Physical Science

“Resources exist to be consumed. And consumed they will be, if not by  this generation then by some future. By what right does this forgotten  future seek to deny us our birthright?” -Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri The dream of humanity has long been to identify an inhabited world beyond Earth, to know for certain that…

“Hey, if our eyes could access the infrared part of the light spectrum, the sky would be green and trees would be red. Some animals see in completely different ways, so who knows what colors look like to them. Nothing is really how we perceive it.” -Wendy Mass If you take a look at the…

“Aha! That satellite was scuttled on Enceladus, Saturn’s main dump moon!” -Professor Farnsworth, Futurama When you think about life beyond Earth, you likely think of it occurring on a somewhat Earth-like planet. A rocky world, with either a past or present liquid ocean atop the surface, seems ideal. But that might not even be where life…

“Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.” -Dag Hammarskjold One of relativity’s oddest predictions is the existence of black holes, objects so dense and massive that nothing, not event light can escape from them.…

Physics Blogging Round-Up: March

Another month, another batch of blog posts at Forbes: — In Physics, Infinity Is Easy But Ten Is Hard: Some thoughts on the odd fact that powerful math tricks make it easy to deal uncountably many interacting particles, while a smaller number would be a Really Hard Problem. — New Experiment Explores The Origin Of…

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” -Woodrow Wilson It’s been another fantastic…

“The layman always means, when he says “reality” that he is speaking of something self-evidently known; whereas to me it seems the most important and exceedingly difficult task of our time is to work on the construction of a new idea of reality.” -Wolfgang Pauli On the surface, it shouldn’t appear to make all that…

“You can spend too much time wondering which of identical twins is the more alike.” -Robert Brault When we think of the idea of “Earth’s twin,” we inevitably think of a planet like ours orbiting a star like ours at the same distance and speed. Most planets are not rocky and Earth-sized; most stars are not…

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.” -Johannes Kepler There are a lot of myths we have in our society about how the greatest of all scientific advances happened. We think about a lone genius, working outside the constraints of mainstream academia or mainstream…

“If something doesn’t reach you on a personal level, let it go. It’s hard enough dealing with everything that does.” -Judi Culbertson There are two types of electric charge: positive and negative. Like charges repel; opposite charges attract. In gravitation, though, there’s only one kind of gravitational charge, more commonly known as mass. And everything…