Newtonian Mechanics
Right now, just a simulation of a freely falling ball, but more classic physics coming Real Soon Now...

Quantum Physics:
Not your grandfather's atom
Consciousness and Artificial Intelligences

A look at attempts to understand our own minds, and to create others in their image.

String Theory

A promising new theoretical way to bridge quantum mechanics and general relativity.

Welcome to the Physics Multiverse

Note in 2012

How can I edit this vintage 1998 web design? Nothing says early web like orphaned, decade-plus-old assurances that content is "Coming soon!" The only thing more authentic would be an animated gif of a construction worker on a sign...

Anyhow, what you are here for, of course, are the handmade animated gifs of relativity, which I did my very own self in Gimp. (You can tell because of the jitter of not-quite-aligned elements. This is why I am fussy about my powerpoint animation alignment being... just... right...) You are also here for my first and last foray into Javascripting, the Schroedinger's cat alive-or-deadifier. It was broken until I just removed the extra bit I tacked on to test for my physics teacher's IP address and display a different image.

One more thing! Pretty much all of the links are dead (including my long-dead email addresses; this site was up before existed). Just about the only things to stay put on the web in the last 14 years are Amazon and Terry Pratchett... (mutter, mutter, my lawn, you kids)

We now return you to your originally scheduled boilerplate...

Once upon a time, the universe was a giant disk on the back of four elephants on top of a giant sea turtle. Then people realized that, although it was a rather fun idea for a series of oddball English fantasies, it didn't quite fit with "observable reality". So when Newton formulated his universal theory of gravitation, people began to realize that perhaps the universe wasn't so incomprehensible after all, that given enough observation and intelligence men could find all the laws governing this vast piece of machinery.

Of course, they were just as wrong as the ancient Sumerians.

Modern physics began around the turn of the century in a rare case of historical events coinciding nicely with calander changes, with Planck's quantum theory proposed in 1900 and Einstein's special theory of relativity in 1905. Modern physics details the realization that the universe we live in is a far stranger place than we once though, and that some things are intrinsically unknowable. For many people who have struggled through Newtonian physics in high school (or not at all), modern physics is understandably rather daunting.

That's where this site is designed to help, by explaining the basic ideas of modern physics in all its various guises (relativity, quantum mechanics, artificial intelligences) in a relatively clear and concise manner, complete with illustrations for certain people who proclaim the obsolescence of the written word.

If you think I've made a mistake in my physics or in my design somewhere, or you just want to say nice things about my new and improved animated picture (117K) of a spaceship undergoing relativistic length contraction, please feel free to email me. There's a pretty fair probability I'll answer...

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©1998, 1999 by Elisabeth Adams. Universal Rights Reserved.