Archive for January, 2010

Quantum Fields Forever

January 18, 2010

“Dad, can I go outside and play football?”
“Have you cleaned up your room yet?”
“Yes, dad.”
“Clothes AND toys?”
“Yes.”
“But properly this time, I hope.”
“Yes, dad.”
“No more silly excuses?”
“No, dad.”
“No more second law of thermodynamics?”
“No, dad.”
“Good. We’ve already proven that your room doesn’t constitute an isolated system, and even when you’re grounded, we give you more than enough low-entropy food to act as a local Maxwell’s-demon.”
“Yes, dad.”
“Alright, I’m going to check.”
“Okay.”
“So what are all those things doing on the floor then, young sir? There are hundreds of them.”
“They’re nothing.”
“I beg your pardon? I can clearly see they are Lego bricks ”
“They’re just inevitable fluctuations in the emptiness of the room. They’re virtual.”
“So basically you’ve done nothing all afternoon, you haven’t packed any of your toys.”
“No, dad, I spent all that time renormalising. There would’ve been an infinite number of them in the room without it.”