A simple proposal for a way to pursue some answers to the origins of life
Can strings be the ultimate constituents of the universe–more fundamental than matter or energy, and even than space or time? If they’re not made of matter or energy, what are they, then?
Physics, unlike biology or geology, was not considered to be a historical science until now. Physicists have prided themselves on being able to derive the vast bulk of phenomena in the universe from first principles.
No matter how many times you’ve seen the movies and the TV shows that have a protagonist leaping in the path of a bullet, physics forbids such sacrifice.
Two weeks ago, I blogged about David Bohm’s interpretation of quantum mechanics. Like Einstein and Louis de Broglie before him, Bohm argued that quantum randomness is not intrinsic to nature, but reflects our ignorance of a deeper level of reality.
Scientific American editor Clara Moskowitz has a nice post showcasing some of the big questions asked by participants at a recent particle physics conference.
One night in 1952, Richard Feynman and David Bohm went bar-hopping in Belo Horizonte. Louisa Gilder reconstructs the night in her brilliant book on the history of quantum mechanics, The Age of Entanglement.
Full disclosure: I cried at a movie about particle physics. And I wasn’t alone. As the film showed footage of the July 4, 2012 announcement of the Higgs boson discovery, I noticed the woman next to me wiping her eyes just as I was doing the same.
Tomorrow, the Nobel prize in physics will most likely be awarded to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert. Along with other researchers, the two physicists are credited with the 1964 introduction of the then-theoretical Higgs field—a fluid that permeates every corner of the universe and gives each particle a distinct mass.
In honor of Tax Day in the US, here is a piece on the IRS’s Favorite Mathematical Law: Armed with Benford’s law, “the IRS can sniff out falsified returns just by looking at the first digit of numbers on taxpayers' forms.” So, beware.
Who hasn't worked with a disagreeable person—and in the world of science publishing, authored a paper with one? That wasn't exactly what went through the mind of William Hoover, a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, when he included an Italian co-author to his 1987 paper.
The American Physical Society is holding its annual April Meeting at the moment in Baltimore, Maryland, and one of the highlights, research-wise, comes to us courtesy of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration.
Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween festivities. Here’s a few other related links: The ghostly glow of St. Elmo’s fire: it works the same way that a neon light glows. The Levitating Halloween Pumpkin with a superconductor inside. Bonus: More Conceptual Physics Halloween Costumes.This year, go out as The Holographic Principle!
I met Stephen Hawking in the summer of 1990, when I spent five days in northern Sweden at a conference attended by 30 or so leading cosmologists.
This week on Virtually Speaking Science, I chatted with astrophysicist Katie Freese, author of a new book, The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter.
The residents of the Los Alamos base camp receive a special visitor in this week’s episode of Manh(a)ttan — none other than Niels Bohr, he of the infamous model of the atom and one of the unquestioned giants of 20th century physics.
Looking for a few good popular math books? In the latest New York Times Book Review, I look at five terrific recent ones: Jordan Ellenberg's How Not to Be Wrong, David J.
The big news in space science this week: the Rosetta spacecraft catches its comet! Here’s what comes next. Why does it take 10 years to catch a comet?
Last week’s episode of Manh(a)ttan closed with a bombshell — the shooting of physicist Sid Liao, who was being interrogated on suspicion of leaking classified documents — and as expected, this week’s episode (“The Hive”) dealt with the fallout from that cataclysmic event, both personally and professionally.
Editors note: Craig Fay will be appearing live at the Laughing Devil Comedy Festival in New York City May 14-18. Here's a theory for you: ignorance is bliss.