Check out these 16 beautiful solargraphs--records of the sun's annual movement--made with beer-can cameras. "Last week we have received around 50 solargraphs of visitors of our Public Observatory Philippus Lansbergenin Middelburg, the Netherlands. All empty beercans with a pinhole and filled with photographic light sensitive paper to record the movement of the sun in between the shortest and longest day. " Taken by Jan Koeman on June 28, 2015 at Middelburg, the Netherlands. Related: Crowdsourcing Astronomy: The ‘Aurorasaurus’ Maps This Year’s Spectacular Auroras
It's the Fourth of July, which means it's also time to trot out the evergreen stories on The Physics Of Fireworks: The anatomy and science of what’s required for such a spectacular show. Related: Why Fireworks Displays Can’t Include a Perfect Red, White, and Blue.
Physicists shatter stubborn mystery of how glass forms. "Theories of crowding and cooperative movement are decades old. This is the first time scientists combined both theories to describe how a liquid turns into a glass."
Paradoxical Crystal Baffles Physicists. At super-low temperatures, a crystal called samarium hexaboride behaves in an unexplained, imagination-stretching way.
Something to watch for in the new data from the Large Hadron Collider. A new result released by the ATLAS experiment at CERN shows an intriguing anomaly, which could be evidence for a new particle with a mass of about two thousand times the mass of a proton. How excited should be we be?
The wonderful thing about triggers. Physicist Jim Pivarski explains how particle detectors know when to record data.
The Machinery of the Universe: Edgar Allan Poe’s vision of the cosmos in "Eureka" and the art it inspired.
The Case for Spectral Distortions in the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation. Why the Big Bang’s Light May Have a Tilt. Scientists haven’t rigorously tested the cosmic microwave background for a revealing shift in 25 years. A new experiment aims to change that.
Fascinating breakdown of the inscrutable (and most mathematically sophisticated?) offense in basketball. The Obtuse Triangle.
Scientists predict the existence of a liquid analogue of graphene.
How a Bunch of Tiny Robots Will Help Crack Dark Energy: the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI).
Calculating Pluto’s Mass With Snapshots From New Horizons. "There are really only two physics principles we need for this problem—the gravitational force and the acceleration of an object moving in a circle."
How the sounds of data and nature join to make sweet music. When Chris Chafe translates data into music, listeners sway to the beat of seizing brains, economic swings and smog.
New “corner cloak” directs light around sharp bends.
How Does Gravity Escape from a Black Hole If It Only Moves at the Speed of Light? "Information doesn’t always travel at the speed of light, though — depending on the environment that the information is traveling through, and the form of that information (which is not always light), the speed of information can proceed at speeds that are much slower than the speed of light. The speed of light in a vacuum seems to be a hard upper limit that nothing can surpass, but if your information is in the form of a compression wave, like sound, then the information travels at the speed of sound in that medium." Related: Watch this Black Hole Simulation Whip Dark Matter Into a Frenzy.
Why the Biofuels Industry Needs New Technology. New microbes and new techniques show promise for advanced biofuels, but the industry is still years away from real progress.
How Math Can Defeat Bullies. Mathematician John Allen Paulos marvels at his field’s counterintuitive proofs. Yet his earliest intellectual thrill was the discovery that numeracy could empower even a child.
Homemade spaghetti noodles exhibit a roughened surface that’s the result of viscoelastic behavior known as the sharkskin instability.
The Rube Goldberg Machine That Mastered Keynesian Economics.
A Belated Apology to Mozart and Modular Arithmetic.
How do you solve a puzzle like neutrinos? When it comes to studying particles that zip through matter as though it weren’t even there, you use every method you can think of.
Is the Universe be Ringing Like a Bell? "The oscillations are like the ringing of an enormous, universe-sized glass."
Should We Have An Institute For Low-Energy Fundamental Physics? "At [the Perimeter Institute's] Convergence [conference], Savas Dimopoulos spoke about low-energy searches for new fundamental physics, and made a pitch for creating an institute dedicated to housing those kinds of experiments."
New model of cosmic stickiness favors 'Big Rip' demise of universe.
Meanwhile in the Future (podcast): Death By Supernova.
Accelerating The Search For Killer Asteroids. Asteroid Day aims to raise awareness of future collision risks. Related: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Methods of Deflecting Asteroids Away From the Earth.
Astronomical sleuth reveals the timing of the iconic 1945 'Kiss at the Hotel Deauville' photograph: "[T]he famous kiss captured by Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt may have occurred more than an hour before the official announcement that the war had ended."
The violent origin of quasars: Hubble shows that quasars get their fuel when their host galaxies collide.
Quantum cryptography set for lift-off as satellite transmits qubits to the Earth's surface.
There was a leap second this week, too, which freaked a few people out. What Is a Leap Second Anyway, and Why Do We Use It? Related: How Atomic Clocks Work. Also: Think today’s leap second is ridiculously precise? These time lords lose one second in the history of the universe.
The folks at Vice Asked a Theoretical Physicist How Time Travel in the Terminator Movies Works. Q&A with Caltech's Sean Carroll, a.k.a. The Time Lord. Related: Time Travel Amy Schumer-Style Is Dirty, Funny, and Totally Nuts. Also: The 6 Timeless Tropes of Time Travel Movies.
Racing without Friction. "it’s four times easier to turn at Daytona [than Bristol] if all other things are held equal."
The cosmic bucket list: 11 things to see in the universe before it dies (in 22 billion years, if the "big rip" scenario turns to be right).
The Central Mystery of Quantum Mechanics, Animated. How a lineage of scientists pieced together the puzzle revealing the dual nature of the universe.
Three quarks for Muster Mark! And for every proton and neutron, too! Or maybe not.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded shortly after launch on a mission to bring supplies to the International Space Station; Elon Musk tweeted about 'oxygen tank' issue. SpaceX’s Gwynne Shotwell said the first stage performed as designed, and the problem likely in the second stage. You can see photos here, or watch the dramatic video. Now Comes the SpaceX Rocket Whodunit: figuring out precisely what went wrong. Naturally, Conspiracy Theorists Think Lockheed Martin Blew Up the Rocket With a Laser. But Supplies Are Finally On Their Way To The ISS on Russia's Progress 60.
Buzzfeed reminds us that The Odds Of The Next Rocket Failure Are Not Small: "[E]very launch is still an experiment, even after half a century of spaceflight." Related: Space Shuttle wreckage fills this heartbreaking exhibition at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. "It was designed to honor the two crews lost on missions STS-51L and STS-107, and to pay tribute to shuttle vehicles Challenger and Columbia."
How NASA broke the gender barrier in STEM. For the first time, half to the astronaut class is women. NASA now offering new opportunities for female tech entrepreneurs, too.
Dark matter map begins to reveal the Universe's early history, thanks to a new camera at Suburu telescope in Hawaii.
Scientists are working on the technology to power a Star-Trek style replicator. Related: Phil Plait asks, What Star Trek technology is possible? Also: A Fascinating Interview With Martin Cooper, Father of the Cell Phone. Bonus: 13 Things from Sci-fi That Became Sci-fact.
Rosetta's Comet Is Developing Giant Sinkholes Before Our Eyes.
How to soar on Venus: Why our first off-world colonies may belong in Venus' clouds.
How Space Crystals Are Helping Researchers Treat a Genetic Disorder.
'Smart' LED Farming Could Make Space Veggies Viable.
No, a Nuclear Explosion Did Not Launch a Manhole Cover into Space.
I'm stuck like glue: why I love magnets and you should too.
How to Best Smash a Full Beer Can on Your Face, According to Physics. "Form matters."
Student Invents Shapeshifting Pinecone-Inspired Building Material: let the sun shine in and keep the rain out.
Tensegrities Sculptures May Be Mankind’s Best Chance at Exploring Other Worlds. "Furniture designers have created interesting coffee tables and stools by placing platforms atop tensegrities. Because tensegrities are lightweight yet strong, architects began to incorporate them into their designs, and today there are sports arenas, houses, and bridges around the world that embody tensegrity principles, along with masts and antennas on spacecraft beyond this planet." Related: Enjoy the artwork (sample below) of tensegrity discoverer/inventor Kenneth Snelson.
Artist Turns Old Circuit Boards and Electronic Components into Beautiful Winged Insects.
What May Be Missing From Quantum Computing - A Quantum Middle Man.
Is There a Secret Astronomy Story in Game Of Thrones? One superfan thinks so.
Why Wikipedia + Open Access = Revolution. The way scientific information diffuses through the knowledge economy is changing, and the first evidence from Wikipedia shows how.
Space Particles Are Helping Map the Inside of Fukushima.
The race to fund fusion is heating up, but will any startups cross the finish line? Related: An Alternative Approach to Nuclear Fusion: Think Smaller. “The mainstream view with these devices is that you have to get bigger and bigger in order to produce fusion energy. But we set about trying to use these high temperature superconductors,” David Kingham, physicist and CEO of Tokamak Energy, told me. “Instead of making bigger reactors, you go to a higher [magnetic] field that enables you to contain the plasma in an effective way.”
Nanogenerators could help car tires pull latent electricity from the ground itself.
People dressed up as Einstein to smash a world record… of people dressed as Einstein.
The Coffee Will Be With You Always with These Geektastic Coffee Tables.
The Physics Behind Those No-Stick Ketchup and Mayo Bottles. "A surprising amount of stuff gets wasted every year because consumers can’t get it out of the packaging it came in—as much as 15 percent of every tube of toothpaste, bottle of glue, or container of ketchup"
The Social-Network Illusion That Tricks Your Mind. Network scientists have discovered how social networks can create the illusion that something is common when it is actually rare.
Let Math Solve All Your Pizza Problems with this Handy Cheat Sheet. Related: The Pizza Principle: New York's Weirdest Economic Theory. "The cost of a slice of pizza is always the same as the price of a ride on the subway. If the cost of one goes up, the other is soon to follow."
Zoetropes, Phenakistoscopes and Flip-Books Were the Original GIFs.
WANT! Bubble chamber coasters showing nifty cosmic ray tracks.
Fabienne Serriere wants to hack an industrial knitting machine to make cellular automata scarves, and you can back her project on Kickstarter. Go on -- help make wearable cellular automata a thing.
Light Lines: Stunning String Installation Inside Abandoned Church.
‘Does that mean you’re not a scientist anymore?’ Getting Science Communication Right.
James Cameron's Plan to Fix Solar Panels employs a more aesthetically appealing sunflower shape.
Reproducibility: Don't cry wolf. Tighten the requirements for declaring physics breakthroughs, says Jan Conrad in Nature. Related: What Physics Should Learn From Economics: Chad Orzel responds to Nature editorial on reproducibility in physics. Also: Physicists Launch Fight to Make Data More Important Than Theory. Some physicists are fed up with ever more complex theory. Time to get back to basics. [Subscription required]
"This Wobble Strings project recreates a camera’s rolling shutter effect to humans in real time through sweep line projection" to capture guitar strings playing in real time.
Forget the crystals in your chandelier. Try dill pickles instead. Behold! The glowing gherkin chandelier has arrived. The "design is made from 50 gherkins and because of the gherkin’s vinegar content, it produces a sublime green glow when it’s powered up."
With Tiny Smartphone Spectrometers, Everybody Can Be A Chemist.
The Beautiful Secrets of Tears, Revealed By a Microscope.
The Trouble With Nobel Prizes. "When you care more about the reputation of one Nobel Prize winner than the science careers of the people they've shut out, you're part of a huge problem. One that doesn't stop at Nobel laureates."
Queen of Carbon Science, MIT Physicist Mildred Dresselhaus, Receives 2015 IEEE Medal of Honor.
The Experiment That Overturned A Basic Law of Physics: Madame Wu and the discovery of parity violation.
The Making of a Science Evangelist: Physicist Ainissa Ramirez shares her story [pdf].
And Now, Important Research on the Resonant Frequency of Googly Eyes: 433 Hz. "When this frequency is reached, the eyes—and this is the scientific terminology—go all googly. Presumably, increasing the amplitude would cause these eyes to google to the point of obliteration."