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Comments by lmkrauss

Go to: Dawkins & Krauss Discussion from ASU 4 Feb

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 59 by lmkrauss

maybe a kids book at some time.. probably worth doing.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 20:10:01 UTC | #917290

Go to: Dawkins & Krauss Discussion from ASU 4 Feb

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by lmkrauss

I don't believe it is similar to our stanford discussion at all in fact.. I tried to stay away from the same issues as I remembered them.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 04:52:50 UTC | #917089

Go to: Lawrence Krauss on Cosmic Connections

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by lmkrauss

I read with great surprise and pleasure all of the kind words, which I am very appreciative of, especially the truly inspiring ones from Richard.. I was motivated to respond to the last comment by Rtambree, because it is simply wrong.. in a rather profound way. Aside from the hydrogen in our body, we are more neutrons than protons.. and in fact all of the excess neutrons in our bodies were in fact created in the cores of stars from the remnant protons in the big bang via weak interactions.. so being star stuff is in fact more than a 'schtick'.. to me it remains more than poetry.. but is, as Richard has so eloquently said, the poetry of reality.

L. krauss

Sat, 03 Dec 2011 17:28:15 UTC | #895337

Go to: Dealing with William Lane Craig

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by lmkrauss

it was a joke!. For very large numbers, in particular infinite ones, the rules change.

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 16:08:19 UTC | #612161

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 107 by lmkrauss

didn't know it was restricted.. Here are major excerpts.

Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science Lawrence M. Krauss W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 2011. $24.95 (368 pp.). ISBN 978-0-393-06471-1 Reviewed by David L. Goodstein

Quantum Man: Richard Feyman's Life in Science

Richard Feynman was my friend and colleague for more than 20 years before he died on 15 February 1988. Knowing him was a thoroughly remarkable experience that informed and illuminated my days.

Nevertheless, the latest biography, Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science, by theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, has greatly improved my understanding of what Feynman did before I met him in 1966. Unlike Krauss’s previous popularizations, notably The Physics of Star Trek (Basic Books, 2007), Quantum Man is about a physicist and for physicists. To be sure, Krauss nobly attempts to make the book accessible to a general audience by including essentially no equations. He says he prepared to write the book by reading all of Feynman’s scientific works and much of the secondary literature about him. The book certainly reflects that slant toward science.

Among the many examples of Krauss’s writing style is this description of Feynman’s path-integral attack on quantum electrodynamics (QED):

[Feynman] found a way to alter the interactions of electrons and photons at very small scales and very high energies in a manner that was consistent with the requirements of relativity. Pictorially this results from considering the case where the loop in the self-energy diagram becomes very small, and then altering the interactions for all loops that are small and smaller. In this way a provisional result could be derived, which is finite. Moreover, this result could be shown to be independent of the form of the alteration of the interactions for small loops in the limit that the loops become smaller and smaller. 

With descriptions like that, no equations are needed.

Quantum Man introduces John Kosterlitz and David Thouless, who in 1966 were relatively unknown physicists. They produced a theory of two-dimensional phase transitions just like one Feynman independently worked out. I know that to be true because around that time I told Feynman about my work on 2D phase transitions and he was clearly intrigued. A week later he returned to my office with what turned out to be the Kosterlitz–Thouless theory fully formed. Then, just as we were about to write it up, a preprint from Kosterlitz and Thouless arrived in the mail. I tried referring to ours as the Kosterlitz-Thouless-Feynman theory in the literature, but that name didn’t stick. Feynman, however, duly gave them full credit....

Quantum Man paints the broad outlines of Feynman’s life: his love for his first wife Arline, his exploits at Los Alamos National Laboratory during World War II, his depressed state at Cornell University after the war, his long battle to understand QED, his trips to Brazil and his sexual conquests there, his marriage to Gweneth Howarth, and his work on The Feynman Lectures (Addison Wesley Longman, 1970). All that material is gleaned from secondary sources. Krauss ends with the story of Feynman’s struggle with quantum chromodynamics and barely mentions his critical advisory role in the investigations of the Challenger disaster. The focus on Feynman’s science over his personality or public profile is characteristic of the entire book.

Krauss has written a very good book whose natural audience comprises typical readers of Physics Today...

Sat, 12 Mar 2011 03:41:00 UTC | #601828

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 104 by lmkrauss

p.s. book official pub date is march 21.. see march 2011 edition of physics today for a review by a physicist..

Thu, 10 Mar 2011 06:50:39 UTC | #600690

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 101 by lmkrauss

i have read the unabridged audio book.. it comes out march 21

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 00:53:41 UTC | #597902

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 95 by lmkrauss

to dave h: I think the problem has to do with rights.. rights for one are held by caltech, and the other by the family.. I think.

Sat, 19 Feb 2011 01:54:07 UTC | #593283

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 85 by lmkrauss

:) at least I think people will find my descriptions of his music, which is truly secondary, accurate.. :)

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 16:12:51 UTC | #592492

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 75 by lmkrauss

Laura: I would say, read the book and see, but....

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 01:06:49 UTC | #592336

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 73 by lmkrauss

to Laurw:

one last thing... ran the descriptions by three well known physicists-friends, a nobel laureate, a member of the national academy, and a well known physics popularizer... before the final version appeared.... they had no problems with the explanations or the physics, and in fact were extremely excited about the book, for what that is worth.. in any case, I appreciate your desire for truth...

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 00:34:20 UTC | #592331

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 69 by lmkrauss

to Laurw: For the public, the square of a quantity is identical to the magnitude squared... I could have said the quantity times its complex conjugate, but no one would have understood this.. I suspect you would learn things from the book, if you let yourself read what you know I mean, given your knowledge.. but if you are offended by knowing more than others who read it, or worrying that you couldn't follow up on something I described that you are not familiar with it.. don't buy it.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 18:31:21 UTC | #592193

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by lmkrauss

interesting to read the threads on antiparticles... I hope you will read my book on Feynman.. I spend a lot of time trying to make physically clear what this is all about.

LMK

Mon, 14 Feb 2011 20:33:04 UTC | #591892

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by lmkrauss

reply to Locustus7 and Aresteanu:

Lapel pin: from Norway, representation of 8000 year old rock drawing on rocks near shore in northern norway.... inspired Von Danekin (sp?) thinking it looked like an alien visitor to earth back then.

Aresteanu: Thanks very much.. I wrote a whole book on my take on string theory/m theory: called hiding in the mirror. as for my friend Lee Smolin's ideas of natural selection and evolution of universes.. I think it is a crock of nonsense..embarrassing at best.. it was not something that should have been published..

best,

LMK

Mon, 14 Feb 2011 07:09:48 UTC | #591680

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by lmkrauss

sorry.. meant bethe123.. mis-typed.

Sat, 12 Feb 2011 17:15:39 UTC | #591280

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by lmkrauss

THanks to all.. I have found this discussion illuminating and useful.

First, to Bethe31.. I have softened overnight.. I realized after I wrote you that I had a brief sentence or two related to Bell's work when discussing quantum computers.. (I had initially been thinking of a whole section, which I knew I hadn't written) But had I put an aside about negative probabilities as a mathematically useful formal tool in certain instances, it would have required me to make an aside of at least several pages and maybe more to adequately explain what I was talking about, and I expect this would have confused more than enlightened, but I agree that was a judgment call that is by no means indisputable.. and I do appreciate your point of view, and your taking the time to relate it.

To Mike Gottlieb: The book is certainly not written at the mathematical level of Mehra (or in fact of Schweber's book, QED..., which I found even more illuminating.. On the other hand, I believe I succeeded in conveying what I intended, and you can be the judge.. I do know that I put what I think are insights in there that professional physicists may find useful, even though it was written in the context of a popular book.. I can also say that several of my colleagues who have read it, including Bjorken, Wilczek and Rees have found it interesting and useful, which gives me confidence..

hope this helps..

Sat, 12 Feb 2011 16:41:18 UTC | #591277

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by lmkrauss

when it becomes available..

Sat, 12 Feb 2011 06:47:06 UTC | #591177

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by lmkrauss

the scientific papers... that is what is important.

I do not know what section on Bell's work you are referring to.

And last, because I don't plan on getting into a protracting conversation here, the purpose of the book was to describe his significant contributions that have had a major impact upon our current understanding of nature. I chose the topics with this in mind, and the discussion you find fascinating was not one of them. It is a matter of subjective opinion I suppose, and we disagree about its significance. I hope you enjoy the rest of the book.

Sat, 12 Feb 2011 06:40:50 UTC | #591174

Go to: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by lmkrauss

sorry.. but your note rubbed me the wrong way... so I am going to respond more aggressively than I might otherwise... my goal was not to show off or be pedantic.. you note I used the word 'generally' when talking about probabilities, and you also note that there was no need to mention complex numbers in the paragraph I wrote.. talking about negative probabilities would have not helped any explanation of what I wanted to convey.. so I am glad you know about negative probabilities.. As for reading all of his papers, it is fairly easy, as he didn't write that many of them..

LMK

Sat, 12 Feb 2011 05:07:35 UTC | #591156

Go to: Is Hawking stealing Krauss' thunder?

lmkrauss's Avatar Jump to comment 49 by lmkrauss

many thanks for thinking of me. I was just alerted to this discussion. The answer to your question is yes and no.. :) Hopefully he may also add to my thunder. :)

The discussions have been correct that to idea of spontaneous creation of universes has been around for awhile and many people contributed to it. I think I may have been the first person to try and popularize the notion that cosmology tells us we can get something from nothing, but indeed whenever Stephen says something people listen.. :) However, in fact the main issues are not raised by Stephen, I think, and I tried to raise some in my Youtube lecture.. I will raise more in the new book, so stay tuned!!!

Lawrence Krauss

Fri, 03 Sep 2010 16:51:03 UTC | #510759