Christopher Nolan’s new film, Interstellar, is a near-future tale of astronauts departing a dying Earth to travel to Saturn, then through a wormhole to another galaxy, all in search of somewhere else humanity could call home.
Excitement is building — at least in science circles — for the upcoming announcements of the 2014 Nobel Prizes, along with the inevitable speculation about who might be among this year’s winners.
Welcome to the seventeenth installment of You Should Know, where I give my own#ScholarSunday salute to Science Bloggers and the Blogs you may not yet know about.
The big physics news this week was the announcement of the long-awaited results from the Planck missions — and the news is not good for the BICEP2 collaboration: the Study Confirmed Criticism of BICEP2′s original Big Bang Finding. They may have had space dust in their eyes.
At a 1990 conference on cosmology, I asked attendees, who included folks like Stephen Hawking, Michael Turner, James Peebles, Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, to nominate the smartest living physicist.
Imagine you are a 5th grader while watching this video. Would you love it? If it caught your interest, as it did mine, you are in good company. This is the winning entry for the 2014 Flame Challenge put on by Alan Alda and the Center for Communicating Science.
The image you see here is a computer-generated model of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, which we call Sagittarius A*. More precisely, it is a model of the "shadow" that Sagittarius A*, with its mass of four million suns, should cast.
This is a guest post by my friend Pinkesh Patel, a data scientist at Facebook. Pinkesh has a PhD in physics from Caltech during which he worked on LIGO, the gravitational wave detector.
Physics, unlike biology or geology, was not considered to be a historical science until now. Physicists have prided themselves on being able to derive the vast bulk of phenomena in the universe from first principles.
No matter how many times you’ve seen the movies and the TV shows that have a protagonist leaping in the path of a bullet, physics forbids such sacrifice.
Two weeks ago, I blogged about David Bohm’s interpretation of quantum mechanics. Like Einstein and Louis de Broglie before him, Bohm argued that quantum randomness is not intrinsic to nature, but reflects our ignorance of a deeper level of reality.
Scientific American editor Clara Moskowitz has a nice post showcasing some of the big questions asked by participants at a recent particle physics conference.
One night in 1952, Richard Feynman and David Bohm went bar-hopping in Belo Horizonte. Louisa Gilder reconstructs the night in her brilliant book on the history of quantum mechanics, The Age of Entanglement.
Full disclosure: I cried at a movie about particle physics. And I wasn’t alone. As the film showed footage of the July 4, 2012 announcement of the Higgs boson discovery, I noticed the woman next to me wiping her eyes just as I was doing the same.
Tomorrow, the Nobel prize in physics will most likely be awarded to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert. Along with other researchers, the two physicists are credited with the 1964 introduction of the then-theoretical Higgs field—a fluid that permeates every corner of the universe and gives each particle a distinct mass.
Hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween festivities. Here’s a few other related links: The ghostly glow of St. Elmo’s fire: it works the same way that a neon light glows. The Levitating Halloween Pumpkin with a superconductor inside. Bonus: More Conceptual Physics Halloween Costumes.This year, go out as The Holographic Principle!
I met Stephen Hawking in the summer of 1990, when I spent five days in northern Sweden at a conference attended by 30 or so leading cosmologists.
This week on Virtually Speaking Science, I chatted with astrophysicist Katie Freese, author of a new book, The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter.
The residents of the Los Alamos base camp receive a special visitor in this week’s episode of Manh(a)ttan — none other than Niels Bohr, he of the infamous model of the atom and one of the unquestioned giants of 20th century physics.
Looking for a few good popular math books? In the latest New York Times Book Review, I look at five terrific recent ones: Jordan Ellenberg's How Not to Be Wrong, David J.