Physics

Category archives for Physics

“On a cosmic scale, our life is insignificant, yet this brief period when we appear in the world is the time in which all meaningful questions arise.” –Paul Ricoeur What you see is what you get, except when it isn’t. We’re all familiar with Hubble’s law, or the notion that the Universe is expanding, and…

Supertides are real!

“But less intelligible still was the flood that was caused by forty days’ rain, and forty nights’. For here on the moors there were some years when it rained for two hundred days and two hundred nights, almost without fairing; but there was never any Flood.” –Halldór Laxness Once every 18 years, a French Abbey…

“There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.” “And your defect is a propensity to hate everybody.” “And yours… is wilfully to misunderstand them.” –Jane Austen Every time we go to higher and higher energies in our particle accelerators,…

“The sun is a miasma Of incandescent plasma The sun’s not simply made out of gas No, no, no The sun is a quagmire It’s not made of fire Forget what you’ve been told in the past” –They Might Be Giants It’s such a simple fact — that the Sun is made out of hydrogen…

Imagine that you’ve got that absolutely weightless feeling, the kind you get when you lose your balance and hurtle towards the ground. Are you on a roller coaster? Did you fall out of an airplane? Or are you in an accelerating elevator? According to Einstein’s Equivalence Principle, there’s really no way for you to tell,…

The Sun’s Littlest Secret (Synopsis)

“Every time we get slapped down, we can say, ‘Thank you, Mother Nature,’ because it means we’re about to learn something important.” –John Bahcall And what’s possibly more important than learning how the Sun works? For nearly all of human history — well into the 20th century — we really didn’t know. Could it have…

“Science enhances the moral value of life, because it furthers a love of truth and reverence — love of truth displaying itself in the constant endeavor to arrive at a more exact knowledge of the world of mind and matter around us, and reverence, because every advance in knowledge brings us face to face with the mystery…

Death is not the end (Synopsis)

“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.” –J.R.R. Tolkien No matter how well we care for our bodies, they eventually wear down, give out, and…

Numbers Game (Synopsis)

No one science can stand wholly on its own. For inquiry about the Universe to give a correct, complete picture, it requires that we bring in a whole slew of evidence, often from tangentially related fields. The interplay between three fields in particular — astronomy, physics, and math (not a science, but the tool used…

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…