Archives for November, 2010

“It is all a matter of time scale. An event that would be unthinkable in a hundred years may be inevitable in a hundred million.” -Carl Sagan There’s some speculation that NASA, later this week, might announce evidence for life on Saturn’s moon Titan. I’m not going to comment on the speculation, but it’s worth…

Weekend Diversion: Science Rock Stars

“Sounds of laughter shades of life Are ringing through my open ears Exciting and inviting me Limitless undying love which Shines around me like a million suns It calls me on and on across the Universe” -The Beatles Now that you’ve all given thanks for all the great things you’ve got, it’s time to enjoy…

An Astrophysicist Gives Thanks

“The Sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.” -Galileo So tomorrow is American Thanksgiving, and it’s one of our traditions that I’m most happy to take part in. So without any ado,…

“Surely something is wanting in our conception of the universe. We know positive and negative electricity, north and south magnetism, and why not some extra terrestrial matter related to terrestrial matter, as the source is to the sink. … Worlds may have formed of this stuff, with element and compounds possessing identical properties with out…

“Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.” -Ambrose Bierce The most common emails I get about this blog are questions about physics, astronomy, and some very speculative theories. But second most common are questions asking where I get my pictures. Well, except in rare instances, I don’t make them myself. Should…

Fare thee well, Allan Sandage

“I came at exactly the right time… I was 26 years old, and all the monks and priests down here were ready to retire. So I overlapped enough that I got to know them all.” -Allan Sandage As many of you have heard, Allan Sandage passed away last Saturday. Let me tell you a little…

Hey Dark Matter, Where Are You?!

“I’ve been noticing gravity since I was very young.” -Cameron Diaz Yesterday, I told you about one of the simplest arguments for dark matter. We look out at the fluctuations in the microwave background on all the different angular scales we can measure — from about 0.2 degrees all the way up to the whole…

The Simplest Argument For Dark Matter

“What makes the universe so hard to comprehend is that there’s nothing to compare it with.” -Anonymous If I were brand new to theoretical cosmology, I might be skeptical of a whole bunch of “dark” things that I’d heard of. “Dark matter?” “Dark energy?” Come on; you’ve got to be kidding me! You’re telling me…

Monday Madness: WE WON!

“Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.” -Malcolm Forbes It is official; you voted and the world has listened. I am proud to welcome you to the best physics blog in the world! We not only won physics.org‘s best blog, we were also the people’s choice award winner! Thanks to the judges, thanks to all…

Weekend Diversion: Save The Words!

“No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.” -Henry Brooks Adams There are plenty of advocates out there for letting go of the great, descriptive, but outdated words of our language. And I simply can’t get on board with that. As…