Chirality Through Classical Physics


Chris L. Lin
Chirality, or handedness, is a topic that is common in biology and chemistry, yet is rarely discussed in physics courses. We provide a way of introducing the topic in classical physics, and demonstrate the merits of its inclusion – such as a simple way to visually introduce the concept of symmetries in physical law – along with giving some simple proofs using only basic matrix operations, thereby avoiding the full formalism of the three-dimensional point group.
Read also https://arxiv.org/pdf/2004.08236.pdf

Click to access 2004.08236.pdf

Memory and entropy

Carlo Rovelli
I study the physical nature of traces (or memories). Surprisingly, (i) systems separation with (ii) temperature differences and (iii) long thermalization times, are sufficient conditions to produce macroscopic traces. Traces of the past are ubiquitous because these conditions are largely satisfied in our universe. I quantify these thermodynamical conditions for memory and derive an expression for the maximum amount of information stored in such memories, as a function of the relevant thermodynamical parameters. This mechanism transforms low entropy into available information.

Read more at https://arxiv.org/pdf/2003.06687.pdf

Effects of exoplanetary gravity on human locomotor ability


Nikola Poljak, Dora Klindzic, Mateo Kruljac
At some point in the future, if mankind hopes to settle planets outside the Solar System, it will be crucial to determine the range of planetary conditions under which human beings could survive and function. In this article, we apply physical considerations to future exoplanetary biology to determine the limitations which gravity imposes on several systems governing the human body. Initially, we examine the ultimate limits at which the human skeleton breaks and muscles become unable to lift the body from the ground. We also produce a new model for the energetic expenditure of walking, by modelling the leg as an inverted pendulum. Both approaches conclude that, with rigorous training, humans could perform normal locomotion at gravity no higher than 4 gEarth.
Read more at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1808.07417.pdf

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Upper limit on the Stiffness of space-time

stiffnessAdrian Melissinos
From the recently observed propagation of gravitational waves through space-time an upper limit can be deduced for the stiffness of space-time through which the gravitational wave propagates. The upper limit is extremely weak, implying that the stiffness of space-time is at least 14 orders of magnitude weaker than that of jello.
Read more at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1806.01133.pdf

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Physics Needs Philosophy. Philosophy Needs Physics

Carlo Rovelli
Contrary to claims about the irrelevance of philosophy for science, I argue that philosophy has had, and still has, far more influence on physics than is commonly assumed. I maintain that the current anti-philosophical ideology has had damaging effects on the fertility of science. I also suggest that recent important empirical results, such as the detection of the Higgs particle and gravitational waves, and the failure to detect supersymmetry where many expected to find it, question the validity of certain philosophical assumptions common among theoretical physicists, inviting us to engage in a clearer philosophical reflection on scientific method.
Read more at https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1805/1805.10602.pdf