Jim and Randy discuss quasiparticles recently found in condensed matter systems that mirror particles theorized nearly a hundred years ago, but never found in the vacuum. Weyl particles are massless fermions, and once it was hoped that neutrinos would turn out to be this kind of particle, and Majorana fermions have real-valued wave functions and therefore many strange and possibly useful properties.
Show Notes: http://frontiers.physicsfm.com/22
Randy tells Jim about a theory that complements other theories of fundamental physics based upon a phase space symmetry between the 4-position and the 4-momentum of a particle. The upshot of the theory is that there should be a second time dimension and a fourth space dimension, both macroscopic in extent, and the physics we see are 4D projections from the larger 6D space-time.
Show notes: http://frontiers.physicsfm.com/18
Randy tells Jim about ways in which external vibrations can be used to do useful work in large-scale devices. These processes look at have happens when bistable systems (e.g., a bent cantilever) are subjected to random forcing from the environment.
Show notes: http://frontiers.physicsfm.com/16
Jim and Randy discuss strange trajectories observed in triple slit experiments with metallic plates. Photons seem to pass through one slit, come back through the middle slit, and out the third due to their interactions with surface plasmons. There are implications in this experiment about the way in which wavefunctions need to be interpreted in non-relativistic quantum mechanics.
Show notes: http://frontiers.physicsfm.com/13