Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to seven introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University:Astronomy, English, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies: a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video, syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye
on Dec 14, 2007 -
Here's a seemingly simple physics problem: an airplane taxis in one direction on a moving conveyor belt going the opposite direction. Can the plane take off? The debate rages on and on and on
posted by zardoz
on Sep 29, 2007 -
is a new FPS game where single-player and multiplayer modes meld in one. At any point, any Non-Player-Character might not be an NPC at all, but another Player. It is likely that, as in a game of tag, players will just take turns to be "it" like Agents in the Matrix, but... wouldn't it be great if we could all be "it" at the same time? Quantum Gaming
might just be the way to model such a swarm of gamers. [more inside]
posted by kandinski
on Sep 23, 2007 -
Particle accelerator experiments show that the neutron
has a negatively charged exterior, a positively charged middle, and a negative core. Abstract
from Physical Review Letters.
posted by russilwvong
on Sep 20, 2007 -
"It so often happens that I receive mail - well-intended but totally useless - by amateur physicists who believe to have solved the world. They believe this, only because they understand totally nothing about the real way problems are solved in Modern Physics...It should be possible, these days, to collect all knowledge you need from the internet. Problem then is, there is so much junk on the internet... I know exactly what should be taught to the beginning student...I can tell you of my own experiences. It helped me all the way to earn a Nobel Prize. But I didn't have internet. I am going to try to be your teacher. It is a formidable task."
posted by vacapinta
on Aug 29, 2007 -
[Friday Flash Fun] Gravity Pods
, a physics-based shooter/puzzle where you use special gravity pods and repellers to alter the course of a projectile and avoid barriers to hit a target.
posted by aerotive
on Jul 27, 2007 -
the delightful latest game from independent game developer Petri Purho at Kloonigames
, a sort of finnish Ferry Halim
. Draw objects with your crayon to get the ball to the star. The site is also home to other made-in-a-week games such as Cacodemon
, which is as frustrating as it is addictive. If Crayon Physics seems too short, check out the small level pack
or hack the xml to make your own. Windows only, works in Wine too
posted by BlackLeotardFront
on Jun 29, 2007 -
The demo scene is alive
. Showing off just what can be done with your computer with tiny programs
(serious hardware required, video link included). The point of this post? Sumotori Dreams
. A physics based game packed into 96k. It's not the gameplay itself which is so great, it's the stumbling drunk AI characters. Play a round, then sit back and watch them stumble
(youtube). Safe for work, if gales of laughter don't draw suspicion.
posted by tomble
on Apr 25, 2007 -
"This is a story of how the impossible became possible. How, for centuries, scientists were absolutely sure that solids (as well as decorative patterns like tiling and quilts) could only have certain symmetries - such as square, hexagonal and triangular - and that most symmetries, including five-fold symmetry in the plane and icosahedral symmetry in three dimensions (the symmetry of a soccer ball), were strictly forbidden. Then, about twenty years ago, a new kind of pattern, known as a "quasicrystal," was envisaged that shatters the symmetry restrictions and allows for an infinite number of new patterns and structures that had never been seen before, suggesting a whole new class of materials...."
Physicist Paul J. Steinhardt delivers a fascinating lecture
(WMV) on tilings
. However, it turns out science was beaten to the punch: a recent paper
Islamic architecture developed similar tilings centuries earlier.
posted by parudox
on Mar 18, 2007 -
Redefining Avogadro's Number.
A mole is the number of molecules in a gram of water: ~6.022 x 1023
. Unfortunately "a gram" is defined by a chunk of metal
in a vault
in France, the last of the seven SI units still defined by a physical artifact. Since the reference mass (known as "Le Gran K") is actually changing over time
(due to cleaning, handling, etc), the definition of a gram is currently temporally unstable. Now a new proposal
has been put forward to explicitly define the number to be a known integer: 602,214,141,070,409,084,099,072, which would fundamentally change the way we define a gram. Le Gran K could become a historical curiosity like the original platinum meter stick
posted by dkg
on Mar 2, 2007 -
Wanna get nuked? the Active Denial System
[just say no?] was launched yesterday - its a microwave ray gun that makes people feel like they're going to catch fire. Wasn't there a ray gun at a certain point in a book we trashed
a while earlier?
posted by infini
on Jan 25, 2007 -
Scientists have created an unbreakable cypher through the use of quantum physics, where a photon is observed and used as the basis for an encryption key. "Uncertainty is the principle we exploit. It's impossible to find the key, because the photon can be measured once and only once. An eavesdropper can't measure it, and so can't get the key." Props to Heisenberg!
posted by PreacherTom
on Nov 9, 2006 -
Physics for Future Presidents
is a class taught at UC Berkeley by Physics professor Richard Muller. It's a class specifically for non-physics majors and teaches the real world results of the sometimes impenetrable math involved in university physics. After every lecture, you should come away with the feeling that what was just covered is important for every world leader to know.
I just sat through the entire hour and 13 minute nukes
lecture and was riveted.
posted by quite unimportant
on Nov 7, 2006 -
Raft to the Future:
An article about the weirdness of physical models of the universe, how that weirdness correlates to the inherent incompleteness
of mathematical systems, and how time itself can emerge
at the fringes of these incomplete models.
posted by knave
on Nov 6, 2006 -
- a blog dedicated to physics-simulating games, currently with 49 reviews (and counting) of well known favorites like Stair Dismount and Truck Dismount, Towers of Goo, Toribash and many, many more. (A follow up to my previous YouTube post
.) Kiss your precious, fleeting motes of productivity goodbye, cube-farmers!
posted by loquacious
on Oct 19, 2006 -