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Critical Opalescence

Critical Opalescence

Making the transition from confusion to comprehension, on all scales

When You Fall Into a Black Hole, How Long Have You Got?

In chatting with colleagues after a talk this week, Joe Polchinski said he'd love to fall into a black hole. Most theoretical physicists would. It's not because they have some peculiar death wish or because science funding prospects are so dark these days...

December 14, 2012 — George Musser

String Theory in 26 Seconds [Video]

Someone once asked me to describe string theory in 26 seconds, so, a couple of months ago, I went down to Goleta Beach with my iPhone and recorded this little video.

August 2, 2012 — George Musser

As If 1 Giant Black Hole Weren't Enough, What's a Galaxy Doing with 3?

Last Thursday, my colleague John Matson described a truly amazing galaxy known, somewhat unromantically, as BX442. It has a majestic spiral pattern while hundreds of its galactic contemporaries were gawky and misshapen a peculiar and special anomaly which suggests to many astronomers that cosmic pinwheels are ephemeral art forms, like Tibetan sand mandalas...

July 23, 2012 — George Musser

Quantum Horse Races and Crystals of Light

I’d heard of quantum dice, quantum poker, quantum roulette, and even quantum Russian roulette, but a quantum horse race? I learned about this surreal game of chance last December during a symposium at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore...

June 25, 2012 — George Musser

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