Brrr! Winter still has much of the country in its iron grip. While you're waiting for spring to make its presence known, perhaps you'd like to try your hand at photographing Snowflakes in Freefall. A team of researchers at the University of Utah have developed a Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera to do just that. Related: here are 5 Of The Coldest Places Where Science Is Happening.
Insect Aerobatics: How Mantises Control Spin For Targeted Jumps.
Drop-testing general relativity, Galileo’s way. Related: Planck satellite puts Einstein to the test. Data analysis of satellite mission on dark energy and theory of gravitation. Also: Testing Einstein's theory in the galaxy's toughest neighborhood. Bonus: General Relativity explained like you’ve never seen it before -- in an interactive comic. Double bonus: Did Einstein really say that? Take the quiz. As Einstein once said, "Don't believe every quote you read on the Internet."
Artificial Metamaterials Can Have Amazing Mechanical Properties. Related: The Unnatural Properties of a Designer "Sponge." Also: Flexible Origami doughnut: Toroidal origami shield can protect objects inside from being squashed.
How do mussels stick to wet rocks? The answer could hold the key to better synthetic "wet" adhesives.
Nanobomb Creates Massive Explosion On Tiny Scale: Turning Buckyballs into Buckybombs.
The first ever photograph of light as a particle and a wave captures The Weird Quantum Behavior of Light in a Lab. (NB: Wave and particle aspects have been imaged before; the new twist is simultaneity.)
Experiment and theory unite at last in debate over metallic-like conductivity of microbial nano wires in bacterium.
The Ancient Physics Quest of ‘Perfect Packing’ Has a New Solution. "If you walk on sand, it supports your weight,” write a team of Duke researchers in a new study. “How do the disordered forces between particles in sand organize, to keep you from sinking? This simple question is surprisingly difficult to answer experimentally: measuring forces in three dimensions, between deeply buried grains, is challenging."
Explainer: What Is A Superconductor? Superconducting materials have strange and unusual properties including magnetic levitation.
What Chappie Says—and Doesn’t Say—about Artificial Intelligence.
Ceres, get ready for your close up. Spacecraft Dawn has arrived at Ceres, one of solar system's last unexplored dwarf planets. Related: A traveler's guide to the newly revealed landscape of Ceres, courtesy of Dawn's images.
Danceroom Physics: Seeing The Atomic World Through Art. David Glowacki "created "danceroom spectroscopy" or DS for short. A 3-D video camera captures images of someone's movements. The data is sent to a high performance computer in real-time. 'And the computer will say, ‘OK, I’m not going to interpret you as people, I’m going to interpret you as fields,'' said Glowacki".
Galaxy in Front of Supernova Creates Cosmic Mirage: Einstein Cross. A galaxy's alignment lets astronomers watch a strange, distant supernova explode. And then watch it again. And again. And again and again. Astronomers saw the same star explode four times in four places. Einstein’s Telescope, A Brief Explanation of Gravitational Lensing.
“Completely implausible”—a controversial paper exists, but so do black holes. A researcher stands by her arguments against black holes; other scientists are skeptical.
Can we prove the quantization of gravity with the Casimir Effect? Probably not.
Skyrmions get a sonic touch. The use of sound waves to probe nanoscale magnetic whirls called skyrmions could help to develop next-generation memory and data storage technology.
In LHC’s Shadow, America’s Collider Awakens: The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Lab recently fired up for its 15th run to take a deeper look at the building blocks of atoms.
The Higgs Boson May Disintegrate into Dark Matter. Related: D’oh! Did Homer Simpson predict the mass of the Higgs boson? Also: Physicist Jon Butterworth on Discovering the Higgs Boson: "We were looking for a bump in a distribution."
Uber, but for Topological Spaces: "Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just order up a space that was path connected but not locally connected?" Now there's an app for that.
Slug Slime Is A Liquid Crystal And It's Actually Pretty Incredible.
“We have for the first time...an actual [quantum] device, where we can test all of our ideas about error detection.” Google Researchers Demonstrate Breakthrough Needed for Reliable Quantum Computing: a crucial error-correction step. Related: Quantum Cryptography Core Question At The Heart Of Quantum Information Theory -- Answered?
Hans Halvorson on quantum mechanics and our perceptions of reality.
Here's a telescope that tells you when to look up: the LSST system will alert scientists to changes in space in near-real time.
Finding Meteorite Impacts In Aboriginal Oral Tradition. Aboriginal stories dating back many thousands of years talk of a fire from the sky in an area now home to the Henbury meteorite craters, in the Northern Territory.
New crowd dynamics model prevents human stampedes.
Forget sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads. This Death Star-like laser destroys truck more than mile away.
A Math Professor Demonstrates the Complicated Procedure of Drawing a 17-Sided Figure With a Compass and Ruler.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Parabola: a mathy homage to Wallace Stevens.
"I watched an object falling,
tracing its arc,
the ink of time leaving curves
on the paper of space—
a perfect parabola.
(Except for air resistance.)
(NO ONE LIKES YOU, AIR RESISTANCE.)"
Major laser: the brightest light in the universe, photographed B-movie style. When Texas photographer Robert Shults gained unprecedented access to a Petawatt laser – which can create temperatures 1,000 times hotter than the centre of the sun – he drew on his favourite sci-fi films to show the facility in action.
What You Don't Know About History's Most Famous Scientists: A Q&A with Steven Weinberg about his new book, To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science. "There are scientists you'd want to get a beer with. Isaac Newton isn't one of them."
The astronomical objects that supposedly "shouldn’t exist" -- actually, all are well within the realm of what’s wholly expected.
Imaging a supernova with neutrinos. Supernovae produce a flood of neutrinos, but we'll only ever see a few of them. Related: How Radiation Nearly Broke Physics and the lowly neutrino came to the rescue. Also: Francis Halzen On Cosmogenic Neutrinos at the XVI Neutrino Telescopes conference.
Given a multiverse, does astrology work somewhere? Whether they exist or not, we can at least think of four different kinds of multiverse. Or maybe five.
The physicist who inflated the Universe: a profile of MIT's Alan Guth.
A History Of Time Travel In The DC Universe.
The Real Story Behind the Fisher Space Pen, A Pen Designed to Work in Microgravity.
Alchemy on the page: Books used by alchemists offer insights into the relationship between these early chemists and their texts.
Fractal Hamentaschen and Other Mathematical Baking.
Rabbits All the Way Down: The Fibonacci Sequence.
Physical scientists offer outside-the-box idea for funding U.S. basic research.
This Bubbling Ferrofluid Light Works like a Magnetized Lava Lamp.
The Curious Adventures of an Astronomer-Turned-Crowdfunder. Personal threats, legal challenges, and NASA’s objections were just a few of the hurdles Travis Metcalfe faced when he set up a crowdfunding website to help pay for his astronomical research.
We Are Instant Number Crunchers: "scientists have found that we are actually born with a deep instinct for numbers. And a new study suggests that our number sense operates much faster than previously thought. It might be better called our number reflex."
DJ Chris Holmes Creates Anti-Paparazzi Clothing Ruins Flash Photos by Excessively Reflecting Light.
Attention, All Scientists: Do Improv, With Alan Alda’s Help.
The Transit of Venus, in Orrery Form. "Amazingly, the 250+ year-old orrery still works, though it's fragile."
A Devastating Computer Simulation of a Massive Asteroid Hitting Earth Set to Pink Floyd’s "The Great Gig in the Sky":