Modern Physics for Writers, online August 6-Sept 2, 2012

Modern Physics for Writers

All matter is made of strings! Universes are created when membranes collide! Invisible Dark Matter is 80% of everything! Dark energy is blowing the universe apart! There are four dimensions, no 10, no 11 dimensions—no, nine dimensions! Searching for The God Particle!

Sometimes theoretical physics sounds like screaming tabloid headlines, and makes about as much sense. Want to know the truth behind the headlines? Because, really, truth is stranger than fiction—or at least mathematically derived theoretical concepts are stranger than our everyday experiences.

Some of the more esoteric concepts are quite useful in fiction, both for science fiction and paranormal worlds. And there’s very little math; when you get to this level of physics, nobody outside the particular sub-branch understands it, anyway. So let’s delve into the mysterious reality inside the atom and outside the galaxy, look at current theories for tying them together and maybe think about how to use it in our stories.

Topics covered include:
Physics in the 19th and 20th centuries – Inside the Atom and Outside the Planet

  • How Einstein ruined everything, with help from Planck, Thompson, Geiger, Rutheford, Bohr, Schrodinger, Heisenberg , and even the grandfather of EMF, Michael Faraday.
  • The whole light thing – Particle vs. Wave cage match, including quantum entanglement, leaping, tunneling, de-coherence; this is where reality gets really weird.
  • What’s in an atom and why I hate Werner Heisenberg (Schrodinger’s cat, observing is changing, uncertainty, quantum entanglement).
  • The God particle (Higgs Boson) and the theory behind it.
  • Dark matter, dark energy

The dark secret: General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics don’t work together

  • Trying to Resolve the Feud and Create a Theory of Everything:
  • String Theory – getting worse before it gets better
  • Supergravity and the 11th dimension
  • M-Theory, Elegant and Unprovable

What does this mean to writers?

  • Solid matter…isn’t; wave theory and quantum phase change
  • Eleven dimensions and multiple universes for SF writers: wormholes, FTL travel, gravitons, time
  • Implications for non-SF writers: Time travel, ghosts, magic, ESP, mythical creatures

To register, go to the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of Romance Writers of America:

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