If you want to break into a physics professor's briefcase, here is a hint. This is a simple number with large implications. It could even be used to communicate with aliens!
Planck's constant, h, is at the core of all that is quantum mechanics. It crops up everywhere when things get small, and makes the world discrete.
Schrödinger's Cat is the classic thought experiment. It was originally used to show how the very small can affect the very large - and to poke fun at it. However it quickly became very influential.
Heisenberg's microscope starts from his uncertainty principle, and explores the idea that you can't simultaneously measure both the position and momentum of a particle. Is there any way round this?
The Sixty Symbols team are asked a variety of questions, starting with absolute zero: does all movement stop? Also covered is the light from the Big Bang, and do scientists play sport?
At the heart of quantum mechanics is the wave function. What is it, and how do we understand it? We also get an insight into the life of the physicist behind the wave function -- his rather unorthadox life.
Particles vs waves. de Broglie made a breakthrough in the understanding of waves and particles. It was an idea so outrageous that when he submitted it as his PhD thesis, no one quite knew what to make of it. In the end the examiner sent it to Einstein, who approved -- and indeed de Broglie went on to win a Nobel prize for the work!
Starting with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, we find we can make anything we want...as long as we don't want it for very long. So a vacuum isn't really empty, and we can actually be tested this claim with the Casimir effect. How does this extrapolate to black holes though? Enter Hawking radiation!
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