Physical Science

“If antimatter and matter make contact, both are destroyed instantly. Physicists call the process ‘annihilation.” -Dan Brown Antimatter is the counterpart to matter: it exists with the same mass, opposite charge, and if ever the two should touch, they annihilate away into pure energy via Einstein’s E = mc^2. But there are a great many properties…

California’s Amazing Geology

California’s Amazing Geology by Don Prothero is an amazing book about — wait for it — California’s geology! California is one of the most geologically interesting and complex geopolitical units in the world. But so is Minnesota, and Minnesota is boring, geologically, for most people. Why? Because Minnesota is all eroded down and flattened out…

“Just to clarify, neither Jason or myself … are advocating that it is an alien megastructure, but we also can’t completely rule it out.” -Kimberly Cartier When we launched the Kepler spacecraft, we expected that we’d be able to measure the light from over 100,000 stars at once, practically continuously, over the timespan of many…

“Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder.” -Thomas Aquinas Sure, you’ve studied a little physics. You know about Einstein and General Relativity, the quantum nature of the Universe and the fundamental…

“A bit of mould is a pleiad of flowers; a nebula is an ant-hill of stars.” -Victor Hugo In the distant future, about 7 billion years from now, our Sun will run out of all the nuclear fuel it’s capable of burning in its core. As it contracts under its own gravity, radiation becomes unable…

“You’re not looking for perfection in your partner. Perfection is all about the ego. With soulmate love, you know that true love is what happens when disappointment sets in – and you’re willing to deal maturely with these disappointments.” -Karen Salmansohn It’s been a great week full of great stories from the Universe here at Starts…

“Each ray of light moves in the coordinate system ‘at rest’ with the definite, constant velocity V independent of whether this ray of light is emitted by a body at rest or a body in motion.” -Albert Einstein, 1905 The more kinetic energy you impart to something, the faster you go. But there’s a limit:…

“First, you should check out my house. It’s, like, kinda lame, but way less lame than, like, your house.” -Lumpy Space Princess, Adventure Time Billions of years ago, before the Universe contained clusters, galaxies, stars or even neutral atoms, everything was uniform. Almost perfectly uniform, where the densest regions weren’t even 0.01% denser than average.…

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.” -J.K. Rowling As cold as it gets outside over the coming months, particularly with the effect of a displaced polar vortex…

“Bringing an asteroid back to Earth? What’s that have to do with space exploration? If we were moving outward from there, and an asteroid is a good stopping point, then fine. But now it’s turned into a whole planetary defense exercise at the cost of our outward exploration.” -Buzz Aldrin Between recent statements from NASA,…