There’s a great event on September 7 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the Railroad Park called Read and Romp-Birmingham. It’s an exciting, innovative, and FREE family literacy event for children 3-5 years old and their families.
At Read and Romp-Birmingham kids will be engaged in fun, learning-based activities themed around children's books. They will leave the event with goodies that they have created from an activity at each station, along with a stamped passport, and some FREE books! By associating fun-filled activities with reading, parents will learn about how to engage with their child on the life-long journey of learning at an early age, which will help increase their children's success in school.
While centered around books, each station will be staffed by organizations and businesses that are child-focused, providing families an opportunity to learn about activities that will enhance the development of their young children. This year, we have 12 organizations that are manning the 10 stations. Among those are the Birmingham Zoo, The McWane Center, Birmingham Museum of Art, and of course, the Birmingham Public Library! Also, there will be representatives from Children’s of Alabama and Cory, Watson, Crowder & DeGaris who will be providing and fitting FREE bicycle helmets for children, and FREE storm preparedness kits, while supplies last.
The main sponsoring organizations this year are Reach Out and Read-Alabama, United Way Success By 6, Alabama Public Television, Infinity Insurance Company and Books-A-Million. Come and join us for a morning of family fun!
As many know, the Inglenook Library is housed in the Inglenook Recreation Center until the renovation is completed. Though the renovation may seem like an inconvenience, it has given the Inglenook Library staff an opportunity to build lasting relationships that will hopefully continue when the Inglenook Library re-opens.
As the people of the Inglenook community become more acquainted with the library’s existence in the Inglenook Recreation Center, they will discover services that they weren’t aware of and provide the Inglenook Library staff the opportunity to promote these services. Sandra Womack, the Director of the Inglenook Recreation Center, has been wonderful in welcoming the Inglenook Library staff and directing existing and prospective patrons our way.
The staff is excited to about the renovation and though the Inglenook Library’s services are limited, the staff’s zeal to serve the community and build lasting relationships is limitless!
Submitted by Karnecia Williams
Erwin Schrödinger was born August 12, 1887, in Vienna. In modern parlance, he was home schooled until the age of 12 at which point his parents hired tutors. Although he excelled in mathematics and the sciences, he also showed a keen interest in poetry and the humanities. Perhaps this latter interest explains the …quirkier aspects of his most famous thought experiment. In the course of his career he worked on a variety of physics problems including general relativity and radiation theory, but he is considered the father of Wave Mechanics. Just as Einstein had his annus mirabilis, Schrödinger experienced a two miraculous months, December and January 1925-1926, in which he wrote the first of four earth-shaking papers on wave equations and mechanics. But Schrödinger didn’t imprison a cat, until 1935.
An existing theory proposed by a group called the Copenhagen School stated that a radioactive sample could be in a superpositional state, that is, both decayed and not decayed at the same time. Schrödinger found this implausible, if not ridiculous, and set out to create a thought experiment to disprove the Copenhagen School. In December of 1935 he wrote a paper with the following gedankenexperiment, or thought experiment. He imagined a box in which a scientist places a cat, a sealed vessel of cyanide gas, a radioactive isotope, and a radiation monitor with a hammer attached. There is a fifty percent chance the isotope will decay in one hour. If the monitor detects decay, the hammer will drop onto the vessel of cyanide, breaking it, releasing the gas, and killing the cat. If the isotope does not decay, the cat lives. If the superpositional theory was correct, until the box was opened the cat was both dead and alive.
According to some physicist, after considering his own thought experiment, he began to question his earlier conclusion. Perhaps the cat could be both alive and dead! After all, he reasoned, there is no way to objectively know without opening the box, but once you open the box there are no longer two possibilities. Thus was born the paradox, or wave function, known as Schrödinger’s cat.
In science circles, this thought experiment was like a modern Internet video that goes viral. The paradox spread and other scientists modified it, trying to break it mathematically or logically. Eugene Wigner even suggested placing a human in the box, but others pointed out that although the human might recognize his or her state there would be no empirical evidence for observers outside the box. The wave function would remain intact until you opened the box; the human could be both alive and dead. (Remember, this was just a thought experiment.)
Schrödinger’s cat has remained a standard of quantum mechanics since 1935 with physicists arguing both for and against. Subsequent quantum experiments in our own time seem to have provided proof that atoms at the quantum level are, in fact, unpredictable enough to be spinning both counter clockwise and clockwise. The wave continues to wash over us.
For a more scientific explanation of the cat in the box paradox try the following video:
For a more detailed, academic discussion watch this video:
And by the way, it was only a thought experiment. No cat, or cats, were harmed in the filming of these videos.
Submitted by David Ryan
Business, Science & Technology Department
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Submitted by Maya Jones
West End Library