Physical Science

“You ain’t supposed to get salmon when they’re swimming upstream to spawn. But if you’re hungry, you do.” -Loretta Lynn One of the most remarkable stories in the natural world is the end-of-life story of the salmon. After being born in a stream, tributary, or other small spawning ground, baby salmon swim downstream into the…

“All you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be.” -Pink Floyd It’s been another great week exploring the Universe over at the main Starts With A Bang blog, as we’ve taken on the following topics since our last week: How long has the Universe been accelerating? (for Ask Ethan), Sharing…

Ask Ethan #53: What is the Big Rip? (Synopsis)

“Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?” -Haruki Murakami Of all the ways our Universe can end —…

Near Earth Object Will Be Near Earth

Phil Plait says “Don’t Panic!” and he should know because he is the Death from the Skies!: The Science Behind the End of the World which is about things hitting the earth. The object is called 2014 RC and it was discovered on September 2nd. It will arrive on Sunday. The object is about 20…

With the help of advice from a manicurist, Dr. Kate Mansfeld (University of Central Florida) has come up with a way to track hatchling sea turtles for the first time. After hatching, the turtles head straight for the ocean where they grow for about 10 years or so before returning to the same beach where…

“I’m hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That’s what this world is about.” -Jay-Z Of all the stars in the night sky, it’s the brightest ones that capture our attentions the most. Prominent even under incredibly light-polluted conditions, their character, color and properties really comes…

“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.” -Thomas Jefferson If you could magically make the world a better place, what is it that you’d get rid of? The list is long, and the path there is uncertain. Yet if we…

I didn’t write a summary of the third day of “Quantum Boot Camp” to go with my Day One and Day Two summaries for a simple reason: I would’ve needed to do that on Saturday, and I spent Saturday in transit back to the US. More than that, though, it was harder to summarize than…

Here are some more unsung heroes of research: scanners (the human kind). In the 1950s, Donald Glaser invented the bubble chamber – a way to track infinitesimally small quantum particles as they winked in and out of existence. The idea – which may or may not have been tested in beer – was to create…

If you’re making your weekly check of the ebook editions (Kindle, Nook) of my quantum book (I’m not the only one who regularly looks at these, right?), you may have noticed a change: they’re no longer sporting the original black cover you’ll see in the right sidebar, but a new cover based on the smash…