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Mathematics Illuminated | Unit 13| 13.3 Limits of Predictability
Although in the preceding example we saw how certain points act as attractors or repellers, this does not always have to be the case. For example, if we look at the phase portrait of a simple harmonic oscillator, such as the mass and spring that we examined previously (but without friction this time), we see that there is a nice closed loop corresponding to each combination of starting position and starting velocity.
physics  math  calculus 
yesterday by lena
10 Mind-Bending Discoveries In Physics | Listverse
The study of physics is the study of the universe—and more specifically, just how the hell the universe works. It is without a doubt the most interesting branch of science, because the universe, as it turns out, is a whole lot more complicated than it looks on the surface (and it looks pretty complicated already). The world works in some really weird ways, and though you may need a PhD to understand why, you only need a sense of awe to appreciate how.
science  physics  WG-blog 
3 days ago by icresource
Why read old philosophy? | Meteuphoric
(This story would suggest that in physics students are maybe missing out on learning the styles of thought that produce progress in physics. My guess is that instead they learn them in grad school when they are doing research themselves, by emulating their supervisors, and that the helpfulness of this might partially explain why Nobel prizewinner advisors beget Nobel prizewinner students.)

The story I hear about philosophy—and I actually don’t know how much it is true—is that as bits of philosophy come to have any methodological tools other than ‘think about it’, they break off and become their own sciences. So this would explain philosophy’s lone status in studying old thinkers rather than impersonal methods—philosophy is the lone ur-discipline without impersonal methods but thinking.

This suggests a research project: try summarizing what Aristotle is doing rather than Aristotle’s views. Then write a nice short textbook about it.
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3 days ago by nhaliday
NASA’s EM-drive is a magnetic WTF-thruster | Ars Technica
dunno why this guy feels the need to write like a boingboing editor c.2007 but there you go
physics 
4 days ago by engles
Bokeh
Bokeh describes the appearance, or "feel," of out-of-focus areas. Bokeh is not how far something is out-of-focus, bokeh is the character of whatever blur is there.

Unfortunately good bokeh doesn't happen automatically in lens design. Perfect lenses render out-of-focus points of light as circles with sharp edges. Ideal bokeh would render each of these points as blurs, not hard-edged circles. Mathematicians would say the intensity distribution of the blur circles are rectangular in perfect lenses, and good bokeh would prefer a Gaussian distribution. This is one area in which physics doesn't mirror what we want artistically.
photography  reference  physics  art  theory 
4 days ago by rmohns

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