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Posts Tagged "physics"

@ScientificAmerican

Particle Physics Informs the Ultimate Questions

Editor’s Note: Author and Fermilab Senior Scientist Don Lincoln is set to teach “Mysteries of the Universe” from October 13 – 24 for Scientific American’s Professional Learning Program. We recently talked with Dr. Lincoln about why he became a physicist and his motivations to share what he discovers. When I was a young boy, I [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Physics, Metaphysics and Cosmology Collide in New E-Book, Possibilities in Parallel: Seeking the Multiverse

Possibilities in Parallel: Seeking the Multiverse

Parallel universes are a staple of science fiction, and it’s no wonder. They allow us to explore the question, “What if?” in a way that lets us step completely outside of the world we know, rather than question how that world might have turned out differently. For cosmologists, the question isn’t “What if the South [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Meet the Science in Action Finalists

Who will win the first $50,000 Science in Action prize, sponsored by Scientific American? This award, offered as part of the 2012 Google Science Fair, will recognize a student project that addresses a social, environmental, ethical, health or welfare issue to make a practical difference to the lives of a group or community, and that [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

2012 Google Science Fair Begins: What’s Your Question?

“As any adult knows, there’s one thing that any kid can do better than any grown up: ask questions. In fact, many studies have actually shown how kids are born scientists. If you don’t believe me, watch a baby first accidentally knock something off her high chair and onto the floor. She’ll look at it [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Scientific American Defends Marie Curie—and Women Scientists—in 1911

One of the pleasures of editing a magazine like Scientific American, with its 166-year history as the country’s longest continuously published magazine, is getting a “you are there” view of science as it was whenever I take a spin through our digital archives. The other day, while reading some 100-year-old prose, I was reminded of [...]

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Cocktail Party Physics

Celebrating the Silly and the Sublime: the Best Physics Papers of 2014

Credit: DR Fred Espenak/SPL

It’s tradition for various science media outlets to publish their lists of biggest scientific breakthroughs of the year right about now. And no doubt those breakthroughs deserve the attention and acclaim. But let’s face it, most scientific papers don’t get lauded as major breakthroughs; science progresses incrementally. We at the cocktail party think such papers [...]

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Cocktail Party Physics

Best Physics Videos of 2014

Credit: Andrzej Dragan

It’s that time of year, when we all look back over 2014 and reflect on all the cool science stuff that happened. Today, Jen-Luc Piquant has compiled her Top 20 physics-themed videos of 2014 — with the caveat that not all of them were actually created in 2014. But we discovered them this year, and [...]

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Cocktail Party Physics

Physics Week in Review: December 13, 2014

Gift idea for the metaphysicist? The Science Tarot! http://www.sciencetarot.com

If you missed this week’s Virtually Speaking Science, the theme was This Is Your Brain on Movies. I chatted with cognitive neuroscientist Jeffrey Zachs, author of  a fantastic new book — Flicker: Your Brain on Movies — about science, cinema, and the brain. This is awesome: Parable of the Polygons: how harmless choices can make [...]

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Cocktail Party Physics

Physics Week in Review: December 6, 2014

Credit: James Duffin. Used with permission.

After Thursday’s aborted launch, the Orion Spaceship finally Blasted Off at Dawn on Friday morning. You can watch the official NASA video here. And here are 17 HQ Photos from the Launch. A few hours later, the Orion Capsule Finished its ‘By-the-Book’ Test flight with a clean landing in the Pacific Ocean.  Related: How a [...]

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Cocktail Party Physics

Physics Week in Review (Thanksgiving Edition): November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving dinner a la Piet Mondrian. Credit: Hannah Rothstein, http://www.hrothstein.com/thanksgiving-special/

Chances are our US readers are still in recovery from Thursday’s feasting. Fortunately Jen-Luc Piquant has compiled lots of interesting links for your weekend reading pleasure while you recuperate. First up: it’s time for the annual debunking ritual. No, the amino acid known as tryptophan in turkey doesn’t make you sleepy: these are the real [...]

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Cocktail Party Physics

Physics Week in Review: November 22, 2014

Credit: Nuala O'Donovan, http://www.nualaodonovan.com

Here’s a disquieting thought for your weekend: Dark Energy Might Be Stealing the Glue Holding the Universe Together. A new invisibility cloak simultaneously works for heat flow and electrical current. The Proton and Neutron Just Got Two Brand New Subatomic Cousins in the Baryon Family.  A new LHCb result adds two new composite particles to [...]

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Cocktail Party Physics

Physics Week in Review (Philae Edition): November 15, 2014

The craggy surface of the comet - looking over one of Philae's feet. Credit" ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

“The Philae has landed!” Excitement over the Rosetta mission has been building for weeks, with tons of explanatory blog posts on what the lander is meant to find, helpful historical timelines, and an Astronaut Simulating the Comet Landing while on board the Space Station. At long last, the wait is over: European Space Agency’s Philae [...]

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Cocktail Party Physics

Nobel Vintage: Fundamental Physics Prize Co-Winner Sells No Wine Before Its Time

Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt checks the status of his fermenting grapes.

Last night the winners of the 2015 Breakthrough Prizes were announced, including the $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize — likely the most lucrative such honor in science. And while prior winners have skewed heavily towards string theory and theoretical cosmology, this year’s winners were the Nobel-winning teams responsible for measuring the accelerating expansion of the [...]

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Cocktail Party Physics

Physics Week in Review: November 8, 2014

Credit: Simon Beck, https://www.facebook.com/snowart8848

It was a big week for physics in the movies, with the premiere of Interstellar, and the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything. That translates into lots of pixels commenting on the science behind the films. For instance, Interstellar‘s Black Hole was Once Seen As Pure Speculation. Related: Learn more about the Physics of [...]

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Cocktail Party Physics

Physics Week in Review: November 1, 2014

Photo: Henry Segerman, http://www.segerman.org

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! Anticipation is still building for [...]

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Cross-Check

Physicist Paul Steinhardt Slams Inflation, Cosmic Theory He Helped Conceive

Paul Steinhardt: "Scientific ideas should be simple, explanatory, predictive.  The inflationary multiverse as currently understood appears to have none of those properties."

I love apostates, believers in or, better yet, conceivers of a theory who turn against it. They restore my faith in science, because they show that scientists can overcome attachment to their own brainchildren, a feat that is essential for progress and cannot be taken for granted. Paul Steinhardt, Albert Einstein Professor in Science and [...]

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Cross-Check

New Hawking Film Brilliantly Dramatizes Paradox of Modern Science

The new Hawking film gets some scientific details wrong but still brilliantly dramatizes profound themes embodied by the iconic physicist's career.

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. He was already almost totally paralyzed; he could move only one finger, with which he controlled a computer and speech synthesizer on his motorized wheelchair. One day, when [...]

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Cross-Check

Surfer-Physicist Garrett Lisi Offers Alternative to String Theory—and Academia

Lisi (third from right) and friends at the "Pacific Science Institute," a cluster of cabins that he built on Maui to provide a place for scientists to "work and play." Lisi adds, "I do have to let students know I am not a degree-granting institution, but they're welcome to visit."

In 2007 Garrett Lisi was a 39-year-old physicist, unaffiliated with any institution, toiling in obscurity on what he called “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything,” which could account for all of nature’s forces. Over the next year he became a celebrity, after The New Yorker, Outside, Discover and other publications described him as a rootless [...]

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Cross-Check

Physics Titan Edward Witten Still Thinks String Theory “on the Right Track”

Witten: "I hope the landscape interpretation of the universe would turn out to be wrong, as I would like to be able to eventually calculate from first principles the ratio of the masses of the electron and muon (among other things).  However, the universe wasn't made for our convenience."

At a 1990 conference on cosmology, I asked attendees, who included folks like Stephen Hawking, Michael Turner, James Peebles, Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, to nominate the smartest living physicist. Edward Witten got the most votes (with Steven Weinberg the runner-up). Some considered Witten to be in the same league as Einstein and Newton. Witten [...]

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Cross-Check

Quantum Gravity Expert Says “Philosophical Superficiality” Has Harmed Physics

Carlo Rovelli: "Theoretical physics has not done great in the last decades. Why? Well, one of the reasons, I think, is that it got trapped in a wrong philosophy."

As readers of this blog know, late last spring I spoke at a cool conference in England called How the Light Gets In, where I hung out with all kinds of professional reality-ponderers. I’ve already posted Q&As with two fellow speakers I shared housing with: biologist Rupert Sheldrake, who urges scientists to take telepathy more [...]

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Cross-Check

Science “faction”: Is theoretical physics becoming “softer” than anthropology?

black hole illustration

Two recent science stories, one in anthropology and the other in physics, have me wondering which field is "hard" and which "soft." The first story involves the decision of the American Anthropological Association to delete the word "science" from its mission statement. That step provoked squawks from anthropologists who’ve struggled to counter the image of [...]

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Cross-Check

Cosmic Clowning: Stephen Hawking’s “new” theory of everything is the same old CRAP

I’ve always thought of Stephen Hawking—whose new book The Grand Design (Bantam 2010), co-written with Leonard Mlodinow, has become an instant bestseller—less as a scientist than as a cosmic, comic performance artist, who loves goofing on his fellow physicists and the rest of us. This penchant was already apparent in 1980, when the University of [...]

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Dark Star Diaries

How to See a Black Hole: Introducing Dark Star Diaries

Sagittarius A*

The image you see here is a computer-generated model of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, which we call Sagittarius A*. More precisely, it is a model of the “shadow” that Sagittarius A*, with its mass of four million suns, should cast. The glowing blob in the lower right corner is [...]

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Food Matters

Breaking Food Down

Original Image U. Huddersfield.

What is food? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary entry says “Something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies.” How beautiful. That statement captures much of the emotion and feeling surrounding food, yet it’s only part of the full definition. So where does food begin? As with most big questions, it depends who you ask. Let’s start down the reductive [...]

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Guest Blog

U.S. Particle Physics Program Aims for the Future

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory's Main Ring and Main Injector as seen from the air. (Credit: Reidar Hahn/Fermilab)

In the last few years, stories have abounded in the press of the successes of the Large Hadron Collider, most notably the discovery of the Higgs boson. This has led some to speculate that European research is ascendant while U.S. research is falling behind. While there is no argument that U.S. particle physics budgets have [...]

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Guest Blog

The Frustrations of Being Scientifically Literate

Life's dirty little secret. (Credit: Debaird via Flickr)

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. If that’s true then being scientifically literate has got to be one of the most miserable and frustrating things possible. And when you think about it that [...]

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Guest Blog

To What Extent Do We See with Mathematics?

Variable X

When I first became fascinated with mathematics’ tightly knit abstract structures, its prominence in physics and engineering reassured me.  Mathematics’ indisputable value in science made it clear that my preoccupation with its intangible expressions was not pathological.  The captivating creative activity of doing mathematics has real consequences. During my graduate school years, I began to [...]

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Guest Blog

Channeling Ada Lovelace: Chien-Shiung Wu, Courageous Hero of Physics

Linocut of Chien-Shiung Wu

Today marks the 5th Ada Lovelace Day, an annual celebration of women who have made important contributions to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The event is named for Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, who is often credited as the first computer programmer. Since its inception in 2009, Ada Lovelace Day [...]

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Guest Blog

Why Is Quantum Gravity So Hard? And Why Did Stalin Execute the Man Who Pioneered the Subject?

What is the hottest problem in fundamental physics today? Physics aficionados most probably would answer: quantum gravity. Of all the fundamental forces of nature, only gravity still stands outside the rubric of the quantum theory. The difficulty of quantizing gravity has led to radical theories such as string theory, with its bold predictions of higher [...]

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Guest Blog

The Power of Theory in Science

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."—Leonardo da Vinci It’s often lonely, these days, as a theorist. As soon as most people hear the word theory, in fact, they start thinking about something like this:  (Image credit: [...]

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Guest Blog

What Does the New Double-Slit Experiment Actually Show?

Quantum mechanics is one of the most successful theories in all of science; at the same time, it’s one of the most challenging to comprehend and one about which a great deal of nonsense has been written. However, a paper from Science, titled "Observing the Average Trajectories of Single Photons in a Two-Slit Interferometer", holds [...]

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Guest Blog

Physics and the Immortality of the Soul

The topic of "life after death" raises disreputable connotations of past-life regression and haunted houses, but there are a large number of people in the world who believe in some form of persistence of the individual soul after life ends. Clearly this is an important question, one of the most important ones we can possibly [...]

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Guest Blog

Invisibility: After several years of research, it’s just gotten weirder

Is it possible to hide something within an invisible cloak? It has already been over four years since the first groundbreaking theoretical papers on invisible cloaking devices were published, stirring up a near frenzy in the physics and optics communities. Since then, new results have come at a rapid and genuinely surprising pace, and news [...]

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Guest Blog

The Evolution of the Physicist’s Picture of Nature

Paul Dirac

Editor’s Note: We are republishing this article by Paul Dirac from the May 1963 issue of Scientific American, as it might be of interest to listeners to the June 24, 2010, and June 25, 2010 Science Talk podcasts, featuring award-winning writer and physicist Graham Farmelo discussing The Strangest Man, his biography of the Nobel Prize-winning [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Cusp of Knowing and the Evolution of Science

(Credit NASA/JPL)

In a nice piece on his Scientific American blog ‘Cross-Check‘, John Horgan recently gave me some much appreciated praise, whilst provoking discussion on a contentious subject – whether or not big science as we’ve known it ‘may be coming to an end’ (John’s words). Wrapped into this assertion is the idea that fundamental physics and [...]

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Life, Unbounded

This Is What We Don’t Know About The Universe

dont panic.001

In recent days I’ve had some interesting conversations. There’s a giddiness going around, related to an outpouring of science love – the kind you get from President Obama introducing TV science shows, the kind that has wonderful visuals, but is, well, a wee bit simplistic (a sin that none of us could ever, ever be [...]

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Life, Unbounded

In Defense Of Metaphors In Science Writing

(James Gillray)

“Science is all metaphor” Timothy Leary We live in an elegant universe. The cosmos is like a string symphony. Genes are selfish. There is an endless battle between thermodynamics and gravity. Do you love these statements, or hate them? The reading world gets pretty divided over whether or not it’s okay to apply metaphors and [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Subatomic to Superhorizon – Abandon All Hope!

Contemplating vastness

                      Grasping for an understanding of the true scale of the cosmos is a vital part of how we try to conceptualize reality and our place among it all. But it’s tremendously difficult, whether we’re seeking that ‘oh wow’ moment, or trying to gain intuition [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Calling All Sentient Lifeforms

Galileo spacecraft images us (NASA/JPL)

You may notice that today is the one year anniversary of the Scientific American blog network. You may also notice that across the blogs this morning is a shared theme; time for the readers to speak up. Inspired by the blogger Ed Yong, the Sci Am blogs are asking for your thoughts. Consider this an [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Hole

Hole ((c) C. Scharf 2012)

Every so often in the summer months I allow myself a bit of leeway with posts, because as fun as it is to write about real science, it’s also a lot of fun to write pure speculation. I particularly like speculation that takes extraordinary possibilities about our place in the universe, and cuts them down [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Encounter at Dawn: Stephen Hawking, me, and an ATM

A black hole lenses the light of the Milky Way in the background (Credit: Ute Kraus amd Axel Mellinger)

This weekend Stephen Hawking turns 70, an extraordinary physical accomplishment to add to an extraordinary list of physics accomplishments. Seeing this news reminded me of the the first time that I crossed paths with Hawking. I’d love to be able to say that it was in intellectual debate, an exchange of brilliant ideas, but in [...]

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Life, Unbounded

What next for neutrinos?

To catch a neutrino (MINOS)

For a ghostly type of particle, oblivious to even the massive bulk of a star or planet, neutrinos sure can generate a fuss. In the 1960s they created a stir by seemingly appearing from nuclear processes in our Sun’s core at a third of the anticipated rate – the so-called solar neutrino “problem“. In the [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Superluminal muon-neutrinos? Don’t get your hopes up.

Ghosts in the aether (CERN)

The past 24 hours have suddenly been awash in neutrinos, in addition to the 65 billion passing through every square centimeter of your skin every second from the Sun’s core. Although hardly the stuff of planetary science or astrobiology I have found myself facing questions from a few people who wonder if faster-than-light particles could [...]

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Observations

Intel Upgrades Stephen Hawking’s Portal to the World

Hawking with Intel’s Lama Nachman, principal engineer and project lead. Image courtesy of Intel.

Movie audiences who went to theaters this fall to see The Theory of Everything got a glimpse of the challenges physicist Stephen Hawking has overcome to deliver his groundbreaking insights into the nature of black holes, space and time. Tuesday the world gets a peek at how new technology will let the scientist and author [...]

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Observations

Dog Physics: How Your Pet Solves Its Drinking Problem [VIDEO]

dogs lapping water

Dogs are sloppy drinkers for a good reason: They splash water up because they cannot suck like people.

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Observations

What Interstellar Gets Wrong about Interstellar Travel

A starship travels through a cosmic wormhole

Christopher Nolan’s new film, Interstellar, is a near-future tale of astronauts departing a dying Earth to travel to Saturn, then through a wormhole to another galaxy, all in search of somewhere else humanity could call home. It’s a gorgeous, ambitious work, with outstanding performances from a star-studded cast augmented by high-fidelity visual effects and a [...]

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Observations

3-D Print a Rib, or Better Yet, Have Someone Else Do It

Courtesy of HP's new Multi Jet Fusion 3-D printer.

Even as 3-D printing’s impact on science, healthcare and consumer electronics grows, these devices aren’t likely to find their way into your home anytime soon. In fact, the closest most people will get to a 3-D printer in the near future will be ordering custom-made products from retailers that build objects the way Kinko’s and [...]

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Observations

Even Einstein Was a Fool in Love

Albert Einstein and his first wife, Mileva Marić

NEW YORK—When it came to relationships, Albert Einstein was no Einstein. In fact, the famous genius’s romantic entanglements could rival the dysfunction of a typical Jerry Springer guest. That’s one takeaway of the performance piece “Dear Albert,” based on Einstein’s letters, which kicked off the World Science Festival on May 28. The staged reading, written [...]

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Observations

Why the Moon Looks Different in Winter [Video]

As we steel ourselves against the cold and curse the polar vortex for bringing these bitter winds upon us, it’s helpful to remember that winter can also be a magical time of fluttering snowflakes and beautiful evening skies. This Minute Physics video explains how the earth’s tilted axis makes winter the best season for viewing [...]

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Observations

Winners of the Dance Your PhD Competition Revealed [Video]

For the past 6 years, Science magazine and its publisher, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, have challenged researchers to explain their doctoral research through interpretive dance. This year, the winners of the Dance Your Ph.D. contest goes to Cedric Tan, a biologist whose postdoctoral research examines the relationship between sperm and the [...]

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Observations

Scientists Find First Neutrinos from Distant Space [Video]

IceCube

The world has heard the first faint whispers of the most powerful cataclysms in the universe. Scientists working on the IceCube experiment in Antarctica report that they have found 28 neutrinos that must have come to earth from explosions in the distant universe—the first time scientists have found neutrinos coming from outside our own solar [...]

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Observations

5 Unanswered Questions That Will Keep Physicists Awake at Night

Orion Nebula photo

Physics is all about probing the most fundamental mysteries in nature, so it’s no surprise that physicists have some very basic questions about the universe on their minds. Recently, Symmetry Magazine (published by two U.S.-government funded physics labs) asked a group of particle physicists to name the open questions in physics they most want answers [...]

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Observations

The Fingerprints the Higgs Leaves Behind

The Higgs at Last

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. The physical manifestation of this [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Tiny Hairs Help Octopus Suckers Stick

octopus sucker hair

Just when you thought octopuses couldn’t get any weirder: It turns out that their suckers have an unexpectedly hairy grip. Octopuses can form an impressively tight grip—even on a rough surface. And recent detailed microscopic imaging of their suckers revealed an intricate landscape of fine grooves that make these improbable holds possible. But how do [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Octopus Suckers Have Groovy Secret for Strength

octopus sucker strength material tissue

Octopus suckers are extraordinary. They can move and grasp objects independently. They can “taste” the water around them. They can even form a seal on rough surfaces underwater. And as a many a diver, biologist and intrepid eater can attest, these little suckers are strong. This strength is astounding, especially considering that their tissue is [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

3-D Printed Octopus Suckers Help Robots Stick

octopus robot suckers

Legions of animal-inspired robots are being created to improve military missions and disaster response efforts—from crawling cockroach-like RHex bots to leaping Sand Flea robots and the speeding Cheetah machines. Now, a squishier source for smart robo-tech has joined the ranks: octopuses. Teams of researchers are already developing soft-bodied, octopus-esque robots for search and rescue. These [...]

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Roots of Unity

Your Telephone Is Lying to You About Sounds

telephone

Telephones lie about sounds because odd numbers aren’t even. Once again with those integers and sound perception! Telephones can only pick up frequencies above 300 or 400 Hertz (cycles per second, also called Hz), but most adults’ speaking voices are lower than 300 Hz (approximately the D above middle C). And yet every day, people [...]

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Roots of Unity

Lord Kelvin and the Age of the Earth

William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin. Image: Smithsonian Libraries, via Wikimedia Commons. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Today is the 189th anniversary of the birth of William Thomson, better known as Lord Kelvin. I don’t usually make a big deal about 189th birthdays, but I’ve been thinking a lot about Lord Kelvin recently. Yesterday I came across this quote of his on Pat Ballew’s blog, which reminded me that it’s his birthday: [...]

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Roots of Unity

Time in 298 Words

Last year, in the inaugural Flame Challenge, Alan Alda and the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University challenged scientists to explain what a flame is to an 11-year-old. This year, the subject was time. In particular, we were instructed to “Answer the question — ‘What is time?’ — in a way an 11-year-old [...]

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Symbiartic

What’s an Artist Doing at Fermilab?

14-046FEATURE

When a revered research institution reaches out to a fine artist to create its first ever artist-in-residency program, we should all sit up and take notice. This month, Fermilab, the celebrated particle physics research laboratory, announced a year-long partnership with artist Lindsay Olson. For those of us invested in promoting collaborations between artists and scientists, [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt of the Day: Hyperdimensional Suffering

Dali-Hypercubemini

As our month of SciArt of the Day winds down, I had to share this image. For me, this is a touchstone of what makes wonderful science-art: marrying metaphors from past and present, science and myth. The idea that art and science represent two cultures, as C.P. Snow described is a curious one. Art, or [...]

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Symbiartic

Hangin’ with Theoretical Physicists

12-013FEATURE

Nothin’ like a little light reading by the pool on a warm summer day…

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Symbiartic

We Blew a Bubble for a Man Named Edison

1937 advertisement for Corning's Pyrex

When you think of chemistry, no doubt images of scientists in white lab coats swirling beakers and test tubes come to mind. Ever wonder where those beakers and test tubes originated? If your answer is a big science catalog like Fisher Scientific or Chemglass or the like, you’re probably right… some percentage of the time. [...]

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Talking back

Higgsteria: We Didn’t Need No U.S. Supercollider

“Europe Overtakes U.S. in Physics Pursuing God Particle,” the headline blared. The Bloomberg News story declared that the home of Galileo and Newton has recaptured the lead in physics with its pursuit of the Higgs boson, a place in the scientific firmament that was once indisputably owned by the birthplace of Benjamin Franklin. The story [...]

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The Urban Scientist

You Should Know: Dr. Umberto Cannella and Dr. Cinnamon blog

spotlight-U C

Welcome to the seventeenth installment of You Should Know, where I give my own#ScholarSunday salute to Science Bloggers and the Blogs you may not yet know about.   Introducing Umberto Cannella, also known as Dr. Cinnamon! Dr. Cinnamon, the blog, is based on Dr. Cannella’s personal exploration of the physical sciences. Through his posts he [...]

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Voices

For Female Physicists, Peer Mentoring Can Combat Isolation

Our mentoring network of senior physics faculty at liberal arts institutions. Clockwise from top right: Linda Fritz, Cindy Blaha, Barbara Whitten and Anne Cox.

Women physicists are often isolated at work. Just consider the numbers: 86 percent of American faculty physicists are male; 89 percent of PhD physicists working in the science and engineering industry are male; and it was just in 2012 that the number of physics PhDs earned by women reached even 20 percent. To increase the [...]

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Voices

Female Physicists Worldwide Fight Sexist Stereotypes

Three physicists meet at the International Conference on Women in Physics August 5-8, 2014 in Waterloo, Canada.  Credit: Marina Milner-Bolotin/ICWIP

Women in physics tend to be outnumbered by men nearly all over the world. For a few days in early August, however, it didn’t feel that way when I attended the International Conference on Women in Physics in Waterloo, Canada. Hundreds of women from about 50 countries gathered there for talks, posters and brainstorming sessions [...]

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Voices

Channeling Ada Lovelace: Chien-Shiung Wu, Courageous Hero of Physics

Linocut of Chien-Shiung Wu

Today marks the 5th Ada Lovelace Day, an annual celebration of women who have made important contributions to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The event is named for Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, who is often credited as the first computer programmer. Since its inception in 2009, Ada Lovelace Day [...]

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