Caltech Question of the Month: What do the laws of physics, and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in particular, say about whether free will exists?

Submitted by Robert R. Belliveau.

Answered by John Preskill, professor of theoretical physics, Caltech.

This is a deep question and there is no simple answer. I am not a philosopher; nor can I speak for all physicists. I can only state my personal views.

New electron states observed by Caltech physicists

Caltech physicists have succeeded in forcing electrons to flow in an unusual way never previously observed in nature or in the lab.

SCE Joins Caltech in Seismic Program to Improve Quake Response

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Jan. 15, 1999—On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the devastating Northridge earthquake, Southern California Edison and the California Institute of Technology today announced the utility's participation in a state-of-the-art seismic measuring network that will expedite power restoration and emergency response after a major temblor in the southland.

Caltech Question of the Month: Is January 1, 2000, the first day of the last year of the 20th century, or the first day of the 21st century?

Submitted by Eileen Wise, Pasadena California, and answered by Dr. Kevin C. Knox, Ahmanson Postdoctoral Instructor in History at Caltech.

Domesticated wolves may have given humans the leg up in conquering the early world

When early humans first encountered wolves after leaving Africa 140,000 years ago, the two species may have established a partnership that allowed Homo sapiens to eventually dominate the entire world, a Caltech biologist says in a new book.

Caltech Question of the Month: When a plane flies from New York to San Francisco, why can't it just idle in midair and wait for the earth to spin San Francisco around underneath it?

Submitted by Norman Arce, San Marino.

Answered by Dr. Andrew Ingersoll, Professor of Planetary Science, Caltech.

We don't feel it, but the planet is rotating eastward at a rate of about 1,000 miles per hour. Thus, it might make sense that you could rise in the air, stay in one spot, and wait for the West Coast to rotate underneath you in about three hours.

New study explains motions of the Emerson fault in the years following the Landers earthquake

For geophysicists, the 7.3–magnitude Landers earthquake of June 28, 1992 has yielded much in terms of understanding the basic mechanisms of seismic events. A new study appearing in this week's Science provides a new model to explain why the ground near the fault gradually shifted the first few years after the main shock. The work could be used in the future for the analysis of earthquake hazard.

Caltech physicists achieve first bona fide quantum teleportation

Physicists at the California Institute of Technology, joined by an international collaboration, have succeeded in the first true teleportation of a quantum state. Caltech physicists achieve first bona fide quantum teleportation October 1998 98

Multilayered silicon could bea breakthrough for electronic technology

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have found a way to stack silicon layers on chips in a way that could lead to significant new advances in silicon-based electronic devices.


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