Comments on Time Variation of Fundamental Constants
Michael Duff (University of Michigan)
April 20, 2005
The possible time variation of dimensionless fundamental constants of nature, such as the fine-structure constant, is a legitimate subject of physical enquiry. However, contrary to recent claims in Physical Review Letters, Physical Review, Nature, Physics World, Scientific American, New Scientist, New York Times, CNN etc, the time variation of dimensional constants such as the speed of light, Planck's constant or Newton's constant, has no operational meaning, depending as it does on a subjective choice of units
The Principles of Disorder and Their Applicability to Condensed Matter Physics, Neurophysiology and Cosmology
Stan Ovshinsky (Energy Conversion Devices, Michigan)
January 11, 2005
Periodicity and crystal structure have been the basis of condensed matter. The tyranny of the lattice has not only produced a revolution in the invention of the transistor but has also been a serious constraint to new physics. I will describe how amorphous and disordered materials provide many degrees of freedom to synthesize new materials so that multi-elemental atomic and orbital engineering can generate new basic physical, chemical, and electronic mechanisms.For the first time, one can emulate biological neurosynaptic activity with a non-biological analog that provides cognitive functions. The nanostructure device which accomplishes this is based upon unique reversible phase change mechanisms. The universe has evolved based upon symmetry breaking and phase changes, hence the cosmological relationship. Such phase changes and their related devices have initiated a fundamental change in the computer, optical and electronic industries. The principles that we use in designing amorphous and disordered materials have permitted us to demonstrate that our Ovonic cognitive computer can also perform functions at room temperature similar to that of the proposed quantum computer. Our work shows that there are new unifying principles that we utilize in amorphous and disordered materials that span scientific disciplines and help break down the barriers between theoretical and applied physics. For example, their use in the energy field has enabled hybrid vehicles and initiated the hydrogen economy just as they have changed optical and electrical memories in the field of information.