"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]
Two new elements have been identified. They will need to be named. The new elements have temporary titles of ununquadium and ununhexium. [more inside]
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]
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
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]
"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
Do cats always land on their feet? No. Unless...
And here is a video of Jell-O cubes bouncing, shot at 6200 frames per second.
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]
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.
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.
The science education video series Sixty Symbols (previously) explores the Cadbury Creme Egg. [more inside]
... 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!
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]
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.
"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]
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]
Horizon asks "What is reality?" -- youtube for links for those outside the UK: 1, 2, 3, 4. It's a hard question. To help you answer it, Stanford has a set of free courses available on line by Leonard Susskind: General Relativity, Cosmology, New Revolutions in Particle Physics, Quantum Entanglement, Special Relativity, Classical Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, The Standard Model. (Each link is to lecture 1 of a full college course of a dozen or so lectures.) If you need help with the math, the Khan Academy should help get you up to speed.
The Danger of Cosmic Genius. Why is Freeman Dyson now considered "perhaps our most prominent global-warming skeptic?" Previously
It's possible that Galileo arrived at basic laws of physics by studying Dante's Inferno. In 1588, Galileo gave two lectures questioning the scalability of Dante's Hell. A paper questions its importance.
Weightless Cats and other fun experiments. An excerpt from from coverage of research at the Aerospace Medical Division Hq 657Oth Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories including scenes of F-104 seat ejection; drop tests from C-130 and ejection from F-106; effects of weightlessness on cats and pigeons in a C-131; test subjects in water tank, on centrifuge, in heat chamber and on complex coordinator. Also, scenes of vertical deceleration tower, incline impact test facility, vertical accelerator, equilibrium chair and vibration platform. More videos can be found at Airboyd.tv: Accident Animations, Aviation Films, Military Flight Training Films, and Space Shuttle Vidoes.
The Royal Society's lost women scientists. Women published in the Royal Society, 1890-1930. Most influential British women in the history of science. Women at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Heroines of Science. Women Biochemists, 1906-1939. Women in Science. Previously: The Women of ENIAC.
riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
to talk about the concept of "time" before the big bang; the Cyclic Universe Theory proposes an alternative to the predominant Inflation Theory that led to this intuition. Now Gurzadyan and Penrose have observed low-variance rings in the CMB, supporting the notion that it makes sense
The Geometry of the Snail Ball [pdf] - an interesting article (with some DIY advice at the end) about a toy shop curiosity you may have encountered.
Professor Brian Cox: "If there were an afterlife I would have to reconsider the engineering design of fridges with a very critical eye" The field of cessation thermodynamics considers how the hereafter might be powered - probably without 21 grams of human soul - and whether this may mean hell will freeze over. [more inside]
Circular jumps (previously) form when you turn on your tap and the water lands in a thin circular disk with a raised lip. Jannes et al have now shown that circular jumps are examples of hydrodynamic white holes: waves can escape the jump, but not enter it. [more inside]
Scientists have finally discovered tyhe physics of how cats drink.
Renowned theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed gave a series of five Messenger lectures on "The Future of Fundamental Physics" at Cornell University two weeks ago. 1 3 4 5 [more inside]
Andre Geim has earned many awards from his peers for groundbreaking research in physics, but he's arguably only won the attention of the general public a couple times: First for levitating a frog, and then for discovering 2D atomic crystals. For these efforts he has become the first person to be a laureate of both the Ig Nobel Prize and Nobel Prize.
Several physicists weigh in on what would happen if you were to place your hand in the proton stream of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. There's not a definite answer...the responses range from "nothing" to "you'd die for sure, instantly". [more inside]
While working on a PhD, did you ever feel no one understood your research? Well instead of writing your dissertation about your topic, ““Microtubule Catastrophe in Living Cells” or “Hydrodynamic Trail Following in a Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)”, you can dance to it. Or, if you don’t want to dance to a science topic, then change your topic and publish research about zombies as a disease model. [more inside]
(MLYT) Danyk666 and his microwave oven, danyk and his unshielded Source, danyk's little jacob's ladder, danyk heats water, zaps a CD, uses wrong AC power. Also hairspray high-volt abuse, his flyback transformer no workee (wait for it), carbon scoring on your droids? And danyk's small shaded-pole motor ...OF DEATH!!! [more inside]
Is our present defined by decisions we make in the future? And maybe we don't know who killed JFK because the universe hasn't decided yet. A Huffington Post science blogger discusses the nature of history from a quantum perspective. To quote Stephen Hawking, "The histories of the universe depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history." [more inside]
The 300th issue of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics will be the last. It is not an exaggeration to say that when John Baez started publishing TWF in 1993, he invented the science blog, and an (academic) generation has now grown up reading his thoughts on higher category theory, zeta functions, quantum gravity, crazy pictures of roots of polynomials, science fiction, and everything else that can loosely be called either "mathematical" or "physics." Baez continues to blog actively at n-category cafe and the associated nLab (an intriguingly fermented commune of mathematicians, physicists, and philosophers.) He is now starting a new blog, Azimuth, "centered around the theme of what scientists can do to help save the planet."
Those wacky New Scientists are reporting on a "new challenge" to part of Einstein's theory of special relativity that changes the relationship of Space to Time. No, this has nothing to do with Conservapedia's laughable challenge to the theory*. Petr Hořava** won't replace Einstein*** in scientific importance in this new Century, but maybe Hendrik Lorentz whose theories on symmetry apparently take a beating****. Remember kiddies, Science (especially Physics) doesn't have Absolute Truths, it just keeps getting closer to them. And even ol' Albert E. can and WILL be improved upon. [more inside]
Our results open a fascinating new direction for position-based security in cryptography where security of protocols is solely based on the laws of physics and proofs of security do not require any pre-existing infrastructure.
Don't continue fooling yourself. The earth is growing and expanding rapidly. Despite plate tectonics' popular acceptance in the 60s, Samuel Warren Carey, the father of modern expansion tectonics, was publicly promoting his theories of an expanded earth as late as 1981. One of the theory's most prominent modern spokesmen is comics artist Neal Adams, who has created a number of informative videos about a new model of the universe that even manages to explain why the dinosaurs died out. [more inside]
Small amounts of sound can now be harvested by this special fabric to produce very small amounts of current. And what if there was a clever, logic-defying way to possibly greatly enhance the conversion capabilities of such piezoelectric materials? Then maybe I'll get that "Power Suit" I always wanted.