611 posts tagged with physics.
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The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble

A world-renowned physicist meets a gorgeous model online. They plan their perfect life together. But first, she asks, would he be so kind as to deliver a special package to her?
posted by Optamystic on Mar 8, 2013 - 196 comments

Two Body Interactions: A Longitudinal Study

"My boyfriend of 7 years and I are both physicists. Here's how he proposed to me." [Via: Reddit.]
posted by DarlingBri on Feb 24, 2013 - 35 comments

Oliver Heaviside

Surely you've heard of the physicist Maxwell, but what about Oliver Heaviside? Oliver Heaviside: A first-rate oddity.
posted by Evernix on Feb 14, 2013 - 14 comments

Fans often form circles and then run together with physical abandon

Moshers, Heavy Metal and Emergent Behaviour: The collective behaviour of moshers at heavy metal concerts is mathematically similar to a disordered 2D gas, say physicists. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on Feb 13, 2013 - 36 comments

OMG SCIENCE!

Henry Reich of Minute Physics shares his favorite science blogs, video channels, and other resources on the web. (Minute Physics previously) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Feb 8, 2013 - 5 comments

the power and beauty of mathematics

An eternity of infinities (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 2, 2013 - 23 comments

Spoiler: Everyone Dies

The Timeline of the Far Future is a Wikipedia article which serves as a gateway to a ton of fascinating scientific topics on the far edge of human understanding: ~50,000 years from now the Earth will enter a new Glacial period; ~100,000 years from now the Earth will likely have experienced a supervolcanic eruption; ~10,000,000 years from now the East African Rift divides the continent of Africa in to two land masses; ~20,000,000,000 years from now the Universe effectively dies due to The Big Rip.
posted by codacorolla on Jan 22, 2013 - 93 comments

The Physics of Bad Piggies

The physics of Bad Piggies:  Scale, mass, scale again,  balloons and friction
posted by Artw on Jan 7, 2013 - 11 comments

Not so absolute now, are you?

Quantum gas goes below absolute zero. "It may sound less likely than hell freezing over, but physicists have created an atomic gas with a sub-absolute-zero temperature for the first time. Their technique opens the door to generating negative-Kelvin materials and new quantum devices, and it could even help to solve a cosmological mystery."
posted by moonmilk on Jan 4, 2013 - 72 comments

For SCIENCE!

Decay is a free, downloadable zombie film set entirely at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 22, 2012 - 15 comments

There is always a last time for everything

Is Science Fiction promoting pseuodoscience? Is it not really better than fantasy? Is it exhausted and dying, per Paul Kincaid (part 1, part 2), a sort of genre-writing version of completing a list of The Nine Billion Names of God? Does physics-bothering unrepentant space case Alistair Reynolds have a compass pointing the way forwards?
posted by Artw on Dec 19, 2012 - 84 comments

Photons: Corpuscules of Light.

Richard Feynman delivers a charming talk about Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Electrodynamics and the versatile, enigmatic photon. (SLYT - 1:17:58)
posted by loquacious on Dec 11, 2012 - 12 comments

Goldberg: 1 - Newton: 0

Isaac Newton vs Rube Goldberg (SLVimeo) [more inside]
posted by vidur on Dec 5, 2012 - 5 comments

direct realism

The Nature of Computation - Intellects Vast and Warm and Sympathetic: "I hand you a network or graph, and ask whether there is a path through the network that crosses each edge exactly once, returning to its starting point. (That is, I ask whether there is a 'Eulerian' cycle.) Then I hand you another network, and ask whether there is a path which visits each node exactly once. (That is, I ask whether there is a 'Hamiltonian' cycle.) How hard is it to answer me?" (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 1, 2012 - 19 comments

What's gonna happen outside the window next?

Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong
posted by cthuljew on Nov 18, 2012 - 55 comments

Dear Mr. President: An open letter on the state of Physics education

Dear Mr. President: “You're the President of the United States: a country with 5000 nuclear weapons, birthplace of the world's computing and telecommunications industry, home of the first atomic clock and creator of the global positioning system. But chances are, if you just took regular American high school physics, you don't know one iota about the science behind these things (no offense). That's because high school physics students across most of America are not required to learn about pretty much any physical phenomena discovered or explained more recently than 1865.” From Henry Reich of Minute Physics. (Can't watch video? Click the "interactive transcript" button under the video to read it instead.) Minute Physics previously, previouslier. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Nov 12, 2012 - 69 comments

A Slower Speed of Light

A Slower Speed of Light is a first-person game prototype, built by the MIT Game Lab, that emulates the visual effects of special relativity.
posted by brundlefly on Nov 2, 2012 - 32 comments

They do it because they can.

Trees are Freaking Awesome! (SLYT)
posted by klausman on Oct 31, 2012 - 29 comments

no stairway?

Q: How many miles is it to the crab nebula? How does one even figure this out? A: The cosmic distance ladder! Here's a talk by Fields medalist Terrence Tao on methods for indirect calculation of distances to astronomical objects. Here's Tao's blog post on the subject, including the slides for the talk. And here's a Wikipedia page. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu on Oct 22, 2012 - 17 comments

Standing On The Shoulders of Giants

Holt’s philosophers belong to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Compared with the giants of the past, they are a sorry bunch of dwarfs. They are thinking deep thoughts and giving scholarly lectures to academic audiences, but hardly anybody in the world outside is listening. They are historically insignificant. At some time toward the end of the nineteenth century, philosophers faded from public life. Like the snark in Lewis Carroll’s poem, they suddenly and silently vanished. So far as the general public was concerned, philosophers became invisible. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Oct 21, 2012 - 130 comments

2012 Nobel Prize in Physics

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche (France) and David Wineland (US) for discovering ways to measure and manipulate quantum particles, a discovery which many are suggesting may soon allow us to build computers with virtually limitless capabilities. The Nobel press release provides a layman friendly PDF summary of the research and its potential applications, as well as a less layman friendly PDF with additional scientific background information. The press release cites two older Scientific American articles for further reading, and the magazine has made these articles available to read free online for the next 30 days:
Monroe, C. R. and Wineland, D. J. (2008) Quantum Computing with Ions, Scientific American, August.

Yam, P. (1997) Bringing Schrödinger’s Cat to Life, Scientific American, June.

posted by dgaicun on Oct 15, 2012 - 51 comments

The Beauty Of Physics

Ordinary objects made beautiful by physics: a red scarf surrounded by electric fans. Half-filled water balloons and Jello (previously) dropped and shot at 6200 frames per second. Two ball bearings welded together and set to spin with a breath.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Sep 4, 2012 - 34 comments

Flipping cat physics

The physics of how cats flip their bodies to land feet first also allows spacecraft to turn. Flipping cats [previously] is interesting. It's even more interesting if your dad works at NASA and you have access to people who use flipping-cat physics to make spacecraft turn in space.
posted by milkb0at on Aug 26, 2012 - 28 comments

Rolling in the Higgs

"I'm a harmony addict working on a master's in theoretical physics; what ELSE was I going to make a YouTube channel about?" And so was born A Capella Science, brainchild of lifelong harmonics junkie and physics master's student Tim Blais. His first track, "Rolling in the Higgs (Adele parody)", takes on the Large Hadron Collider and the Higgs boson.
posted by Laminda on Aug 24, 2012 - 14 comments

My guy rode an excitebike

The Games We Play. [SLYT] And you thought you were the only one.
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Aug 20, 2012 - 114 comments

The Cause of the Formation of Meanders in the Courses of Rivers and of the So-Called Baer’s Law

Einstein described the "Tea Leaf Paradox" (more) to explain Baer's Law of erosion. [more inside]
posted by Algebra on Aug 19, 2012 - 9 comments

The Physics of physicality

WIRED has been running a fascinating series: Olympic Physics: Can Runners Benefit From Drafting?, Scoring the Decathlon, New [Swimming] Platform Is No Chip Off The Old Block [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 13, 2012 - 16 comments

"Because I'm in space, and I can, I get to name these yo-yo tricks."

NASA Astronaut Don Pettit uses his off-duty time to practice his microgravity yo-yo skills.
posted by OverlappingElvis on Aug 11, 2012 - 39 comments

Fun with kinematics!

Racetrack is a game with very simple rules which nonetheless does a surprisingly good job of simulating the acceleration, braking, and handling of a race car. It can teach not only about inertia and kinematics, but also about optimal racing lines. Racetrack can be played with nothing more than a piece of graph paper and a pen, but there is also an online implementation called Vector Racer.
posted by 256 on Aug 11, 2012 - 42 comments

Two More Cats Needed

High Speed Video of Flipping Cats A video in which a man claims watching him attempt to flip a cat (without pissing people off) will make you smarter. Bonus intro video. Gratuitous Father Guido Sarducci
posted by cjorgensen on Aug 10, 2012 - 41 comments

Reaching bottom at the top of the world

"As a climber goes up even higher in altitude, into the so-called death zone, the dangerously thin air above 26,000 feet, there is so little oxygen available that the body makes a desperate decision: it cuts off the digestive system. The body can no longer afford to direct oxygen to the stomach to help digest food because that would divert what precious little oxygen is available away from the brain. The body will retch back up anything the climber tries to eat, even if it’s as small as an M&M." -Excerpt from To the Last Breath: A Journey of Going to Extremes
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 7, 2012 - 39 comments

FPP: Fundamental Physics Prize

Russian billionaire Milner's new physics prize is awarding nine scientists 3 million dollars each in its inaugural year. Aside from the size of the prize, it's different from the Nobel in physics in that it can be awarded to scientists whose ideas have not yet been verified by experiments. According to the Forbes article, the winners "can be groups of any size; scientists of any age; and there is no limit on how many prizes an individual can win." And soon the prize would be open to online nominations. [more inside]
posted by of strange foe on Jul 31, 2012 - 18 comments

A universe entirely made of antimatter wouldn't be a Michael Bay reality show

In case you needed another reason to love/fear them: With a tone that sometimes rings condescending or conspiratorial but always wonderfully flippant, the best minds of cracked.com discuss the grandest extremities of modern physics.
posted by es_de_bah on Jul 22, 2012 - 8 comments

noncommutative balls in boxes

Morton and Vicary on the Categorified Heisenberg Algebra - "In quantum mechanics, position times momentum does not equal momentum times position! This sounds weird, but it's connected to a very simple fact. Suppose you have a box with some balls in it, and you have the magical ability to create and annihilate balls. Then there's one more way to create a ball and then annihilate one, than to annihilate one and then create one. Huh? Yes: if there are, say, 3 balls in the box to start with, there are 4 balls you can choose to annihilate after you've created one but only 3 before you create one..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 21, 2012 - 78 comments

Escape The Red Giant

Escape The Red Giant is a Flash game that is both incredibly relaxing and incredibly addictive. [more inside]
posted by motty on Jul 14, 2012 - 18 comments

For SCIENCE!

Science for the people: take a renowned scientist (Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman (Physics), Stephen Benkovik (Chemisty)) and sit them down on a street corner to answer questions.
Also: The No Excuse List (resources to learn just about anything), Minute Physics, Udacity (free, University-level courses online) and PetriDish, a Kickstarter for science projects.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jul 13, 2012 - 7 comments

World's largest musical Tesla Coils

Your music played through giant Tesla Coils in Cleveland Ohio. [more inside]
posted by pallen123 on Jul 7, 2012 - 8 comments

A Rendezvous with Destiny for a Generation of Physicists

What began with one man in a patent office and the insight that mass and energy are the same has culminated at the largest particle collider ever built, employing 2400 full-time employees and 10,000 visiting scientists: CERN has announced the discovery of the Higgs boson, a major vindication for the Standard Model of particle physics. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Jul 4, 2012 - 97 comments

How I learned to stop worrying and love reductionism

Scientists at CERN, using the Large Hadron Collider, may have discovered the Higgs Boson. (previously) and (previously)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Jul 2, 2012 - 157 comments

From 100 to 0

The Royal Society of Chemistry is offering £1000 to the person or team producing the best and most creative explanation of the phenomenon, known today as The Mpemba Effect [more inside]
posted by Kiwi on Jun 27, 2012 - 95 comments

A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing!

Modeling a Falling Slinky [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 19, 2012 - 22 comments

Extra carbon will glow: red, orange, yellow.

The Flame Challenge: The Center For Communicating Science asked scientists to answer the question, "What is a flame?," in a way that 11-year-olds would understand. Ben Ames won. In addition to his winning video, you can see the runners-up.
posted by OmieWise on Jun 8, 2012 - 56 comments

Cosmic vocab

Professor Brian Cox (previously) wondering about things.
posted by Artw on Jun 5, 2012 - 31 comments

Sugar Sugar

Sugar, Sugar: Friday Flash Fun.
posted by saladin on Jun 1, 2012 - 17 comments

Physics Demos that are Out of this World

Science off the Sphere is a video series by Don Pettit aboard the ISS showing off the neat things you can do in zero-gravity. [more inside]
posted by quin on May 31, 2012 - 13 comments

Measuring the Universe

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich has put together the fantastic short video Measuring the Universe which briefly describes the different techniques used to allow us to calculate the vast distances to stellar objects in space. [via]
posted by quin on May 30, 2012 - 11 comments

Happy Century Ruby

Have you looked at the sky today? You probably should. She would have been a hundred today, she just might have had a bit to do with how we understand our universe.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan on May 28, 2012 - 15 comments

SKA, music to an astronomers ears

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation recently announced a two site approach, in Australia-NZ and Southern Africa, a move that was applauded by the Australian team. Once fully operational in 2024, SKA's one square kilometre collecting area should lead to major advances in astronomy. [more inside]
posted by wilful on May 27, 2012 - 32 comments

Suppose a human and The Hulk were cylinders...

The physics of the Hulk's jump.
posted by latkes on May 3, 2012 - 76 comments

The Strangest Man

The trend of mathematics and physics towards unification provides the physicist with a powerful new method of research into the foundations of his subject, a method which has not yet been applied successfully, but which I feel confident will prove its value in the future. The method is to begin by choosing that branch of mathematics which one thinks will form the basis of the new theory. One should be influenced very much in this choice by considerations of mathematical beauty. [1939] [more inside]
posted by smcg on Apr 28, 2012 - 8 comments

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