Henri Bergson was one of the most celebrated philosophers of the early 20th century, and his very public conflict with Albert Einstein over "the nature of time" was considered the reason that Einstein's 1921 Nobel Prize was NOT awarded specifically for his Theory of Relativity. Ouch.
Wow -- New Year's Day again already? Didn't we just do this? Why does time seem to speed up as we get older? Brian Resnick at Vox provides some food for thought.
A man who draws pictures for the computer explains the space doctor's big idea about time and space using only simple words. [more inside]
The power of math: 17 Equations That Changed the World - a one table summary of the book by Ian Stewart FRS. Business Insider gives its interpretation of the importance of each equation. Brain pickings (2012) on this book and equations, and another extract from the book. [more inside]
A Black Hole Mystery Wrapped in a Firewall Paradox - "A paradox around matter leaking from black holes puts into question various scientific axioms: Either information can be lost; Einstein's principle of equivalence is wrong; or quantum field theory needs fixing." [more inside]
'Nearby' supermassive black hole rotates at close to the speed of light For some further details than the Guardian link (though the title says it all) a NASA link.
A five-part series on the ultimate limit on technology, and how that limit could help us find other civilizations: 1 2 3 4 5 [via]
The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos, to know itself.
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series of one hour shows written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, that was aired at the tail end of 1980 and was - at the time - the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. It is best introduced by an audio excerpt of one of his books, The Pale Blue Dot. Inside is a complete annotated collection of the series. [more inside]
We shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
Physicist Ben Tippett has written a paper [PDF] showing that the events of Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu could have happened.
Today the Icarus Experiment released their measurement on the speed of neutrinos from CERN. Within small errors, they find them to be traveling at the speed of light, in accordance with the theory of relativity. [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.
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]
Project GREAT: General Relativity Einstein/Essen Anniversary TestThink your dad was a nerd? A mad genius? Was he a Clark Griswold-esque cheerleader for outdoor family vacations? You ain't seen nothin' yet.
Clocks, Kids, and General Relativity on Mt Rainier
These subjects still fascinate me after a lifetime of interest: faster-than-light speed, alternate time streams, parallel universes, time travel, antiparticles moving backward in time, time loops, and the recurring themes of paradox -- all serious but astonishing ideas of science. Something about them inspires infinite possibilities. Am I not alone?
On Truth and Reality. Despite several thousand years of failure to correctly understand physical reality (hence the current postmodern view that this is impossible) it is actually very simple to work out how matter exists and moves about in Space. The rules of Science (Occam's Razor / Simplicity) and Metaphysics (Dynamic Unity of Reality) require that reality be described from only one single source existing, as Leibniz wrote: "because of the interconnection of all things with one another." [more inside]
Where no economist had gone before. Paul Krugman posts a type-written paper on interstellar trade which he wrote as "an oppressed assistant professor" in the '70s. I do not propose to develop a theory which is universally valid, but it may at least have some galactic relevance. [pdf link]
Quantum Mechanics: Myths and Facts (pdf), a recently-updated paper on the Cornell arXiv peer-review site. By Hrvoje Nikolić of the Rudjer Bošković Institute in Croatia. [more inside]
Today's post of tenuously related audio brings you ten historic radio broadcasts, 529 eternal questions in popular music, and one mildly amusing black metal band prank call.
"We have broken speed of light." So say Dr. Gunter Nimtz and Dr. Alfons Stahlhofen of the University of Koblenz, in this article from New Scientist. Dr. Nimtz's work has been cited on MeFi before.
Science sites of all kinds for kids. Archeology. Entomology. Natural Symphony. Baseball in Space. Philosophy. Process or Content. Science songs. Physics songs, relativity. String theory. Science and Art.
Einstein TOR DVD is a mostly animated feature film from the early 1920s, long thought to be lost, featuring animation from the incredible Max Fleischer (who is responsible for the seriously cool Superman animated cartoons). For $15, looks like a must-have for animation buffs and science geeks.
Hyperdrive and a possible Unified Theory. New Scientist article about a paper and proposal to NASA outlining development parameters and possiblities for a faster-than-light anti-gravity propulsion system, based on some rather interesting physics theories originated by a guy named Heim. You mean you've never heard of the Millenium Falcon? (via)
The sun is solid (this has beautiful images, btw). The earth is fixed, or maybe growing; relativity is wrong, and so is most of current thinking... For the intriguing as well as the insane, visit the fringes of science.
What would Tübingen look like if you traveled through it at the speed of light?
Does dark matter exist? Dark matter has been suggested as a solution to the galaxy rotation problem where individual stars don't seem to rotate the way Newton's laws would predict. Now, some scientists are saying that observations fit with Einstein's general relativity, without any dark matter needed. I just find it amazing that no one has tried this yet.
Does relativity have any practical significance? In fact, relativity had to be taken into account by the designers of the Global Positioning System. The GPS satellites are affected both by special relativity (since the satellites are moving, clocks aboard them appear to run slower as seen from the ground), and by general relativity (since the satellites are farther away from the mass of the earth, clocks appear to run faster as seen from the ground). The net effect of both is that clocks aboard GPS satellites would gain 38 microseconds per day relative to the ground, if relativistic effects were not corrected for--a figure which can be confirmed by using Google calculator.
The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, California is one of many places in the US that challenge the theory of relativity. Berkeley psychologists have a theory about these mystery spots. Another Berkeleyan visited the spot and documented his tour. Some have done their own comprehensive tests and came to a different conclusion. A book was written to describe these gravitational anomalies, skeptics and believers all have an opinion ... but where does the truth lie?
Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity in words of four letters or less
In an interesting test of the theory of relativity they found that gravity travels at the same speed as light. Put simply if the sun were to disappear from existence it would take some 8 minutes before the Earth's orbit would be affected by the loss. Sadly this also means that FTL travel is becoming less and less likely to be possible.