Physical Science

POTW 5

After taking last week off, Problem of the Week makes a triumphant return. Problem Five is now ready for your consideration. The main problem for this week, in keeping with the arithmetic theme for this semester, is an especially famous “alphametic” problem. If you like that sort of thing, then you might enjoy perusing this…

The sun warms the Earth’s surface. Additional greenhouse gases and associated positive feedbacks (like, additional additional greenhouse gasses) increase that effect. So, it gets warmer, and by “it” we mean the “surface” of the Earth. This is usually measured as the temperature near the surface across the land and the surface of the sea (Sea…

“I love the sea’s sounds and the way it reflects the sky. The colours that shimmer across its surface are unbelievable.” -John Dyer When you look up into the night sky, most of the fixed, non-stellar objects you see are faint, extended and diffuse. One of the things that surprises most skywatchers is what a galaxy…

Nobel Season 2014

With this morning’s announcement of the 2014 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine, the annual Nobel season is upon us. I didn’t do a betting pool post this year, because when I announced last year’s winner, I was reminded that I had never paid off the prize to the previous year’s winner. So I think…

The ‘Nifty Fifty (times 4)’, a program of Science Spark, presented by InfoComm International, are a group of 200 noted science and engineering professionals who will fan out across the Washington, D.C. area in the 2014-2015 school year to speak about their work and careers at various middle and high schools. Meet Nifty Fifty Speaker Dr. Darryll Pines…

“While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.” -Chinua Achebe When you think of charitable enterprises, you probably think of things like eradicating hunger, poverty, or disease of some sort. After all, that’s what most charity is: helping…

The Afghan Whigs at the Beacon Theater

Saturday afternoon, I drove down to the city to see the reunited Afghan Whigs play the Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side. I saw them years and years ago in DC, around 1996 or so on the tour for Black Love, and that was a great show. They’ve always been one of my favorite…

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” -Albert Einstein After a wide-ranging week here on Starts With A Bang, it’s only fair to take a look at what conversations this has sparked among all of you, and to jump in where there’s a good opportunity to add…

The exciting news of the week: Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist has gotten a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Woo-hoo! They’ve said nice things about my previous two books, but getting the star is a big deal. And it’s a really good capsule description of the book, with a great pull quote in the last…

“A single day is enough to make us a little larger or, another time, a little smaller.” -Paul Klee As the time passes for us all, and we age, so too does everything else in the Universe. For an object like a black hole, it has the potential to form, grow or shrink as we move…