First up: a spot of science-y April Foolery: Physicists Warming Up the LHC Accidentally Create a Rainbow Universe. Related: CERN researchers confirm existence of the Force (the photos alone are hilarious). Also: Smithsonian displays Wonder Woman’s invisible jet for April Fools’ Day. Bonus: Six of Ben Franklin's Greatest Hoaxes and Pranks. A bit of foolish history: When Your Co-Author Is a Monstrous Ass, or when the stronzo hits the fan. More foolery: Math Professor Pulls Off the Nerdiest April Fools' Joke Ever. Finally: Ah, those kooky kids and their April Fool's physics papers.
Not everyone is a fan of such frivolities: Lee Billings at Scientific American made a strong argument against April Fools’ in Science Journalism: "perhaps it’s past time for reputable science publications to abandon the practice—or at least to quietly discourage it. What seems like harmless fun among journalists and their more-savvy readers may have negative unintended consequences outside those knowledgeable inner circles."
Allison Murray of Dream a Little Bigger has posted a handy dandy tutorial on how to make galaxy Easter eggs emblazoned with painted stars, nebulae, and other cosmic phenomena.
Dark Energy Tested on a Tabletop. Is dark energy a cosmic chameleon that can fade into its surroundings? A recent test brings the mysterious anti-gravitational force down to earth.
LHC restart is back on track and could start as early as next week. Huzzah! RelatedL A rare LHC tour—avoiding radiation to see scientific history up close, with hardware still disassembled for service
Searching for a “quantum foam” bubbling through the Universe. Experiment looks for evidence in slight variations in the speed of light.
Embroidered Paintings and Historical Photos by Mana Morimoto: "An etching of Isaac Newton is overlaid with rainbows of light."
The Secret Address of the Manhattan Project and the Woman Who Kept It Running. Scientists Working on the Top Secret Manhattan Project Would First Be Delivered to 109 East Palace. Related: The Gate: Contemplating the secret portal that led to the atomic bomb.
The First Commercial Application of Graphene Is A Light Bulb.
Hubble finds ghosts of quasars past -- Hanny's Voorwep now has a few friends. Related: Supermassive Black Holes Make Merging Galaxies Green.
DUNE, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, will Stretch Across the Midwest.
New type of gravitational wave detector proposed.
Cake icing and Climbing Ropes: The Physics of How Threads Curl. "A stream of honey on toast, a line of cake icing, and a cascading climbing rope all produce similar curlicues and coils as they fall."
Your baby is doing little physics experiments all the time, according to a new study.
The Amazing, Autotuning Sandpile: A simple mathematical model of a sandpile shows remarkably complex behavior.
"It's not a Weeping Angel, it's the Devil's Staircase," a.k.a. the Cantor Function. "When you’re looking at it, it just stays there, constant and still. But if you turn your back for just an instant at a point in the Cantor set, the function grows impossibly quickly."
After Prime Proof, an Unlikely Star Rises. Two years ago, Yitang Zhang was virtually unknown. Now his surprise solution to a major problem in number theory has catapulted him to mathematical stardom. Where does he go from here?
Geographic tongue: the mysterious condition that makes maps in your mouth.
Low Gravity Seriously Messes With An Ant's Ability To Explore Space.
How a Snowflake Turns Into an Avalanche: Meet the avalanche engineers of the Subzero Laboratory.
Fractal first as molecules form Sierpinski triangles. Scientists have produced a repeating triangular pattern through molecular self-assembly.
Bone-white ancient shells reveal their dazzling colors under UV light.
Helium atoms put in same quantum state, start appearing in same place. If we can't tell them apart, they behave identically.
Is the MagSafe Power Adapter Safer Than USB-C? How difficult is it to pull a MagSafe plug out of a MacBook? What about a USB? Will the USB-C power be dangerous for your laptop?
Star sound discovered? Laboratory plasmas at conditions akin to stellar surfaces produce distinctive ultra-high frequency.
Scientists find the "invisible paint" that makes Mercury darker than dark.
Oobleck versus bullets: Poland is Developing Liquid Body Armor using shear-thickening fluids.
First Rule of Ant Fight Club: Choose a Model for Ant Fight Club. Two ants enter; one ant leaves.
"Time" is the most-used noun in the English Language. Does it denote something real and central?
Could black holes ever destroy the universe? Before you say no way, hear Sabine Hossenfelder out. "If the calculations in the new paper are correct, we could now conclude that no black holes can have previously completely evaporated anywhere in our universe, because otherwise we wouldn’t be here anymore. Since the distribution of primordial black hole masses is not known, however, some of them could be around and come into the final phase of evaporation any time, spelling the end of the world as we know it."
Celebrating Apollo 13's 45th Anniversary in Style.
Astronaut twins study raises questions about genetic privacy. Related: A Simple Explanation of Special Relativity and the Twin Paradox.
Mathematical Pattern Found in Enigmatic Radio Bursts, But It’s Not E.T. phoning home.
Isaac Newton Creates a List of His 47 Sins (Circa 1662). e.g. "26. Calling Dorothy Rose a jade."
Hydraulics can convert a small force (over a long distance) into a very large force (over a very small distance).
Lunar Lava Tubes Could Host Underground Moon Cities.
Could you crawl out of a black hole? Could a strong enough tether save you? Or is your fate inevitable?
Why Did A Group Of Medieval Monks See Part Of The Moon Explode?
Researchers identify 'tipping point' between quantum and classical worlds: tracking the transition from quantum to classical behavior in optical systems.
Custom Glass Planets Containing the Cremated Remains of Loved Ones.
Inspiring Vintage Images of Female Space Pioneers for the Documentary Makers: Women in Space.
Mesmerizing Molten Glass Paintings by Etsuko Ichikawa. Per Spoon and Tomago: "Ichikawa removes fiery, molten glass from a kiln as it glows at 2100° F, and then manipulates it over thick paper, leaving scorch marks and burns. The process is something akin to photography, in which light is recorded on film, capturing and eternalizing the immediacy of a moment."
At The Intersection of Math and Art. "In the late 19th and early 20th centuries a niche industry developed in Germany to develop, build, and sell models of various geometric shapes in these new geometries."
Bird 'backpacks' help scientists discover the longest oversea migration. By fitting it with tiny geolocators, scientists have proven that the blackpoll warbler completes the longest known oversea journey for any land bird.
There was a of buzz this week over a provocative Op-Ed by Fareer Zakaria in the Washington Post: Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous. Jen-Luc Piquant had some issues with it, and she was not alone: STEM Education Promotes Critical Thinking and Creativity: A Response to Fareed Zakaria. Chad Orzel countered by emphasizing that Science Is Essentially Human; Or Why Better STEM Education Isn't A Threat. "[T]he biggest problem I have with this whole line of argument is the way it sets science off as something alien, the classic example of which is the branding of arts and literature as 'the humanities,' as if other fields are inherently inhuman. STEM disciplines are implicitly set off as something that isn’t an intrinsic part of 'the human condition,' which Zakaria urges everyone to study. But, in fact, there are very few activities more essentially and intrinsically human than science."
From Time Machines & the Bomb to Supercomputers & Satellites: Science Fiction's Hits and Misses.
The Newcomb Paradox: You’re allowed two options: take both boxes, or take just the opaque box.
The Melian Dilemma: Varoufakis, Thucydides and game theory. "[T]he dialogue presents two sides in a high-stakes, zero-sum conflict, pursuing very different strategies with a limited number of possible outcomes, and – if you want to push the boundaries of game theory a bit further, it also offers interesting examples of how each side seeks to anticipate and influence the decision-making of the other, and raises some fundamental questions of rationality. "
Book Review: Queen of Code is a Fascinating Look at the Life and Work of Computer Pioneer Grace Hopper.
SMASH! Maybe the Hulk Turns Green Because He's One Big Bruise.
Legendary Scientist Richard Feynman Opens Up About His Relationship with His Father in an Animated 1966 Interview.
Richard Feynman on What It Means | The Experimenters | Blank on Blank from Quoted Studios on Vimeo.