Thursday, July 19, 2007

-Quantum mechanics in nature...

Some people do not appreciate the practical importance of Quantum Mechanics, considering it nothing more than some calculations and ideas in the pages of a book. Of course, the man-created digital electronics era would not be possible without an understanding of QM but also, as it turns out, certain everyday natural phenomena are possible due to the quantum characteristics of our world. One these natural phenomena is plant photosynthesis.

That interesting way plants use to convert sunlight into their fuel wouldn't be possible without the quantum-mechanical properties of the world. The main idea is very similar to what happens in photoabsorption of semiconductors, in which a photon of the right energy excites an electron into the conduction band. However, the multiple excitations and availability of states makes the process complicated. This is just another example of how simple models (energy and forbidden bands) have implication in many different fields and/or situations.

Photosynthetic processes have a nearly 100% efficiency. So, if we can ever control/mimic the way plants do photosynthesis we'll have, to name one example, highly efficient solar fuel cells.

For the mean time, we'll have to keep admiring nature and its quantum mechanical ways!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

-Four priceless lectures

One of the great physicists of all time. After watching the lectures I understand how brilliant he was...

Great idea by Vega to post them online. Feynman rules!!!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

-Physics problem of the week

I found this website: After spending some time in it, I came to the conclusion that it is worth visiting periodically.

The idea is actually pretty good. They post a new question every week, and "give" you one week to figure it out. The cool part of it is that they complement the questions by adding pictures or videos. Then, they publish the answer a week later including more videos or pictures as "proof" so that no doubt remains!!!

The website is maintained by the Physics Department at the University of Maryland,.... if you guys are reading: good work! keep it up!!!



-Here we go... First post!

I dunno why I am starting a blog. I don't think I have enough time to keep it updated, but I have decided to try.

I guess I'll use this space to complain about life in school, but every once in a while I might post something I thought was/is really interesing in the realm of physics.

Anyways, if you are reading this: welcome to my blog. Hope you enjoy it and I look forward to your comments!