Archives for July, 2016

“For me the best answer is not in words but in measurements.” -Elena Aprile If you want to find dark matter directly, your best hope is to gather a tremendous number of nucleons for it to interact with, wait an incredibly long period of time, and devise a device surrounding it capable of detecting even…

“I knew I was alone in a way that no earthling has ever been before.” -Michael Collins Less than a decade after the first human was launched into space, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins journeyed from the Earth to the Moon. For the first time, human beings descended down to the lunar…

“This suggests a robust biological response. These analyses support the interpretation that the Viking LR experiment did detect extant microbial life on Mars.” -Bianciardi, Miller, Straat and Levin On July 20, 1976, the Viking 1 lander touched down onto the Martian surface, followed just a few weeks later by Viking 2. On board both landers…

“…innumerable stars, thousands of double and multiple systems, clusters in one blaze with their tens of thousands of stars, and the nebulae amazing us by the strangeness of their forms and the incomprehensibility of their nature, till at last, from the limit of our senses, even these thin and airy phantoms vanish in the distance.”…

“We called the new quark the “charmed quark” because we were pleased, and fascinated by the symmetry it brought to the subnuclear world. “Charm” also means a “a magical device to avert evil,” and in 1970 it was realized that the old three quark theory ran into very serious problems.” -Sheldon Glashow It’s been another…

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal…

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” –Marcus Aurelius Let there be light! You’d think that would be enough: that you form stars in the Universe, you see those stars in the Universe, and that tells you about what’s out there. If only it were that simple.…

“Go, then. There are other worlds than these.” -Stephen King We think of the Universe as all there ever is, was or will be. But, in fact, there’s a limit to the most distant galaxies, stars, matter and radiation we can see. The hot Big Bang occurred a finite amount of time ago, and hence…

“If you’re puzzled by what dark energy is, you’re in good company.” -Saul Perlmutter The accelerated expansion of our Universe was one of the biggest surprise discoveries of all-time, and something that still lacks a good physical explanation. While many models of dark energy exist, it remains a completely phenomenological study: everything appears consistent with…

“There have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It’s a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that’s still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting.” -Mike Brown, on the possibility of Planet Nine When most people think of the Kuiper belt, they think…