The Null Device

Woolly-headed pseudoscience

Woolly-headed nonsense about "quantum mechanics" in BBC article about sheep-based random poetry art project. Come on; spraypainting words on the backs of sheep and letting them wander around forming random "poems" is not in any way related to "quantum mechanics". Well, not unless observation of the sheep's locations makes it impossible to measure their velocity or collapses the set of all possible words into one word or something like that, which I gather is not the case. Doesn't the BBC have anyone with a basic grasp of physics looking over their site and weeding out the pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo? (via gimbo)

There are 4 comments on "Woolly-headed pseudoscience":

Posted by: gjw http://the-fix.org Fri Dec 6 12:36:21 2002

I realised how unknowledgable Dr. Karl can be yesterday; he's in the Physics department at Sydney Uni isn't he? Well yesterday he couldn't adequately explain to a caller how sound waves can't travel through a vacuum, but radio waves can. Just thought I'd mention that.

Posted by: mitch http:// Fri Dec 6 22:06:41 2002

How would you explain it?

Posted by: gjw http://the-fix.org Sat Dec 7 00:34:47 2002

Sound waves propogate through vibrating particles - the air, water, metal are made of particles, and sound waves move through the mediums as one vibrating particle pushes against the next. Radio waves, on the other hand, are a form of electromagnetic radiation, the same as light, X-rays, ultraviolet etc. Totally different. They are made of electromagnetic fields, rather than vibrating particles, so light can travel through a vacuum, hence we can see the sun and the stars.

Posted by: mitch http:// Mon Dec 9 07:28:56 2002

Not bad. But what if the caller then said, "Well, if it's full of electromagnetic fields, it's not a vacuum, is it?"

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