Back to Ken Wharton's Homepage
On this page I have information on my published research, my favorite science sites, and the scientific facts that form the background of my science fiction stories. Down below are some of my 'mad science' answers.
- Some of my publications.
- Tabletop Fusion Neutron Source
- Here's some research news from my lab.
- Antimatter-Catalyzed Hybrid Fission/Fusion Rocket Engine
- This is a quick summary I wrote about an idea I heard presented at a conference in 1997. Could be an interesting form of space propulsion...
- The Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
- This paper, written by John Cramer, is a summary of the most plausible alternate interpretation of Quantum Mechanics that I've seen; probably more plausible even than the "standard" Copenhagen Interpretation. It gets rid of wave-particle duality, solves the EPR paradox, gets rid of the one-particle-in-two-places-at-once business, and requires fewer assumptions than in standard QM. The only reason it's not more popular is that it requires limited backward-causation -- but you still can't send messages into the past.
- Breaking Space News
- This is a great site for up-to-the-day news on everything from rocket design to interplanetary missions.
- Science News from NASA
- Well-written, often-updated news on the usual NASA topics (astronomy, cosmology, etc.)
- Latest Pictures from Mars
- The most recent shots from the Mars Global Surveyor, now orbiting Mars.
- Latest Hubble Space Telescope Pictures
- The most recent magnificent pictures from halfway across the universe.
- Latest Chandra Pictures
- The brand-new x-ray telescope is in orbit and working great. New images weekly.
- Physics News Update
- Weekly updates on the latest in physics research.
- Physical Review Focus
- Concise, easy-to-read summaries of the latest (and forthcoming) papers in Physical Review Letters, the premeire Journal of Physics.
- Scientific American
- The magazine Scientific American. Many free articles.
- Discover Magazine
- Free highlights from Discover Magazine
- John Cramer's "Alternate View" Columns
- John Cramer writes a cutting-edge science column for the hard-science fiction magazine Analog. These are a collection of his columns; great story ideas and neat physics concepts, all excellently organized.
Mad Science Links
I'm a member of the Mad Science Network, and I answer physics and astronomy questions sent in by curious people. Below are some of my previous answers, stored in the Mad Science archives. For more of my questions, go to the search page and type in 'Wharton'.
Can quantum uncertainty in velocity break the lightspeed barrier?
How much time elapses on Earth while in a relativistic spaceship?
Might the force of gravity between matter and antimatter be repulsive?
Why do electrons interfere with each other?
Can you get free energy from the zero-point field?
How does covalent bonding work?
Will the arrows of time reverse if the universe starts to contract?
Isn't quantum entanglement just a matter of not knowing hidden information?
Would Schrodinger's cat's consciousness act as an observer?
If the sun were a red star, what color would the sky be?
How is PV=NrT affected by relativistic speeds?
Would a working quantum computer lend weight the many world interpretation?
What is a quantum leap?
Science links from "The Callisto Incident"
If you want to know about Jupiter, you've come to the right place. Here's info about Jupiter's Magnetosphere. And as for Jupiter's fascinating satellites, here's a bunch of stuff organized by moon:
Did you know Io has active volcanoes and a cool Plasma Torus?
See pictures of Europa's wild surface, underground ocean, and freeway system.
Learn about Ganymede's surface, history, and potential colonization spot.
The most enigmatic moon of Jupiter. Discover Callisto's mysterious craters and bizarre surface makeup.
Here's some good stuff on the origins of life. For example, what came before RNA?
Here's information on those mysterious prions.
Prions cause Mad Cow disease. There's more about them here.