It was yet another week filled with the exciting, the quirky and the just plain interesting in physics.
Metals Become Molecular-Like at the Atomic Scale, Reveal Materials Scientists. Atomic force measurements show that the bond between two gold atoms is highly directional and molecular-like, a finding with significant implications for the design and construction of atomic-scale devices.
Our visible universe is built mostly of glue, which generates roughly 98 percent of visible mass.
Physicists Unveil World’s Most Precise Clock (And a Twin to Compare It Against). A pair of clocks that lose only one “tick” in 10^18 “tocks” have been unveiled by an international team of physicists.
Squishy, light-controlled hydrogel bends and crawls. Nadia Drake writes: "Shining a laser at a graphene-based hydrogel causes the material to bend — a response demonstrated in the video above, where the shape-shifting material is molded into the shape of a hand. Each finger responds to the laser by curling inward, a rapid and reversible effect caused by the material’s varying porosity."
Symbols in Roger Bacon's Beautiful Instauratio Magna, 1620. "The Instauratio contains his Novum Organum (The New Oganon [New Instrument], or true Directions Concerning the Interpretation of Nature) a monumental pronouncement and a new way of looking at scientific thought, looking to break away from the established Aristotlean methods that had been in place in England and Europe for centuries."
Sounds of the Sea: Stones Clanging. Tide-borne pebbles on the seabed can drown out other ocean noises.
Black Hole Pong! "The original game of Pong involved each player controlling a paddle which they would use to bounce a ball back to their opponent, in the hope they would miss. Each time the ball touched the opponent's side of the screen, the player would win a point. In this remake, each player now controls a black hole! The objective; to position their black hole on their side of the screen and utilise its gravitational potential to fling an approaching star back. Whoever lets a star slip past loses!"
Fundamental physics is in a metaphysical mess and needs help, argues philosopher Raymond Tallis.
Ultrashort Laser Pulses Squeezed Out of Graphene: the carbon sheets could produce beams in broad range of colors.
It's the neutrinoless double beta-decay: Research effort deep underground could sort out cosmic-scale mysteries.
Helicopter-light-beams: A new tool for quantum optics. “One can picture this like the propeller of an aircraft: its rotation is always perpendicular to the direction of motion,” explains Prof. Arno Rauschenbeutel (Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology, Institute of Atomic and Subatomic Physics, TU Vienna).
Quantum entanglement in real time, courtesy of a video from the Zeilinger group in Vienna. Per the Time Lord: "We send each photon through a merry path, observe one of them (that’s on the left), and see what happens to the other one (on the right). We’re looking at an image of where the individual photons land on a screen. You can see how the state of photon #2 is affected by what’s happening to photon #1." Check it out, and marvel:
"All of your biases have at some point been confirmed by anecdote." Keen insight with a satiric bite from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
Patent for a Jerkmeter: "If you study jerks in a formal way, you are probably familiar with jerkmeters."
The Future of the Spacesuit: It involves gyroscopes. And better jetpacks.
The Feynman File: His daughter's archive offers a wormhole into the secret life of a charismatic physicist.
Annals of Pseudoscience: Animal Planet hits a new low. Mermaids Return From the Depths of TV’s Chum Bucket. "Mermaids are not real. I really shouldn’t have to say that." BONUS: They came. They watched. They mercilessly mocked on Twitter. The great #Mermaids Storify.
The science of crushing a skull with one's bare hands -- spoiler-ish analysis of Khan's actions in Star Trek: Into Darkness. "When you’re staring down a vexed Vulcan or crazed Klingon, you have to defend yourself. May I suggest using genetically enhanced strength to crush your opponent’s skull?"
The Universe on a Stratocaster: "the perfect solo, played on this guitar, would reveal how to quantize gravity."
Anti-Gravity Object Modeling: “Mataerial” is a Robot That Draws Sculptures in 3D.
Bowshock of fast star system looks like giant space jellyfish. Per Wired: "HFG1 is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia. It was produced by a binary star system (V664 Cas) that is moving rapidly through our Galaxy. The star is moving towards the upper-right of the image. As HFG1 plows through the interstellar medium, a bluish bowshock is produced; and a red trail of gas is left behind in its wake."
At TEDx CERN, soprano Maria Ferrante and pianist Alice Martelli perform the song “Some Galaxies”:
X-rays reveal how corsets put the squeeze on Victorian women. The images, from the 1908 medical paper 'Le Corset' by French doctor Ludovic O'Followell, helped influence the creation of more flexible undergarments for women.
How a dark matter signal can vanish: Matt Francis of Galileo's Pendulum analyzes a new paper by astronomers directly involved with the Fermi observatory’s Large Area Telescope that puts the kibosh on last year's hints of a dark matter signal from gamma rays coming from the center of the Milky Way.
Thirty years ago this week, CERN announced discovery of Z boson, an elementary particle that transmits the weak force.
Cracking the Code of Bone-Cracking Carnivores using Finite element analysis, "a computer modeling technique that lets researchers simulate how structures “behave” under various conditions. For instance, you can check out how a car crumples in an impact, follow the flow of heat through a computer chip, or see the distribution of stress in a skull bone while an animal chews its food."
Calling All Aliens: One Man's Search for Romance, defying the odds of the Drake Equation.
The 1960s Nth Country experiment proved that anyone could design a nuclear weapon.
Extraordinary “Disco Ball” Now Orbiting Earth should help Italian scientists measure exotic effect predicted by General Relativity.
"A whirring, rhythmic soundscape." Giant New Sound Installation by Zimoun Inside an Abandoned Chemical Tank. The permanent installation uses 329 of the artist’s trademark prepared dc-motors and cotton balls that have been affixed to the inner tank walls.
George Musser Jr. ponders: What Would It Mean for Time to Come to an End?
Strumming the Lute of Pythagoras: "The Lute of Pythagoras is based on the “golden” isosceles triangle, a triangle with two equal sides and an apex angle of 36 degrees."
Long lost vials of moon rock brought back by Armstrong and Aldrin have been rediscovered. "The vials lay untouched until they were discovered in a warehouse at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory by archivist Karen Nelson in April."
Lisa Randall's Guide to the Galaxy: Smithsonian profiles the Harvard astrophysicist and her latest theories on the invisible universe, extra dimensions and consciousness.
There is now an off-Broadway play about Nikola Tesla.
A literal Hawaiian base drop, courtesy of infrasound hunter Milton Garces: "When the bottom of Puu Oo Crater collapsed before the Kamoamoa fissure eruption, it radiated infrasound (sped up by 440x to make it audible)."
Podcast interview with SLAC's Herman on a new Synchrotron light source in Jordan called SESAME, the first in the Middle East.
Finally, in this video (via Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics), artist Jesse Zanzinger experiments with the lens-like refractive properties of bubbles.