Physical Science

“Which is more likely? That the universe was designed just for us, or that we see the universe as having been designed just for us?” -Michael Shermer After the end of another fun-filled week, it’s time again to take a look at (and respond to) what you’ve had to say! Over on the main Starts With A Bang blog,…

“You can observe a lot by just watching.” -Yogi Berra Sure, the quantum Universe is a little bit spooky. Things that we’re used to being “determined” here in the macroscopic world, like where a particle will end up if you throw it, aren’t so simple if we head on down to subatomic scales. While you…

My LonCon Schedule

Since lots of other people are posting their Worldcon progrm(me) schedules, I might as well share mine, too. Frankly, I find it a little baffling: Kaffeeklatsch Thursday 18:00 – 19:00, London Suite 5 (ExCeL) Kay Kenyon, Chad Orzel Banksian Saturday 11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 9 (ExCeL) ‘Banksian’ has become a commonplace descriptor in SF…

As noted last week, I went to SteelyKid’s day camp on Tuesday to talk about being a college professor. This was a little awkward, because I was scheduled to talk to kids ranging from not-quite-three to six-and-a-bit, and really, what do they care about the daily routine of physics faculty? So, I did a simple…

“Geologists have a saying: rocks remember.” -Neil Armstrong 45 years ago, the Apollo 11 mission was on its way away from planet Earth and headed towards the Moon, where the first human beings would set foot on the surface just a few days later. Back in 2012, the very first man on the Moon, Neil…

The anti-evolutionists just never get tired of the second law thermodynamics! The latest bit of silliness comes from Barry Arrington, writing at Uncommon Descent. Here’s the whole post: I hope our materialist friends will help us with this one. As I understand their argument, entropy is not an obstacle to blind watchmaker evolution, because entropy…

Check out this flying dinosaur

The discovery of  this non-avian dinosaur, Changyuraptor yangi, that lived 125 million years ago suggests that flight came before birds. The fossil was discovered in the Liaoning Province of northeastern China by Luis Chiappe from the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, CA. At nearly 4 feet long, it is the largest so-called 4-winged dinosaur discovered. The term “4-winged”…

Brandy Velten (doctoral student) and Dr. Kenneth Welch (Comparative Physiologist) from the University of Toronto wanted to know whether birds with very different speeds at which they flaps their wings (i.e. wingbeat frequencies) had correspondingly varying types of myosin proteins in their muscles. Their findings were published in the American Journal of Physiology last month.…

Today’s article comes courtesy of Sabine Hossenfelder. Sabine is an assistant professor for high energy physics at Nordita, Stockholm. She writes a blog called Backreaction and tweets as @skdh. Dark matter is one of the most elusive and puzzling entities in our Universe today. We have plenty of indirect evidence for it, but one of…

“Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.” -Carl von Clausewitz You’ve been hanging around here long enough that you know all about dark matter’s successes,…