Grandview Heights High School & The Oppenheimer Strain Experiment

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The Oppenheimer Strain is the condition where experts fail to see things in their field of expertise that are apparent to school age children. The term was invented by Marshall Barnes based on a quote from J. Robert Oppenheimer about children being able to solve his top problems in physics due to their having modes of sensory perception that he lost long ago (see OppenheimerStrain ). It has been tested so far at Bexley High School and Columbus Africentric Early College and has worked every time to the surprise of the teachers there. Students were given thought models with errors in them that had not been detected yet by the scientific community at large and on the projected estimate is that 3 students out of 20 will get the right answer. At Africentric, however it was 4 out of 12. At Grandview Heights it was 5 out of 20. The difficulty of the questions at Grandview was the greatest so far and both dealt with the nature of space and time on an advanced level.

The Arrow of Time

One of the questions that the Grandview students had to deal with was based on the idea that time would contract and run backwards if the universe were to contract. This was an idea that Stephen Hawking had but later abandoned when mathematician Raymond LaFlamme showed him that that would not be possible. However, Hawking didn't believe LaFlamme until after LaFlamme proved it by running his equations through a computer.

Below is LaFlamme with Stephen Hawking at the Institute for Quantum Computing.












The Universe As Its Own "Mother"

The other question that the students dealt with was the idea of the universe creating itself via a branch of it curling backwards in time and hooking up to where the universe began. This is a model promoted by Princeton physics professor J. Richard Gott and is featured on the cover of his book, Time Travel in Einstein's Universe

Time Travel in Einstein's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time

Learn more about J. R. Gott's theory of a universe that is it's "own mother" and the rest of the story of Marshall's incredible Oppenheimer Strain experiment at Grandview High School by clicking here!