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584 posts tagged with physics.
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whitney music box - var. 0 - chromatic - 48 tines

whitney music box -- a fantastic animation
You may notice some interesting links between the visuals and the audio, especially if you are a musician. For example, when the pattern forms a 3-arm starfish, the chords you are hearing are diminished chords, which consist of minor thirds, an interval in which the notes are 3 chromatic steps apart. The chords you hear always bear this type of relationship to the pattern you are seeing, consisting of intervals which match the arrangement of arms.
Really, just look, and you'll get it. [more inside]
posted by MrMoonPie on Dec 22, 2011 - 18 comments

Imagine an alternative science, or sciences.

Vandana Singh is a science fiction writer and a physicist. She describes her work as "ponder[ing] deep questions about the universe." In a series of three essays for Strange Horizons she just does that, probing the relationships between (as her subtitle indicates) science, emotions and culture. [more inside]
posted by overglow on Dec 21, 2011 - 3 comments

About Denver and football.

Are field goals easier in Denver? Wired's Rhett Allain uses physics to consider which factors might make a field goal "easier" in Denver. Includes a Lego recreation of this 59 yard field goal.
posted by sweetkid on Dec 20, 2011 - 11 comments

Wherefore art thou (probably), Higgs?

CERN has begun webcasting a public seminar in which there may or may not be some announcement regarding the significance or otherwise of recent observations regarding the possible existence of something that might be the Higgs boson. I am not a nuclear physicist, so I will try and keep up but will mainly be trying to catch the significance of the observations they have collected so far. In case these are talked about in terms of sigmas (there's scuttlebutt going around that this is a 3.5 sigma event), here's a table of sigma and probability. [more inside]
posted by carter on Dec 13, 2011 - 85 comments

Quantum realism mounts a charge. Prepare phenomenological defenses.

A mixed (superpositioned?) state of buzz among those working in quantum foundations over a new paper by Matt Pusey asserting that quantum states are real physical objects and not simply statistical probability distributions. Matt Leifer does a balanced contextualization and explication. A giddy article in nature news and David Wallace support and summarize. [more inside]
posted by wjzeng on Dec 5, 2011 - 42 comments

We are star stuff.

Hi. Here's Stephen Colbert (out of character) and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson having an 85 minute conversation about science, physics, and the universe.
posted by lazaruslong on Nov 28, 2011 - 49 comments

Fabric of the Cosmos

Brian Greene's Fabric of the Cosmos is online in its entirety on NOVA's website, in four one-hour episodes. Time, Space, Quantum Mechanics, Multiverses.
posted by empath on Nov 26, 2011 - 32 comments

SciGuy Eric Berger

One of my favorite blogs happens to be local to me. Eric Berger, the Houston Chronicle's "SciGuy" usually reports on the weather. But he also posts entertaining and serious stuff as well. [more inside]
posted by PapaLobo on Nov 22, 2011 - 3 comments

Hyperlight Nutrinos Take 2

Neutrino experiment repeat at Cern finds same result "The team which found that neutrinos may travel faster than light has carried out an improved version of their experiment - and confirmed the result." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Nov 18, 2011 - 107 comments

Space Station Reboost

Physics! (SLYT via)
posted by curious nu on Nov 10, 2011 - 38 comments

Science!

An illustration of two dimensional vibration. A really cool illustration of two dimensional vibration.
posted by jacquilynne on Nov 10, 2011 - 22 comments

The c, the c!

Here is a nice wee video that visualises special relativity; not by imagining the viewer to be travelling very fast, but rather by imagining the speed of light to be very slow. The creators of the code used to generate the images in the video have a rather accessible paper explaining the physics behind it here, and a page full of other lovely relativistic odds and sods here.
posted by Dim Siawns on Oct 24, 2011 - 15 comments

Quantum Levitation

Sapphire + Superconductor + Gold + Saran Wrap + Liquid Nitrogen + Magnets = Quantum Levitation. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Oct 17, 2011 - 73 comments

Ride Like the Wind (only faster)

Three years ago, a question was posed to two Internet forums. Could you build a wind powered vehicle that could travel downwind, faster than the wind? The lines were quickly drawn and the battle was on, including here on the blue. It took nearly two years for the debate to be settled, and on July 2, 2010, what seemed impossible was achieved. The answer is yes, you can.
posted by smoothvirus on Oct 11, 2011 - 96 comments

The golden parking pass!

An esteemed UC Berkeley tradition is to award Nobel prize winners free parking. Every Nobel prize winner who works at the UC Berkeley campus is awarded the "Nobel Laureate Parking Permit," that allows the holder free parking on campus; a precious and scarce thing, not unlike the Nobel Prize. [more inside]
posted by honey badger on Oct 10, 2011 - 37 comments

Dissolve my Nobel Prize! Fast!

Dissolve my Nobel Prize! Fast! It's 1940. The Nazis have taken Copenhagen. They are literally marching through the streets, and physicist Niels Bohr has just hours, maybe minutes, to make two Nobel Prize medals disappear.
posted by sweetkid on Oct 3, 2011 - 70 comments

Magic, got it.

What happens when you drop a slinky?
posted by empath on Sep 26, 2011 - 83 comments

Fifty years ago today, a whole lot of light bulbs went on

Fifty years ago today, Richard Feynman gave the first of his famous lectures at Caltech. [more inside]
posted by SNACKeR on Sep 26, 2011 - 55 comments

"Apparently you can't hack into a government supercomputer and then try to buy uranium without the Department of Homeland Security tattling to your mother."

TV Fact Checkers "Behind every smart TV show, there is a tireless script coordinator, technical adviser, researcher or producer who makes sure the jargon is right, the science is accurate and the pop culture references are on-point." This week, Wired "is speaking with fact-checkers behind the fall TV season’s geekiest shows." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 22, 2011 - 72 comments

What does a Higgsless universe mean for science?

What does a Higgsless universe mean for science? The Higgs Boson is quite important to the standard model of physics. If it exists, it plays a major role in explaining how particles acquire mass. There’s a distinct possibility that the Higgs Boson may not even exist. Stephen Hawking made a famous bet that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) wouldn't find it. So far both the LHC and Tevatron, another massive particle accelerators have both searched much of the energy ranges we expected to find the Higgs with no luck. So, then, what does it mean if we don’t find the Higgs at all?
posted by 2manyusernames on Sep 14, 2011 - 91 comments

Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Time

Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Time.
posted by empath on Sep 1, 2011 - 131 comments

I have a burning question, man.

Before it was a website, Ask A Mathematician / Ask A Physicist was two guys sitting in the desert at Burning Man, presuming to answer (almost) any question that happened to occur to whomever happened to appear at our stand. [more inside]
posted by Obscure Reference on Aug 27, 2011 - 42 comments

What is up with Noises? (SLYT)

What is up with Noises? A fascinating explanation of why we hear sounds and music the way we do. It's a long video, but it's worth it!
posted by fzx101 on Aug 25, 2011 - 37 comments

A Grand Adventure

When Richard Feynman was a young boy his father told him of the remote land of Tannu Tuva, igniting an obsession that would remain with him for the rest of his life. The Last Journey of a Genius chronicles Feynman’s attempts to get to the country at the geographic center of Asia, all stymied by the Iron Curtain, although he did correspond with some of its citizens and was a fan of its distinctive music and stamps. A visa for Tuva finally arrived days after his death.
Most would suggest that the story ends there, but not so: Feynman’s friend Ralph Leighton eventually made it, and formed the Friends of Tuva; later, Feyman’s daughter Michelle made the trip her father planned but never completed, an emotional journey recorded by the Russian service of the BBC [MP3]. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Aug 14, 2011 - 20 comments

The Earth Is Flat (to a certain approximation)

Old Theories As Limits of New Ones -- Theoretical physicist, Lubos Motl, takes a brief tour through the history of physics, and explains the simple mathematical relationship of old theories to the theories that replace them.
posted by empath on Aug 5, 2011 - 16 comments

SCIENCE!

At the beginning of last month, Scientific American unveiled a new network of 47 blogs with 55 bloggers. Their latest posts can be found here. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 2, 2011 - 15 comments

Well, that about wraps it up for growth.

UCSD physicist Tom Murphy inaugurates his blog Do the Math with two posts on the thermal limits of energy use on earth and the related absurdity of infinite economic growth.
posted by adamdschneider on Aug 1, 2011 - 59 comments

but no stones

Sticks is a Flash game where you use some minor engineering skills to make a dude rich. [more inside]
posted by DU on Jul 22, 2011 - 13 comments

Fine Feynman Fare

Physicist Freeman Dyson reviews two new books about Richard Feynman, one about the science and one in graphic novel form.

He never showed the slightest resentment when I published some of his ideas before he did. He told me that he avoided disputes about priority in science by following a simple rule: "Always give the bastards more credit than they deserve." I have followed this rule myself. I find it remarkably effective for avoiding quarrels and making friends. A generous sharing of credit is the quickest way to build a healthy scientific community.

(previously, previously, and probably in the future, but not predictably so.
posted by cogneuro on Jul 12, 2011 - 20 comments

Tibetan Singing Bowls

Tibetan singing bowls give up their chaotic secrets. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 6, 2011 - 7 comments

In and Out

"Zoom from the edge of the universe to the quantum foam of spacetime and learn the scale of things along the way!" [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jun 27, 2011 - 28 comments

F***ing UFOs! How do they work?

"The conventional wisdom, promoted by government and echoed by the subservient media, is that UFOs are mysterious objects which by definition are unknowable. Anyone attempting to explain them is a charlatan perpetrating a hoax and using 'junk physics' . That may not be so." [more inside]
posted by Obscure Reference on Jun 19, 2011 - 50 comments

New elements identified

Two new elements have been identified. They will need to be named. The new elements have temporary titles of ununquadium and ununhexium. [more inside]
posted by longsleeves on Jun 8, 2011 - 135 comments

The Cartoon Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Larry Gonick is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe (later The Cartoon History of the Modern World), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn-by-way-of-Pogo chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment, and (yes!) Sex. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention, assorted math comics (previously), the Muse magazine mainstay Kokopelli & Co. (featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"), and more. See also these lengthy interview snippets, linked previously. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 6, 2011 - 29 comments

Anti matter containment achieved...kinda

We've observed antimatter being created in thunderstorms(previously) and we've created antimatter at CERN.(previously) and (previously) The first experiments, announced last November, were able to trap antimatter for about 1/10th of a second; not long enough to study and analyze it properly. Now the Alpha experiment at CERN has announced that they have successfully trapped anti-hydrogen for 1000 seconds. Nature article preprint from arxive.org
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Jun 5, 2011 - 57 comments

I still don't get it

Physicists have managed to observe light behaving both as a particle and wave in the same double-slit experimental condition, by means of a new method to weakly observe a particle's momentum. This article in Nature summarizes the results in non-mathematical terms. [more inside]
posted by leibniz on Jun 3, 2011 - 49 comments

It's awesome. It's awesome. It's awesome. It's awesome.

"Physical Impossibilities in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" is a student physics presentation that examines three scenes from an animated My Little Pony show and identifies the physics at work, explains (with equations!) why the scenes don't work, and offers suggestions ("dark matter!") to fix them. via BoingBoing
posted by XQUZYPHYR on May 26, 2011 - 139 comments

TEDxCaltech

Sean Carroll: Distant time and the hint of a multiverse [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 15, 2011 - 52 comments

Shooting cats with a chronophotographic gun

Do cats always land on their feet? No. Unless...
posted by furtive on May 11, 2011 - 37 comments

w o b b l e w o b b l e w o b b l e

And here is a video of Jell-O cubes bouncing, shot at 6200 frames per second.
posted by bayani on May 3, 2011 - 81 comments

Schrodinger's Smartphone

A new paper by William J. Bruno of the Theoretical Biology & Biophysics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory argues that past arguments about the impossibility of biological tissue damage from cellphone signals have failed to consider a quantum effect whereby multiple photons in a small volume can have constructive interference, and that such an effect likely does occur in practice. Synopsis here. (previously) [more inside]
posted by crayz on Apr 28, 2011 - 40 comments

Nature Special Issue on the Future of the PhD

Mark Taylor. Reform the PhD system or close it down. Nature 472, 261 (2011) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 26, 2011 - 54 comments

This view of time does not look encouraging for time travelers

The concept of time as a way to measure the duration of events is not only deeply intuitive, it also plays an important role in our mathematical descriptions of physical systems. For instance, we define an object’s speed as its displacement per a given time. But some researchers theorize that this Newtonian idea of time as an absolute quantity that flows on its own, along with the idea that time is the fourth dimension of spacetime, are incorrect. They propose to replace these concepts of time with a view that corresponds more accurately to the physical world: time as a measure of the numerical order of change.
posted by finite on Apr 25, 2011 - 127 comments

Rumor Sweeping World's Science Community that CERN's LHC has Detected the Higgs Boson -The "God Particle"

Rumor Sweeping World's Science Community that CERN's LHC has Detected the Higgs Boson -The "God Particle" The controversial rumor is based on what appears to be a leaked internal note from physicists at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 17-mile-long particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland. It's not certain at this point if the memo is authentic, or what the data it refers to might mean — but the note has sent the physics community into full buzz mode.
posted by Leisure_Muffin on Apr 24, 2011 - 102 comments

Cadbury Creme Eggs, Liquid Nitrogen, MRI Scans, and Extra Dimensions

The science education video series Sixty Symbols (previously) explores the Cadbury Creme Egg. [more inside]
posted by KirkJobSluder on Apr 21, 2011 - 26 comments

The solution to quantum gravity is ready.

... and there is no dark matter/energy! Dr. Philip Mannheim has succeeded in developing a cosmological and quantum field theoretic consistent PT symmetric theory that contains no kind of dark matter and dark energy. Space is flat in the absence of matter, and even the largest galactic rotation curves are predicted. Perhaps most interestingly, it also handles the cosmological constant and zero-point energy 'problems' simultaneously! (This is the final paper in a long list of publications, but it makes the case such that it's importance is immediately recognized. I leave it to the experts to recognize it's true beauty.) All hail the internets!
posted by quanta and qualia on Apr 21, 2011 - 210 comments

Fermilab to announce new physics

The CDF collaboration at Fermilab is set to announce evidence for non-Standard Model physics today. The experiment at the Tevatron particle collider has released a paper on the Arxiv stating it has found evidence for a potential new particle that isn't the Higgs boson. A live stream announcing the results will begin at 4pm Central time (21:00 GMT). [more inside]
posted by auto-correct on Apr 6, 2011 - 50 comments

Play Tesla the Weather Man

You are Nikola Tesla. Dodge obstacles and control the elements as you race to stop Thomas Edison. A game by ThoughtQuake Studios, made using open source software and part of IndieDB's top 100 games of 2010. via BlenderNation.
posted by circular on Mar 14, 2011 - 10 comments

Earth tide

"The Earth tide is a little-known daily event, similar to the oceans' more familiar tides. But the sun and moon's gravity doesn’t just pull on water, it deforms the Earth itself, causing the ground beneath us to bulge toward the pulling heavenly body." [more inside]
posted by Paragon on Mar 10, 2011 - 12 comments

Neutrinos on ice

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory has been completed in Antarctica. What is a Neutrino anyway? Here is an informative video, which seems to draw at least some inspiration from this(NSFW), that explains what neutrinos are and how we can detect them.(via) [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Feb 13, 2011 - 32 comments

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