Physics

Category archives for Physics

“The very closest stars would require many years to visit, even traveling at the speed of light, which is impossible according to Einstein’s theory of relativity. Today’s fastest spaceships would require 200,000 years to travel to Alpha Centauri, our closest bright star. The energy required to send a hundred colonists to another star, as Frank…

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” –Rabindranath Tagore You can’t answer a hypothetical question for certain, at least in science, without doing the experiment for yourself. Here on Earth, liquid water is plentiful; our planet has the stable temperatures and pressures that water needs to exist in its liquid…

“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…

“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…

“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…

How the Universe changed in 2016 (Synopsis)

“We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.” -W. Somerset Maugham After 13.8 billion years have gone by, you might not think that a year makes much of a difference. A year to the…

“It is worthy of notice that in Table VI the brighter variables have the longer periods. It is also noticeable that those having the longest periods appear to be as regular in their variations as those which pass through their changes in a day or two.” -Henrietta Leavitt The past year has held a slew…