Physics

Category archives for Physics

“When I was in high school, I was certain that being an astronaut was my goal. It was a very important time — Sally Ride was making her first flight into space and she had a real impact on me. Those ‘firsts’ kind of stick in your head and really become inspirations for you.” Karen Nyberg,…

“You’ve got to learn to let go.” -Matt Kowalski, Gravity Objects in motion remain in constant motion unless acted upon by an outside force. That’s Newton’s 1st law of motion, and that’s why you’d expect an orbiting satellite and two astronauts orbiting with it to have absolutely no relative forces. Yet if you watched the movie…

“The slow philosophy is not about doing everything in tortoise mode. It’s less about the speed and more about investing the right amount of time and attention in the problem so you solve it.” –Carl Honore Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity tell us that there’s no Universal, preferred frame of reference. But that…

“Nobility, without virtue, is a fine setting without a gem.” -Jane Porter Since ancient times, gems were believed to bestow various traits and good fortunes upon those two whom they were gifted. In more recent times, we’ve associated gems with the time of the year someone was born, assigning each individual month a birthstone associated…

“I’m a fan of supersymmetry, largely because it seems to be the only route by which gravity can be brought into the scheme. It’s probably not even enough, but it’s a way forward to get gravity involved. If you have supersymmetry, then there are more of these particles. That would be my favourite outcome.” -Peter…

“In fact, the mere act of opening the box will determine the state of the cat, although in this case there were three determinate states the cat could be in: these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious.” -Terry Pratchett Quantum mechanics has been described as the spookiest of all the sciences, since it’s by far the most…

John Oliver: So, roughly speaking, what are the chances that the world is going to be destroyed? One-in-a-million? One-in-a-billion? Walter Wagner: Well, the best we can say right now is a one-in-two chance. John: 50-50? Walter: Yeah, 50-50… It’s a chance, it’s a 50-50 chance. John: You come back to this 50-50 thing, what is…

“If you are not completely confused by quantum mechanics, you do not understand it.” -John Wheeler Now that LIGO has detected gravitational waves directly, it’s time to examine all the different sources that they come from, and what they can teach us about the Universe. While accelerating masses in strong gravitational fields — black holes,…

“Eight solid light-years of lead…is the thickness of that metal in which you would need to encase yourself if you wanted to keep from being touched by neutrinos.” -Michael Chabon When it comes to dark matter, the most commonly considered candidates are WIMPs, or Weakly-Interacting Massive Particles. But with the failure of the LHC to…

“Whenever I gaze up at the moon, I feel like I’m on a time machine. I am back to that precious pinpoint of time, standing on the foreboding — yet beautiful — Sea of Tranquility. I could see our shining blue planet Earth poised in the darkness of space.” –Buzz Aldrin Seen from afar, Earth is often described as…