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Critical Opalescence

Critical Opalescence

Making the transition from confusion to comprehension, on all scales

Black Hole Fireworks Mark 4th of July

Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, one of the creators of loop quantum gravity, and his collaborator Hal Haggard have just come out with a new paper on black holes.

July 4, 2014 — George Musser

Next-Gen Particle Accelerators to Surpass Large Hadron Collider

In 1954 the renowned physicist Enrico Fermi did a simple but depressing calculation about future particle accelerators. To create particles with an energy of 3 teraelectron-volts, he estimated, you’d have to build a ring 8,000 kilometers in radius at a cost of $170 billion...

June 9, 2014 — George Musser
As Ice Forms, It Can Create Amazing Spirals

As Ice Forms, It Can Create Amazing Spirals

In our February issue, Scientific American had an article on the phenomenon of liquid-rope coiling--the way that viscous fluids curl as they fall onto a surface, forming what looks like a miniature basket...

May 5, 2014 — George Musser

Amanda Gefters Ultimate Reality Party

Last night I had the pleasure of going to Amanda Gefters book party, celebrating the release of Trespassing on Einsteins Lawn. I first got to know Gefter a decade ago when she audaciously contacted Sci Am to pitch her first-ever science story, and I followed her later career at New Scientist with admiration...

January 17, 2014 — George Musser
What Happens to Google Maps When Tectonic Plates Move?

What Happens to Google Maps When Tectonic Plates Move?

A couple of weeks ago, I was writing up a description of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and I thought I’d compare the warping of spacetime to the motion of Earth’s tectonic plates...

November 11, 2013 — George Musser

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