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Twisted Physics

Brain Drain

10 Sep 2009, 17:18 UTC
Brain Drain
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

It's rare that Sean and I argue over who gets to blog about a particular topic, but when our pal Jim Kakalios, author of The Physics of Superheroes, told us about the latest issue of The Incredible Hercules #133, oh, it was on! Because the new arch-villain(s) of the story arc are Boltzmann Brains -- or rather, "freak observers fluctuated out of thermal equilibrium." So who would get to blog about it first? On the one hand, science and entertainment, including comic books and other aspects of pop culture, is pretty firmly my bailiwick, given that I wrote a book called The Physics of the Buffyverse and my current job is heading up the Science and Entertainment Exchange. On the other hand, Sean has blogged extensively about entropy, quantum fluctuations and Boltzmann Brains, and just wrote an entire book about the arrow of time in which Boltzmann figures quite prominently -- so it's clearly his bailiwick as well. In the end I caved to his greater expertise: Sean's blog post about this exciting new trend in comics is here. What exactly are Boltzmann Brains? I'll let Sean explain, since he really is the resident expert:The Boltzmann Brain paradox is an ...

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