My main goal with this website is to sort through the myths and misconceptions, and the excessive and misleading hype, associated with quantum physics. Quantum Mechanics is an incredibly successful theory and has enabled tremendous breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe, and in our technology. However, there are several problems with how it is taught and how it is communicated to the public. These issues have delayed resolution of certain outstanding paradoxes, preventing us from taking it to the next level. Resolution of these issues will lead the way to a quantum theory of gravity, improved conceptual understanding of space, time, and the world we live in, and potentially open up new technologies not even dreamed of today.
Let me know if something on the website does not work, or if you have recommendations for something to add or change. And, of course, let me know if there is something you would like to see discussed.
Yes, the name of this website was probably inspired by Sheldon Cooper on the CBS comedy show, The Big Bang Theory. But, I probably would have come up with it on my own, even if he didn’t use it in the name of a board game. I love physics. The quest for understanding is incredibly fascinating and rewarding.
I didn’t realize that I loved physics until I started college at the University of Minnesota back in the early 80’s. In secondary school, I enjoyed math and science classes, and did quite well in them. However, due to the way that the material was presented in physics, biology, chemistry, etc., I had the impression that everything was already figured out, decades or centuries earlier, but stuffy old guys. My high school education failed to instill in me the sense of adventure, fascination, challenge, and mystery, that is available in science. Thanks to the professors and textbooks I had in college, and due to the popular physics and astrophysics books I started to read at that time, I discovered that there are many frontiers yet to be conquered, yet to be explored, and yet to be understood. Two aspects of physics really captured my attention: (1) the incredible power of mathematics and physical theory to calculate behaviors of physical systems and make predictions; and (2) the giant ocean that still lies before us, of unsolved mysteries.
Despite my new-found love of physics and astrophysics while an undergrad, I was not sure what I wanted to do for a living. The Navy’s submarine program looked pretty cool, so I joined with an initial commitment of five years. It was a challenging and exciting career, with many opportunities to do unique and interesting things. Long story short, I ended up accepting tour after tour in the Navy and found myself approaching eligibility for retirement. Throughout my Navy career, I read heavily about new developments in physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. Following retirement from the submarine force, and with the encouragement of my incredible wife, I decided to pursue a career in high energy physics.
I received a PhD from the University of Maryland, while working on a neutrino telescope called the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, and teaching a class on physics for scientists and engineers. IceCube is a cubic-kilometer of deep, South Pole glacial ice, instrumented with 5200 photomultiplier tubes. The primary purpose of IceCube is to search for astrophysical sources of high energy neutrinos. But, there are also a large number of atmospheric neutrino studies that we are working on with IceCube data, as well as searches for new types of physical phenomenon. I also work on the MiniBooNE neutrino experiment. MiniBooNE is an accelerator-based neutrino experiment at Fermilab, trying to unravel evidence for anomalous neutrino oscillations. I’ll discuss these two amazing experiments in more detail in blog posts at some point.
You can find a list of my publications here: inSPIRE High Energy Physics information system.