This week, intrepid stargazers around the world camped out to catch the Perseid meteor shower -- folks like Gizmodo contributor Attila Nagy, who Spent Two Glorious Nights Shooting the Perseid Meteor Shower under the open skies of Hungary. Gizmodo, the Guardian and Discovery News were among the outlets compiling the best photographs of the celestial event. Be sure to check them out.
Superfluid Dark Matter: A new paper proposes that dark matter may be a quantum fluid that has condensed in puddles to seed galaxies. "If Superfluid was a superhero , it would creep through the tiniest door slits and flow up the walls to then freeze the evil villain to death."
Quasicrystal first as scientists watch them growing under the microscope: Experiments reveal frequent errors form during growth that are later repaired.
It's long been thought that our universe is all there is, but it is possible we may live in just one of many.
Straight outta Antarctica: Ice Cube reports fastest-ever neutrino at ~2.6 petaelectronvolts (PEVs). Still not faster than light.
Testing the nature of neutrinos: The Majorana Demonstrator experiment is looking for a sign that neutrinos are their own antiparticles.
New study predicts the slow, inevitable death of the universe. Per the Washington Post, “The universe is curling up on the sofa and becoming a couch potato,” perhaps munching on Cheetos and playing video games. Wired finds The End of the Universe to be A (Slightly Premature) Lament. And frankly, worrying about the heat death of the universe is just so 19th century -- like, 1852. That's when William Thomson/Lord Kelvin first proposed it as a consequence to the laws of thermodynamics.
Get ready for Foldable Glass: Glass "is notorious for its brittleness.... In new work, researchers have demonstrated substrate platforms of glass and plastics, which can be reversibly and repeatedly foldable at pre-designed location(s) without any mechanical failure or deterioration in device performances."
One Small Optical Chip, One Giant Leap for Quantum Computing.
Even weird science has a purpose -- like bioacoustics scientists having alligators breathe helium. "It turns out that helium (or rather heliox, a combination of oxygen and helium that you can breathe for extended periods without suffocating) is the perfect way to test for resonance in an animal. If they were using resonance, their calls would sound different when they inhaled the gas."
Why predicting a flu outbreak is like betting on football or flipping a coin.
So cool! Watching the Numbers Flow on This animated Ferrofluid Clock Is Almost Therapeutic. Related: Ferrolic is A Beautiful Device That Uses Ferrofluid and Magnets to Display Moving Patterns, Text, and Even the Time. Per its designer Zelf Koelman: "A few years ago I fell in love with the magical characteristics of a little black “blob” in a bottle. One could manipulate the position and shape of a floating drop of Ferro Fluid with a magnet. The dynamics and shape of this liquid body was much like a living entity. I decided to allow this entity to live its own life and have a function. A year of research and engineering eventually resulted in Ferrolic."
Big Bang Aftershock: a BBC/Science Channel documentary on BICEP2 and primordial gravitational waves.
Jonas Zmuidzinas loves "everything noise," and overcoming noise in superconductors for astronomy & quantum computing.
Is It Time to Embrace Unverified Theories?
How Symmetry Shapes Nature’s Laws. Over at Quanta, David Kaplan explains how the search for hidden symmetries leads to discoveries like the Higgs boson.
Deeper Than Quantum Mechanics: David Deutsch's New Theory of Reality. One of the world’s leading theorists has a new theory of everything. Its first result: a description of classical and quantum information linking them under the same theoretical umbrella for the first time.
The Bayesian Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Scientists at Argonne National laboratory Use the Power of Acoustics for Real-Life Levitation.
The First VR Camera in Space Allows You To Be an Armchair Astronaut.
Watch This Leaping Great White Shark Get Some Serious Air. Many see a jumping shark, but Wired's Rhett Allain sees a great example of projectile motion.
How to Build the Perfect Sandcastle, According to a Physicist.
How to Make Graphene Using Supersonic Buckyballs. Smash carbon footballs into a surface at supersonic speeds and they unzip to form graphene, say materials scientists, who say the technique could revolutionize the use of this wonder material.
How Quantum Randomness Saves Relativity. "Without that indeterminacy, quantum physics would allow the sending of messages faster than the speed of light, with disastrous consequences for the whole idea of causality."
MicroBooNE sees first cosmic muons. The experiment will begin collecting data from a neutrino beam in October.
Much Ado About Nothing: Journalist John Hockenberry hosts Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek, esteemed cosmologist John Barrow, and leading physicists Paul Davies and George Ellis at the World Science Festival as they explore physics, philosophy and the nothing they share.
What can mathematics say about history? According to TED Fellow Jean-Baptiste Michel, quite a lot. From changes to language to the deadliness of wars, he shows how digitized history is just starting to reveal deep underlying patterns.
Cutting-edge science as you’ve never seen it before. By viewing scientists at work in the lab as artistic, creative figures, photographer Dan Stier has created a surreal series that shows researchers in a whole new light (above). “At the moment, we either say, ‘You’ve come to a science lab to take part in an experiment’ or, ‘You’ve come to an art gallery to see some art and have your perspective altered’, but what if it wasn’t like that? What if you could blur the two, so people were asking, ‘Am I in an experiment or a piece of art?’ There’s a rich interface there,” Charles Spence -- one of the subjects photographed for Stier's new book, Ways of Knowing-- told the Guardian.
Gimme an S! Gimme a C! Understand the science behind a wildly popular, iconic American pastime with The Science of Cheerleading, a new ebook. "Many physics principles are highlighted in the book, along with examples from cheerleading and other real-world applications: Newton’s Laws of Motion, Changes in velocity and acceleration, Angular momentum, Terminal velocity, Compression and tension, Center of gravity vs. the center of mass," and more.
Little Big Black Hole is a Supermassive Oxymoron.
A very short introduction to the math behind general relativity, by Christine Moran.
Dear Dr. Bee: Why do some people assume that the Planck length/time are the minimum possible length and time?
Where will the next generation of Nobel Prize winners come from? Related: Nobel Prizes in Science: strictly a man's game? A new play examines why less than 3% of Nobel laureates in science are women – and highlights the stories of a few of those who have succeeded.
Robert Oppenheimer, Hans Bethe and the value of balance and compromise.
Erwin Schrödinger loved animals! The real story behind Schrödinger's cat.
How science lost one of its greatest minds in the trenches of Gallipoli: 27-year-old physicist Henry Moseley.
The Lucky City That Escaped Nagasaki’s A-Bomb (Kokura was the original target). Related: How 5 People Survived Nagasaki’s Nuclear Hell, Three days after Hiroshima. Also: Nuclear fallout: the mental health consequences of radiation. 70 years on from the destruction of Nagasaki, much of the attention regarding radiation is still directed to the physical dangers, but the psychological consequences can also be damaging. Finally: What if it happened again? What we need to do to prepare for a nuclear event.
Manga and the Bomb. An angry 1970s comic about Hiroshima by a bomb survivor sparks new arguments about Japan's military past.
Fukushima: One Man's Story. It was Japan’s worst nightmare: an earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear meltdown. Related: Fukushima: The Price of Nuclear Power: "Even now, the evacuees of Fukushima are living through the unimaginable, trying to make sense of what it was like to lose everything to a fifteen-meter wall of water, as high as the light-poles, and then to have your home enveloped by a plume of radioactive caesium."
Can Radiation Give You Superpowers? Physics and the Fantastic Four.
Attosecond electron catapult: physicists and chemists studied the interaction of light with glass nanoparticles.
Simple physics and machine building via LEGO.
How the Nazis Robbed Their Country of Its Scientific Legacy (And Gave it to the World).
Cassini and the First Scientific Map of the Moon (1679): Can You Spot the Secret Moon Maiden? "Needless to say, the event was not televised and Cassini never had the opportunity to walk on the surface he studied. Instead he observed it through the eyepiece of a telescope, a relatively new invention."
"She did it all." A review of the autobiography of Mary K. Gaillard, the first female physics professor at Berkeley.
The Colors of Feelings. Paint, Oil, Milk, and Honey Mix in this Surreal Macro Video of Swirling Liquids by Thomas Blanchard. "It turns out that watching paint mix is a heck of a lot more interesting than watching paint dry."
World's most powerful laser is 2,000 trillion watts – but what's it for?
Thrill Factor: Exploring the Science of Thrill Rides. Kari Byron and Tory Belleci show how roller coasters achieve those thrills by scientific design.
DIY: Turning 2-D Paper Math Models into 3D Forms with Miles C. Hartley, "who deconstructed polyhedron for the purpose of reconstructing them in a classroom as 'sensory experiments.'"
Mondrian Meets Euclid: An Eccentric Victorian Mathematician’s Masterwork of Art and Science.
Q: What If… Math Was Cool? A: Math IS cool, as you will learn from the site of Marjorie Rice.
For 40 years, computer scientists looked for a solution that doesn’t exist for the problem of calculating "edit distance. Per the Boston Globe: "a faster method is impossible to create. And by impossible they don’t mean 'very hard' or 'our technology has to improve first.' They mean something like, 'by the laws of the mathematics, it can’t be done.'”
New mathematics advances the frontier of macromolecular imaging.
Why Do All Planetary Rings Follow This Elegant Mathematical Law?
Math Fought The Law, And The Law Won. "when making large business deals, use the most rigorous language possible to describe numbers, because you can’t count on some guy in a powdered wig to do it for you."
How Do Motorcycles Lean So Far Without Tipping Over? There are two reasons: torque and fake forces.
Weapons of maths destruction: are calculators killing our ability to work it out in our head?
Black holes prevent star formation in some galaxies by acting like thermostats.
Science fiction as fact: how desires drive discoveries. Sci-fi helps us think ahead and predicts future technologies, but most importantly it creates debate by asking – what if?
What Has Quantum Mechanics Ever Done For Us? Quite a lot -- here are four examples.
The Truth is Still Out There: New X-Files Science Advisor Explains How the Reboot Will Stay 'Realistic.' "Anne Simon, author of the book The Real Science Behind the X-Files, is a virologist and professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and was a science adviser to creator Chris Carter on the original show as well as the revival miniseries."
How Best To Explore A Galaxy - Replicating Machines Or Colonies? Is This Why ET Isn't Here Yet?
"Can’t put my feet up, can’t hold my lunch down”: Chris Hadfield Sings About the Woes of a Gravity-less Life.
Buzz Aldrin's Moon Checklist: "When he stepped out of the Eagle lander, Aldrin said, "Beautiful view. Magnificent desolation." He then consulted the cuff of his left glove, which had a sewn-on checklist of things he had to handle during the EVA (extravehicular activity), and got to work."
The cakes of science -- the Hoyle Subatomic Cake is awesome. And looks delicious.
Short Film About a Woman Stuck in a Time Paradox Makes Found Footage Fresh Again: "one night, a young physics student receives a message from her future self. What follows quickly goes from unnerving to distressing."