Physics

Category archives for Physics

Weekend Diversion: Bubbles on Ice (Synopsis)

“The only frozen heart around here is yours.” -Anna, to Hans, from Frozen When something’s difficult, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s beautiful. Have a listen to Eilen Jewell‘s haunting and memorable song, Fourth Degree. Next, before you curse the bitter cold yet again, particularly those of you suffering from far below average temperatures, consider…

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night.” -Edna St. Vincent Millay It’s the ultimate dream of many children with time on their hands and their first leisurely attempt at digging: to go clear through the…

“What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.” -Theodore Roethke In math, if you prove a theorem, that theorem is as good as gold. But in physics, a theorem may or may not be 100% valid. It depends, for example, on whether your “proof” describes all the relevant phenomena at play in your system.…

“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.” -Aleister Crowley Our Universe is the way it is for two reasons: the initial conditions that…

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.” -Stephen King, The Dark Tower Ever since quantum mechanics first came along, we’ve recognized how tenuous our perception of reality is, and how — in many ways — what we perceive is just a very small subset of what’s going on at the quantum level in our…

The Big Bang by Balloon (Synopsis)

If you want to map the entire sky — whether you’re looking in the visible, ultraviolet, infrared or microwave, your best bet is to go to space. Only high above the Earth’s atmosphere can you map out the entire sky, with your vision unobscured by anything terrestrial. But that costs hundreds of millions of dollars…

“If I had to choose a superhero to be, I would pick Superman. He’s everything that I’m not.” -Stephen Hawking But did you ever stop to imagine that one of those things that Superman would be is the greatest home run hitter of all time? Have a listen to Iron & Wine‘s song, Waitin’ For A…

“And you may find yourself in another part of the world. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife. And you may ask yourself, ‘Well, how did I get here?’” -Talking Heads Well, imagine it’s happened: an apocalypse,…

Have you ever thought about what “nothing” truly is? We used to think about it in terms of simply removing all the particles from a given region of space, which is a pretty intuitive definition of nothing. But quantum physics is notorious for defying our intuition. When we take a look at this “empty” space,…

The status of the Universe: 2015 (Synopsis)

“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” -James A. Baldwin We’ve come a long way since we first started watching the night skies. Even just a century ago, we thought our Universe was governed by Newtonian gravity and consisted only of our Milky Way and the stars inside. In the past…