Hoe alles met elkaar samenhangt (of niet)

Brian Cox, de rock star of physics, legt in onderstaand filmpje uit hoe alles met elkaar samenhangt. De eerste reactie is wow! Maar het praatje leidde tot de nodige commotie onder natuurkundigen. Want klopt het wel wat Cox zegt? En zijn er grenzen aan hoe je wetenschap kunt populariseren? Natuurkundige Sean Carroll op Cosmic Variance:

,,The problem is that, in this video, the proffered mind-bending consequences of quantum mechanics aren’t actually correct. (…) One thing should be clear: getting the physics right isn’t easy. For one thing, going from simple quantum problems of a single particle in a textbook to the messy real world is often a complicated and confusing process. For another, the measurement process in quantum mechanics is famously confusing and not completely settled, even among professional physicists.

And finally, when one translates from the relative clarity of the equations to a natural-language description in order to reach a broad audience, it’s always possible to quibble about the best way to translate. It’s completely unfair in these situations to declare a certain popular exposition “wrong” just because it isn’t the way you would have done it, or even because it assumes certain technical details that the presenter did not fully footnote. It’s a popular lecture, not a scholarly tome. In this kind of format, there are two relevant questions: (1) is there an interpretation of what’s being said that matches the informal description onto a correct formal statement within the mathematical formulation of the theory?; and (2) has the formalism been translated in such a way that a non-expert listener will come away with an understanding that is reasonably close to reality? We should be charitable interpreters, in other words.”

Hier het fragment en als je de discussie irrelevant vindt en gewoon een uurtje goed vermaakt wilt worden met wetenschap, staat daaronder de hele lezing.

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    Vreemd, die show was in december vorig jaar al bij de Beeb op de buis en nu, twee maanden daarna, komen de quantumfysici met hun kritiek. Terecht wel te verstaan, maar vrij laat opeens.