Welcome to Physics Gives You Wings.
This site is dedicated to all things physics related. Explore. Learn. Have fun.

Marcus Afshar

A little about me:

  • I teach physics at Glendale Community College, in Southern California.
  • I have a PhD in physics from Univ. of California at Davis and a bachelor's in physics from Univ. of California at Berkeley.
  • My PhD research was in quantum gravity. My thesis was titled Quasilocal Energy in FRW Cosmology and was based primarily on my paper in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.
  • I can be contacted via email at: mafshar@glendale.edu

Course websites:

A few of my favorite physics websites:

  • arXiv Here you'll find preprints of scholarly papers in physics. Almost every physics paper published since 1990 can be found here.
  • MyPhysicsLab Here you'll find, among other things, simulations of periodic motion such as springs and pendulums with good explanations.
  • Falstad's Applets Here you'll find Java applets demonstrating a variety of phenomena in physics, from classical mechanics to electromagnetism to quantum mechanics.
  • PhET Simulations Here you'll find a large number of Java applets demonstrating various concepts in physics, chemistry and biology.
  • Dr. QuantumIn this YouTube video the animated Dr. Quantum explains the mysterious quantum double slit experiment -- one of my favorite animations of all time.
  • Magnetic LevitationIn this YouTube video you can see a demonstration of magnetic levitation using quantum locking of flux tubes -- far more astonishing than ordinary magnetic levitation.
  • Journey into a Blackhole In this YouTube video you can see a physically accurate simulation of a journey to the heart of a blackhole.

A few of my favorite papers in physics:

  • W. B. Bonnor, Size Of A Hydrogen Atom In The Expanding Universe, Class. Quantum Grav. 16 (1999) 1313 - 1321. This paper addresses the question of whether a hydrogen atom expands as the universe expands. On a related note, one may wonder if atoms and molecules in our bodies are expanding as the universe expands.
  • J. D. Bekenstein, Black Holes and Entropy, Phys. Rev. D 7 (1973) 2333 - 2346. In this classic paper, Bekenstein first proposes that a black hole must have entropy.
  • A. Einstein, B. Podolsky and N. Rosen, Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?, Phys. Rev. 47 (1935), 777 - 780. In this classic paper, which forms the basis of the famous EPR paradox, Einstein and collaborators propose that quantum mechanics is an incomplete and possibly inconsistent theory. Although Einstein believed the cosmological constant to be his "biggest mistake," in fact this paper may have been a bigger mistake.
  • K. Eppley and E. Hannah, The Necessity of Quantizing the Gravitational Field, Foundations of Physics 7 (1977) 51 - 68. In this paper the authors show that a non-quantized gravitational field can be used to violate fundamental principles of quantum mechanics. So general relativity and quantum mechanics are fundamentally at odds with each other.

In physics news:

  • Gravitational Waves: On February 11, 2016, physicists from the LIGO laboratory announced the detection of gravitational waves. The scientific paper announcing the discovery can be found in the arXiv database. Gravitational waves were predicted to exist nearly 100 years ago, but direct observational evidence was lacking until now. The discovery at LIGO confirms the existence of gravitational waves and opens a whole new window through which we may “see” the universe.


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The Uncertainty Principle

Last Updated: 18Feb2016