Physics

Category archives for Physics

“The whole edifice of modern physics is built up on the fundamental hypothesis of the atomic or molecular constitution of matter.” -C. V. Raman As far as humans have figured out, there are four fundamental forces in the Universe: the three of the Standard Model (electromagnetism, the weak and strong nuclear forces) and General Relativity,…

“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” -Albert Einstein When we first began looking for exoplanets, we were expecting that other solar systems would be like ours: with inner, small, rocky worlds and outer, large gas giants. What we…

“Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe.” -Frederick S. Perls, quoting Einstein The Universe we can see and access is certainly a big place. We see that it goes on for 46 billion light years in all directions, full of stars, galaxies, matter…

“The Universe is very, very big. It also loves a paradox. For example, it has some extremely strict rules. Rule number one: Nothing lasts forever. Not you or your family or your house or your planet or the sun. It is an absolute rule. Therefore when someone says that their love will never die, it…

“Cosmology is the study of the origin, evolution, and fate of objects in the observable universe. […] The key to the birth and evolution of such objects lies in the primordial ripples observed through light shining through from the early universe.” -Wayne Hu The Big Bang’s leftover glow — the cosmic microwave background (CMB) — is…

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.” -J. K. Galbraith Last month, tensions between dark matter simulations and galactic rotation observations reached a new high. Despite all the successes of dark matter on the largest scales —…

“Which is more likely? That the universe was designed just for us, or that we see the universe as having been designed just for us?” -Michael Shermer One of the problems with the Standard Model of particle physics is known as the hierarchy problem. If you were to calculate the masses of the fundamental particles…

“Do I believe, for example, that by using magic I could fly? No. How would you get around gravity? Impossible. Do I believe that I might be able to project my consciousness into a very, very vivid simulation of flying? Yeah. Yes, I’ve done that. Yes, that works.” -Alan Moore If you possessed a computer…

“Thus is our treaty written; thus is agreement made. Thought is the arrow of time; memory never fades. What was asked is given; the price is paid.” -Robert Jordan Why does time flow forwards and not backwards, in 100% of cases, if the laws of physics are completely time-symmetric? From Newton’s laws to Einstein’s relativity,…

“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 idea of relativity, that there’s no “absolute rest frame” where the laws of physics are…