Physics

Category archives for Physics

“When a star goes supernova, the explosion emits enough light to overshadow an entire solar system, even a galaxy. Such explosions can set off the creation of new stars.” -Todd Nelsen In February of 1987, the first light from a supernova some 168,000 light years away was observed on Earth. It became the closest supernova…

“When Benjamin Franklin inveted the lightning rod, the clergy, both in England and America, with enthusiastic support of George III, condemned it as an impious attempt to defeat the will of God.” -Bertrand Russell You’ll often hear charges that science has become too politicized, but it’s the other way around. Science is our best way…

“I really didn’t have to work, shall we say, with Star Trek. It was a natural. When I opened my mouth, there was Scotty. It’s like I tell people what you see in Scotty is 99% James Doohan and 1% accent.” -James Doohan So, your friend on the USS Enterprise beamed you aboard, took you…

“It is the function of science to discover the existence of a general reign of order in nature and to find the causes governing this order. And this refers in equal measure to the relations of man – social and political – and to the entire universe as a whole.” -Dmitri Mendeleev When the Universe…

“I’ve heard it said that God made all men, but Samuel Colt made all men equal. We’d see what Mr. Colt could do for a woman.” ― Cherie Priest Bullets are incredibly dangerous when fired from a gun, but that’s true even when they’re fired up in the air, not at a target directly. Falling,…

“By preventing dangerous asteroid strikes, we can save millions of people, or even our entire species. And, as human beings, we can take responsibility for preserving this amazing evolutionary experiment of which we and all life on Earth are a part.” -Rusty Schweickart Asteroid strikes are among the most destructive natural disasters to ever impact…

“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” -Werner Heisenberg Empty space, according to quantum mechanics, isn’t exactly empty. Take away all the matter, radiation and anything else you can have populating your space, and you’ll still have some amount of energy in there: the zero-point energy of…

Ask Ethan: What Is Spacetime? (Synopsis)

“‘Space-time’ – that hideous hybrid whose very hyphen looks phoney.” -Vladimir Nabokov Sure, you know what space and time are. If you heard of Einstein and relativity, you might know that they’re not absolute quantities, but that how you experience distances and the ticking of clocks is dependent on your motion through the Universe. But…

“The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.” -G. K. Chesterton Worried about the environment of Earth today? Here’s a sobering fact: we already know how it’s all going to end. Not just when the next ice age will come or the next supervolcano will blow, but on cosmic scales…

“Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.” -Stephen Hawking Throw a book into a black hole, and the information must somehow wind up inside. Same goes for a star, a planet, or even a single proton: that information must be maintained. But allow enough time to pass, and quantum theory…