By Ann Finkbeiner | April 5, 2011 | 1 Comment
If you remember from our last episode, Abstruse Goose: Moment of Clarity 1, our plucky hero has had a moment of clarity about quantum mechanics. The clarity was brief and, sadly, it passed. He tried again months later and this time, he hung onto his moment long enough to begin fretting about quantum spin. The phrase, “quantum spin,” would seem to imply that a subatomic particle spins, but since a particle is just as likely to be a wave, and waves don’t spin, “spin” really means — hell, I don’t have a clue what it means. It’s in the math. It’s a description of some characteristic or other. How’s that for clarity?
Physicists really do have this problem with quantum entities not making physical sense. I am amused but not sympathetic.