The Large Hadron Collider’s Second Run broke its own energy record for accelerating particles when it started up again this week. Here's an inside look at how the atom smasher has been amped up. Related: The LHC made simple: here’s what it’s doing in five simple steps. Also: The three main ways physicists look for exotic new phenomena to fill the gaps in the Standard Model. Bonus: Pygmalion and Supersymmetry: "I love supersymmetry. It is a very canonical theory."
Jen-Luc Piquant is on the edge of her seat for Sunday night's premiere of Season 5 of Game of Thrones. (She's trying really hard not to emit a loud SQUEE!) She is not alone; the pending premiere inspired several posts on science-y aspects of this popular series (books and TV). First up: "You know nothing, frequentist statisticians." Bayesian survival analysis in A Song of Ice and Fire. Related: The fantastic chemistry of Valyrian steel, the Game of Thrones super material. Also: Game theory of Thrones: how strategy might decide who rules Westeros. It's much harder than a simple Prisoner's Dilemma. "The problem when looking at Westeros is that at any point there are multiple games going on." Bonus: In Sesame Street's "Game of Chairs," You Win Or You Try, and Grover Bluejoy is not messing around. "The monster is blue and full of errors!" Finally, Jon Snow is the world's worst dinner guest.
Physics Madness Grand Champion. Your 2015 winning physics machine is…the Dark Energy Camera!
This week on Virtually Speaking Science tonight, I chatted with Caltech graduate student and budding entrepreneur Shaun Maguire about quantum information, emergent spacetime, cybersecurity, and black hole firewalls. If you missed it, you can listen to the archived conversation here.
Rogue Microwave Ovens Are the Culprits Behind Mysterious Radio Signals.
The Inner Workings of Space Tools by Chris O'Leary: "what happens when the focus of the camera is turned onto the tools of the trade themselves?"
No, the black hole information loss problem has not been solved. Even if Physical Review Letters seems to think so.
Quark Molecule: New research shows that the exotic particle Lambda (1405) is actually a molecule made of quarks.
Great Scott! Reverse-Causality Research Ends in a Quantum Muddle. Does the future leave its fingerprints on the past? Apparently not.
Chances are, you're among the millions who flocked to movie theaters for Furious 7 last week. Could the stunts in Furious 7 happen in real life? A physicist weighs in for the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, Vulture asked a physicist whether the film's jaw-dropping Double-Skyscraper Jump Really Happen? Answer: “that is probably the most plausible stunt in the whole movie.”
More Hollywood Science: The Muppets Help Explain Why Quicksilver's Speed Would Actually Destroy Everything in Its Path. Related: Kip Thorne and Jonathan Nolan Talk about the Science Behind Interstellar. Bonus: An Interstellar timeline in one convenient graph.
Liquid Crystal Rodeo. Researchers "lasso an intangible ring created out of liquid crystal defects - attaching a microsphere to a long thin fiber using optical tweezers."
Research Projects Reveal How Wrinkles Form. Understanding wrinkles begins with math.
What Do You Want Me to Do In Lab? "I really just want one thing. I want the students to build a model."
When Photons Strike Molecules: Femto-Snapshots Of Reaction Kinetics.
A Hypnotic Animation of a Quasicrystal That Reveals Hidden Patterns When the Viewer Blinks.
Watch the First Artificial Gravity Experiment: Gemini II in September 1966. …
Beaded Chains Groove to the Music. Per Physics Buzz: "Entropy could be the driving force behind both DNA unmixing and the beautiful swirling patterns of chains, but the chains' complex behavior has also raised many more questions about bouncing, constrained, granular materials."
Mesmerizing mirrored projections in Patterns of Harmony. Per Boing Boing: "Inspired by quantum physics, Gaspar Battha created a gorgeous mirrored projection mapping installation using grays, blues, and blacks, then set it to a hypnotic piano."
The Geek Girl’s Guide to Antigravity Conspiracies: The Stories of The Women Who Believe. Or, how to build a believable (and perhaps even useful) conspiracy theory using our friend, mainstream science.
Quitting + failures + a microscope in the living room = Nobel Prize: At Bell Labs, Eric Betzig describes his very indirect path to scientific success.
Settlers of Chernobyl: a Self-Contained, Fallout-Absorbing City.
M^3, A Tiny Autonomous Computer That Is About the Size of a Grain of Rice.
Seeing dark matter without seeing: Indirect detection experiments might be the key to discovering invisible dark matter.
Lawrencium experiment could shake up periodic table. Measurement of first ionisation energy confirms electronic configuration but opens up an important debate.
Quantum Particles: Hot, Cold And Just Right All At The Same Time.
CubeSats are swarming—and transforming space science.
Where Did That Giant Russian Fireball Come From? Last April's blast traced to a nearby asteroid.
By Coupling Photons To Atoms In Glass Fiber, Time Is Stopped.
Ige announces 1 week halt of Mauna Kea telescope construction.
These 18th century automaton dolls may be the world’s oldest examples of the modern computer.
Drones and Cars Could Benefit from a Way to Shrink Radar Equipment via metameterials.
A Beautiful and Famous Comet, 1874: ""Without doubt, C/1874 H1 (Coggia) was a beauty; a true great comet."
Watch Cosmic Rays Live and Play 'I Spy' for Neutrinos.
Hollywood Earthquakes: what Californians should and shouldn’t be worried about — and why.
Artist Niyoko Ikuta Uses Layers of Laminated Sheet Glass to Create Spiraling Geometric Sculptures.
The Genetics of the Earth and Moon.
An Amateur Astronomer's Hunt for a Dark Patch of Sky in New York City.
Tony Stark Should Become a NASA Astronaut. "he’s the only inventor who could out-Musk Elon, he is a billionaire, and we know his various suits can withstand both intense radiation and harsh, airless environments."
Researchers Complete the First-Ever Trillion Particle Simulation of the Universe.
Particle Accelerator in Space Could Help Scientists Study Auroras.
Kinetic Sand: A Magical Interactive Glass Sphere Installation. It's "an interactive table that responds to touch by creating plumes of sand that seem to whirl and dance around objects placed on top of it."
Are You Commuting Through A Physics Experiment? Yes, If you are using the Holborn Tube Station in England.
A Band Aid for NASCAR’s Tire Bleeding Problem. "NASCAR’s made its stand loud and clear in the last few weeks. Tire bleeding will not be allowed. If you persist in trying, they’ll come down hard on you."
Network Archaeologists Discover Two Types of Social Network Growth in Historical Facebook Data. Young social networks grow in an entirely different way to mature networks, say computer scientists who have analyzed the way Facebook grew in the heady days after it launched in 2004.
Schrödinger was not a morning person, but reportedly sometimes got up early and brought a blackboard to the beach.
Marie Curie's infinitely inspiring life-story, told in gorgeous cyanotype illustrations. What the periodic table has to do with obscure photographic techniques and Italian erotic séances.
Eleven Facts About the Math Disorder Dyscalculia.
Radio Astronomers are LOOKING not Listening to the Cosmos.
The Math Ceiling: Where's your cognitive breaking point? "A student who can answer questions without understanding them is a student with an expiration date."
The First Rule of Teaching Science. "And if you do find that you’ve made a mistake —it’s okay, we all do — don’t double down on it when you find that the facts challenge what you’ve said. Instead, do the same thing that science strives to do: incorporate the new information, revise what you thought before to include and encompass what you know now, and move forward with a greater, more nuanced understanding of how the Universe actually works. And then share it with the world.”
Unlike A Rolling Stone: Is Science Really Better Than Journalism At Self-Correction?
Actor Clark Gregg Joins The Women of Marvel Podcast To Talk About His Nerdy, STEM-Loving Teen Daughter.
A Very Detailed Scientific Answer to the Question, ‘Can You Fart Your Way to the Moon?’Apparently this was a question that needed answering, and PBS obliged. SCIENCE!