The Schrödinger Sessions: A Launchpad Type Workshop for Quantum Physics

Strange, charming, beautiful, entangled particle seeks understanding and acceptance!

Chad Orzel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, NY. He blogs about physics, life in academia, ephemeral pop culture, and anything else that catches his fancy in his column Uncertain Principles at ScienceBlogs.

He has just announced a project of particular interest to SFWA members:

“So, we’re very pleased to announce that this summer we’ll be holding “The Schrödinger Sessions: Science for Science Fiction” a workshop at the Joint Quantum Institute (a combined initiative of the University of Maryland, College Park and NIST in Gaithersburg) to provide a three-day “crash course” in quantum physics for science fiction writers. The workshop will run from Thursday, July 30 through Saturday August 1, 2015, on the Maryland campus in College Park, with housing, breakfast, and lunch included. There’s a fake schedule up on that web page, that we’ll fill once we get JQI scientists signed up, but it gives the basic idea: three days of lectures and discussions with scientists, and visits to JQI’s labs.”

The workshop is free for qualified writers with lodging and some meals provided.

As president of SFWA I  was pleased to provide a statement testifying to the potential interest our members which, apparently, was helpful in securing funding for the event.

The website for 3 day workshop is here: http://jqi.umd.edu/node/2731

The application is here: https://docs.google….m?usp=send_form

And a much more informative blog post by Chad on the workshop is here:  http://scienceblogs….cience-fiction/

Steven Gould, president
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

2 Responses

  1. C. Kurtz

    The workshop title really should be changed to: “The Schrödinger Sessions: Science Fiction for Science Fiction”.

    Schrödinger is said to have written the cat in a box thing as joke to poke fun at the non-scientific muddled metaphysical nature of so called quantum physics, so it is heartily amusing to see how well its followers have incorporated this proof of their fallacies into their beliefs.

    Remember that science must be replicative, it must be falsifiable, it must be logical. And most importantly it must demonstrate correspondence at every point, meaning that it can not promote particles and events at one level that are totally unlike particles and events at another. If that is so then a complete disconnect exists between one and the other with the result that no system can exist. Just like Einsteinian Relativity, so called Quantum physics exists solely as a mathematical fantasy with no relationship to anything you can see going on around you. And while the cutesy concept of beautiful, strange, and charming entangled particles is evocative of James H. Schmitz’s Telzey Amberdon, he was openly writing fantasy not promoting propaganda.

    And just to give a couple of examples of what is meant here, remember that the concept of black holes only exists because Uncle Albert decided it was okay to divide by zero; as far as the relationship between observer and the existence of a material object goes just remember the one about the elephant and the five blind investigators, and consider that the elephant’s existence was totally separate from the thoughts the blind investigators had about it; and as for disconnects if you’ve ever wondered what a hydrogen molecule or more specifically what a proton actually looks like just take a look at a nice picture of our sun. Good ole Sol is supposedly 99.999% hydrogen with a really high positive electrical charge which makes it a really huge hydrogen molecule, just like all the other stars out there. As above so below, correspondence in all things.

  2. Matthew Foster Ph.D.

    Looks like a great opportunity for science fiction writers. Quarkytrons.com blogs about scientific concepts in fiction. They have reviewed superheroes, deep space communications, artificial gravity, and time travel. No doubt this workshop brings writers the opportunity to get the details on quantum mechanics.