A team of scientists at Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain took materials science into stealth mode, creating a Wormhole Illusion that Causes Magnetic Field To Move Through Space Undetected. Please note: “It’s not an actual wormhole, it’s not creating a real path in space-time that connects two points. It’s a magnetic field that achieves a similar effect.” The metamaterial wormhole teleports magnetic fields across space - and could help improve medical scanners. Per New Scientist: "Wormholes could let multiple magnetic imagers work together without interfering with each other, or could be used to put some distance between bulky sensors and patients – all without changing the background magnetic field MRIs rely on." 

The Case for Complex Dark Matter. The physicist James Bullock explains to Quanta how a complicated “dark sector” of interacting particles may illuminate some puzzling observations of the centers of galaxies. Related: The search for 'dark matter' and 'dark energy' just got interesting. Also: Tiny fountain of atoms sparks big insights into dark energy. By dropping atoms just above an aluminum sphere, physicists have tested a hypothesis about what's stretching the universe on the largest scales.

Physicists Unveil First Quantum Interconnect. An international team of physicists has found a way to connect quantum devices in a way that transports entanglement between them.

CERN Symmetry Measurement Confirms Matter And Antimatter Are Mirrors Of Each Other.

Scientists Discover Atomic-resolution Details of Brain Signaling. X-ray Laser Experiment Could Help in Designing New Drugs for Brain Disorders.

This new superconductivity research stinks. A new material loses all resistance to electricity at a higher temperature than any other–at super high pressure. Per Wired: "It's farts... No, seriously, it's hydrogen sulfide, H2S, the gas that gives rotten eggs and flatulence their characteristic odor. And scientists were pretty sure H2S was going to be a superconductor all along." Related: Superconductivity record sparks wave of follow-up physics. "other scientists are intensely interested in the result because it was achieved without using exotic materials."

Physicists Solve the Mystery of Interleaved Phone Books. Try pulling apart two interleaved phone books and you’ll inevitably be defeated by huge frictional forces. Just how these forces arise has been a long-standing mystery… until now.

What astronomers can teach us about a famous 1945 kiss. “Every tall building in Manhattan acts like a gnomon of a sundial." 

Attack on the pentagon (the shape) results in discovery of new mathematical tile. Joy as mathematicians discover a new type of pentagon that can cover the plane leaving no gaps and with no overlaps. It becomes only the 15th type of pentagon known that can do this, and the first discovered in 30 years.

Going up? Space elevator could zoom astronauts into Earth's stratosphere. A Canadian space firm granted the US patent for an elevator designed to take astronauts 20km (12 miles) above earth so they can then be propelled into space. See also my own post about space elevator technology from earlier this year. 

This jump rope harnesses the kinetic energy you make with it to charge an internal lithium  battery.

Fans don't always make things cooler. Wired's Rhett Allain explains the paradox with physics.

The Science of the Death Star: The Physics of Destroying an Earth-Sized Planet. (You'd need a lot more than a powerful laser.) "Generating the power necessary to unbind a planet — some 2.24 x 10^32 Joules — is simply impossible on board an object only the size of a small moon. But if, instead, you could house a 1-2 trillion ton asteroid (about 5-7 km across) made of antimatter and deliver it to the planet's core, Einstein's E=mc^2 ensures that the planet will be destroyed in seconds."

How Does Dragon Ball Z's Hyperbolic Time Chamber Work?  "If you want to stretch a day into a year, Einstein may be your best best. He discovered that time isn’t rigid, it’s flexible. By changing either velocity or gravity, time can tick more slowly relative to the rest of the universe."

The Physics Of Star Trek: Quantum Teleportation Versus Transporters. Related: The Most Impossible Idea from Star Trek: "the transporter of Star Trek seems to be one invention that’s forever beyond our reach, much to the chagrin of world travelers, would-be bank robbers and forbidden lotharios everywhere." 

Why NASA scientists are excited about Matt Damon film The Martian: "it could be great publicity for hoped-for manned missions to Mars." Also? The science is cool.

The age of the universe: How can we figure out when the universe began

The new biggest thing in the universe, and why it’s a headache for scientists. A clustered ring of galaxies located about 7 billion light-years away "is so big that some cosmologists are saying it violates the basic theoretical principles governing the universe."

It's Just A Phase: How To Boil, Freeze And Steam All At Once. "The triple point is the special conditions of temperature and pressure where something can exist in three phases simultaneously."  

Someone Made an Interactive Sculpture Out of Ferrofluid and it is Mesmerizing.  

Brobdingnagian Numbers: "To say math is about numbers is like saying writing is about words. You can use words well or badly, but in the end it is the things and ideas they represent which are important. Just so with numbers."

The Chameleon Field Attempts to Explain Dark Energy. Will We Ever Find This (Highly) Speculative "Fifth Force"? Like a chameleon changes its color to blend in with its environment, the chameleon field's properties vary depending on the density of a nearby object. This is why it's so difficult to detect on Earth: The force gets so small when it's around matter that it's effects are barely detectable. The further away from matter the chameleon field is, the stronger the force gets and in the deep, empty recesses of space, it will expand for many light-years, pushing matter apart. It was given this unusual property of varying repulsion in order to abide by all the longstanding theories of physics."

The Origin of Mass, or the Pion's PR Problem. 

Swing, Batta-Batta, Swing! How To Build A Ballistics Box That Measures Fastballs.

You should be coding in your physics course, says Wired's Rhett Allain. "Physics has to use many different fields to study the nature of the universe. That’s what makes it so awesome."

Potential sources of helium revealed, as reserves of the precious gas dwindle. Helium, used in nuclear, medical and, yes, party industries, has become scarce, but new research has revealed a possible way to pinpoint fresh sources.

Unfolding the mysteries of DNA origami. "Experiments performed by a University of York physicist have provided new insights into how DNA assembles into nanostructures, paving the way for more precise use in technology and medicine."

This Color Changing Helmet Material Could Help Detect Concussions.  

A Three Inch Equation: Gravity's Effect at the Smallest Length Scales. 

A New Paint Made From Glass Reflects the Sun To Cool Down Cars and Homes.  

Stephen Hawking's speech synthesizer now free/open software

'Peace-loving aliens tried to save America from nuclear war,' claims moon mission astronaut Edgar Mitchell. The Apollo veteran astronaut says UFOs came in peace on a mission to stop humanity destroying itself. Personally, Jen-Luc Piquant agrees with Nick Pope, a former Ministry of Defence UFO researcher quoted in the article: "It's a nice thought, but if I'm being sceptical, I'd point out that it's almost exactly the plot of the classic 1951 sci-fi movie The Day the Earth Stood Still." Or UFO expert Nigel Watson, author of the UFO Investigations Manual, told IFLScience: "To me this is just another case of UFO fantasy and speculation. When you try getting to the facts it is like trying to herd cats."

Gray Goo Scenarios and How to Avoid Them. "Stories of Gray Goo also carry an important moral lesson: A single strategy – or process, or idea – devised with good intention but applied indiscriminately, or clumsily, can lead to catastrophically negative consequences that are virtually unstoppable. And while Gray Goo events sound exotic, once we set aside the talk of runaway nanotechnology, we can begin to see the ingredients of these events in our everyday world. Among them are idealistic agents with imperfect knowledge, poorly thought-out strategies, and a fertile medium in which to spread error, and systemic and self-reinforcing cascade effects."

Water Striders and Similar Insects Inspire New Material To Keep Things Dry Underwater. "Objects that are kept underwater eventually succumb to the inevitable decay associated with being submerged – metal rusts, wood rots and human hands go all wrinkly. These effects could be delayed in the future by a new type of rough coating that "deflects" water."

Just How Resilient Is Spacetime? A hundred years on, and the implications of Einstein's general relativity still surprise and delight.

"It is with great sorrow that we report on the passing of Professor Jacob D. Bekenstein from the Hebrew University." Related: A beautiful tribute to Bekenstein (1947-2015). Per Scott Aaronson, he "was unfailingly warm, modest, and generous—totally devoid of..egotism."  "Now, much like with the qubits hitting the event horizon, the information that comprised Jacob Bekenstein might seem to have disappeared, but it remains woven into the cosmos." Sniff. Something in my eye. My own post on Bekenstein's passing is here.

Bernard d’Espagnat, French Physicist, Dies at 93. “This guy had the guts to stand up and yell, ‘There’s a problem here,’ ” said David Albert, a professor of physics and philosophy at Columbia University, referring to the philosophical foundations of quantum science. “He was very much alone in that, and of course he was right.”

Boulevard du Temple, Paris, 3rd arrondissement, circa 1838. Credit: Louis Daguerre. Caption

The Gift of the Daguerreotype (above): check out this gorgeous gallery of vintage images. "The Daguerreotype process used a polished sheet of silver-plated copper, treated with iodine to make it light sensitive, which was exposed (for several minutes or more) under a lens, then ‘fixed’ using mercury vapor." Bonus: The Nanotechnology of the Daguerrotype: researchers at the University of Rochester are using techniques like a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to study how daguerrotype plates deteriorate over time. For instance, they observed "hybrid organic-metallic features that appear to be growing on the plates, like fungi. The images obtained with the SEM also reveal surface pores and voids below the image surface that may be a significant cause of image deterioration and loss over time."

New Method Removes Carbon from the Air, Churns Out Valuable Carbon Products. 

Time to tap in to an underused energy source: wasted heat. 

Big Data Is For the Birds: The mysteries of avian migration at night are being solved with computational power.  

NSA preps quantum-resistant algorithms to head off crypto-apocalypse. Quantum computing threatens crypto as we know it. The NSA is taking notice.

Q&A: Marcelle Soares-Santos talks about Brazil, neutron stars and a love of discovery. 

Who Says Science Movies Don't Matter? Per Deborah Berebichez, the first Mexican woman to earn a PhD in physics from Stanford, "you never know whose life will be changed by a movie."

Space Weather Creates Electrical 'Bermuda Triangles': Even a mild shock wave in the solar wind can suddenly amp up the equatorial electrojet and create localized magnetic storms. 

A Board Game’s Idea Of The Moon Landing, 14 Years Before It Happened.  

Scratch the surface of Mars, and it's not a red planet after all.  

How Radio Enthusiasts Are Listening to Earth’s Secret Symphony.

Why Certain Snakes Shimmer Like Rainbows. "The shimmer ... comes from special structures called iridophores."

A successful strategy to get college students thinking critically -- At least about their physics lab assignments.

What's more radioactive than a nuclear power point? Nuclear waste, by a factor of 100. Related: Here Are the True Radiation Dangers in Your Environment.

If the reservoir balls being deployed in Los Angeles are to control drought, why are they black instead of white? Because they aren’t for drought.  

Gizmodo's Alissa Walker Flew With NASA To Study the California Drought From the Sky. 

Here's one good reason to eat dessert: The radioprotective blancmange from Saint Petersburg, "a functional dairy product, contributing to a better elimination of radionuclides from the human body."

Potential sources of helium revealed, as reserves of the precious gas dwindle. Helium, used in nuclear, medical and, yes, party industries, has become scarce, but new research has revealed a possible way to pinpoint fresh sources.

Existence of cosmic neutrinos confirmed by Antarctic scientists. 

How Did Scientists Discover the Neutrino When it Has No Charge and No Mass? Honoring the insight of Clyde Cowan and Frederick Reines.

What science and the arts can teach each other. Not everyone can be Leonardo da Vinci, but working collaboratively across disciplines enriches us all.

The Hidden Bias of Science's Universal Language. The vast majority of scientific papers today are published in English. What gets lost when other languages get left out?

PBS Issued The Two-particle Newtonian gravity Challenge. Which Particle Wins This Race?

How Can I Know Anything at All? BBC Animations Feature the Philosophy of Wittgenstein, Hume, Popper and More. 

The Delicate Electrostatic Dance of Falling Space Dust.  

Did the universe need to be born "lumpy"? if perfectly smooth, instead, could we still have stars and galaxies? 

Developing Early Warning Systems for Killer Asteroids. While the government dithers, privately funded projects are stepping up the search for looming disaster. Check out NASA's map of 1400 Earth-threatening asteroids...and what we can do about them.

Seven Hidden Art Secrets That Were Uncovered With Technology.

Broaching the subject: the geometry of Anglo-Saxon composite brooches.

The 11 Most Beautiful Mathematical Equations (as chosen by a few mathematicians and physicists).

Caught in an infinite loop: Philadelphia mathematician Marian Cohen writes poetry that  "imaginatively links mathematics to everyday life -- sort of."

Biophysics: Formation of swarms in nanosystems.  

Slate Money goes boldly where it's never gone before—into the economics of Star Trek.

Five-Thirty-Eight has a fantastic investigative feature with interactive graphics that lets you try your hand at P-hacking. Science Isn't Broken: It's just really hard. "The state of our science is strong, but it’s plagued by a universal problem: Science is hard.... If we’re going to rely on science as a means for reaching the truth — and it’s still the best tool we have — it’s important that we understand and respect just how difficult it is to get a rigorous result."

John Harrison's Marine Chronometers: The handiwork of a underdog clockmaker who solved an impossible problem for an Empire, and forever revolutionized seafaring.

Micromegas: Voltaire’s Trailblazing Sci-Fi Philosophical Homage to Newton and the Human Condition, in a Rare Vintage Children’s Book. 

Hummingbird tongues are tiny pumps that spring open to draw in nectar.

Experimental philosopher Jonathan Keats' new high-concept multimedia art project seeks to "Link" Couples Via "Quantum Entanglement" in the Name of Romance. "Couples aspiring to entangle their particles step into a room in which a nonlinear crystal, developed specially in a laboratory setting, is illuminated by a sunny window. Any photons of light that pass through the crystal become entangled, then get reflected by various mirrors and prisms positioned around the room, bouncing around and landing on the couple in question. Congratulations, you’re entangled!" Just try not to decohere.

This Neural Network Is Hilariously Bad At Describing Outer Space.  

Electropathic Pathology: The Invisible Quackhood of the Electric Brush (1884). 

Old patents are beautiful. And they make gorgeous free art for the office. 

A Graphic Cosmogony: Illustrators Imagine the Origin of the Universe. From the lyrical to the ludicrous, uncommon takes on how our world came to be.

The Petrifying Well of Knaresborough Turns Objects into Stone. "The water was found to contain a high mineral content that forms a coating around objects. With prolonged exposure, the coating would create a hard mineral shell, a lot like how stalactites and stalagmites form, but at a much faster pace."

15 Groovy Science Music Videos. Nice to see "Bohemian Gravity," "Large Hadron Collider Rap," and "Carbon Is a Girl's Best Friend" make the cut. Related: String theory (Keep Going): musical mashup based on lecture by Ed Witten. Because why not?

Your deep thought for the weekend: Our greatest delusion is "the thought that we are in any way eternal."