Download Beyond Star Trek: physics from alien invasions to the end of by Lawrence M. Krauss PDF

By Lawrence M. Krauss

Lawrence Krauss takes a provocative examine how the legislation of physics relate to notions from our pop culture - not just famous person Trek, yet different motion pictures, exhibits, and well known lore - from Independence Day to famous person Wars to The X-Files. subscribe to him on a enjoyable, mind-bending trip during the nature of alien visitation, interstellar commute - together with the very most up-to-date on warp-drive platforms - time, realization, ESP, the chance of alternative lifestyles within the universe, and quantum fact.

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This will eventually get you to shore, but it will take an awful lot of rice to start you moving. Accelerating and decelerating single atoms with visible light from lasers has been demonstrated in the laboratory, and it works very well. Unfortunately, we and our ships are made of an awful lot of single atoms. We shouldn't despair, however, because there is a way of producing radiation at a much higher energy than the type we normally produce with lasers. If we take a particle of matter and annihilate it with a particle of antimatter, the products can shoot out at near the speed of light, and, more important, they will carry away all the original energy of the matter-antimatter pair that were annihilated—just as if you had kicked out the original particles at something like the speed of light.

There has to be a better way! CHAPTER FIVE There, and Back Again? Einstein had a little theory. It had something to do with relativity. Well, Einstein put that theory to the test, That's why he looks confused, and his hair's a mess. —New Rhythm and Blues Quartet (NRBQ) P racticality is something we often dispense with when it comes to imagining the future. Part of the fun of physics, and science fiction, is recognizing that to make any progress in the world we can't limit ourselves to thinking about what we're capable of today.

The principles involved in statistical mechanics are so subtle that two of its developers killed themselves because of the initial resistance to their ideas. In any case, it turns out that the cosmic background radiation left over from the Big Bang not only exhibits a blackbody spectrum but it is the most perfect blackbody spectrum ever measured—closer to the theoretical prediction than anything we have been able to create in the laboratory. We can therefore use the universe itself to test the predictions of quantum mechanics.

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