put into liquid helium at 1.7 K – or at least, their wave function can be divided. Physicists are still arguing about whether that really means the electron is being divided or merely that one doesn’t know where the electron is.

If the propositions of Humphrey Maris are correct, quantum phsyics is dead.

Link via BookNotes.


What?? I just went over to dangerous meta – to see photos with lots of snow in them! Whoa! I always thought New Mexico was still nice and warm at this time of the year.

But the snow didn’t stop Garret from voting.

Speaking of voting – I’m nervously waiting for the results. They said on the news that the first calculations are expected around 3 a.m.. I guess I’ll have to wait till tomorrow, then. Sigh.

Ganz schön alt…

Congratulations to Sheila and Brent – their weblogs turn one year old today! For a blog, that’s pretty old, I’d say. facehappy:

Weise, weise

Der Schockwellenreiter beglückt uns heute mit folgender Weisheit:

“Es gibt Leute… […] …die wissen alles (besser??). Die wollen wohl Lehrer (leerer?) werden. […]

Der liebe Gott weiß alles, Lehrer wissen alles besser. clown:

Genau, darum studiere ich ja Lehramt. Aber weil ich es noch besser weiß, werde ich mich auch mal umschauen, ob ich mit meinem Studium nicht was besseres anfangen kann, als Lehrer zu werden. wink:

Late flip

This afternoon, I’ve been busy giving math lessons to several middle school students. Normally, a friend of mines teaches them, but she is at Physics on Stage at the moment (Infos in deutsch), so she has asked me to do it for her.

Now I’m pretty exhausted…