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?
From humanity’s first, flawed foray to the surface of a comet to the celebrated discovery of (and less celebrated skepticism about) primordial gravitational waves, 2014 has brought some historic successes and failures in space science and physics.
Comfortably sitting in the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in Japantown in San Francisco, I was watching The Theory of Everything with an audience of hundreds.
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?
Black holes break theories. These sites of extremely large masses in extremely small spaces invoke both of the behemoths of modern physics—general relativity (which rules over large masses) and quantum mechanics (which reigns in small spaces).
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.
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.
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 [...]
This is a guest post by my friend Pinkesh Patel, a data scientist at Facebook. Pinkesh has a PhD in physics from Caltech during which he worked on LIGO, the gravitational wave detector.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week on Virtually Speaking Science, I chatted with astrophysicist Katie Freese, author of a new book, The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter.