Physics

Category archives for Physics

Ask Ethan #8: The Comet of the Century?

“I have just gone over my comet computations again, and it is humiliating to perceive how very little more I know than I did seven years ago when I first did this kind of work.” -Maria Mitchell Well, it’s getting close to the end of October, the Moon is waning towards its new phase, and…

An Open Letter to all Men in Science

“‎Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” -John Stuart Mill No one becomes a master overnight, and practically no one does it without the outside help and support of not just a mentor, but of a number of peers, advisors and other allies along the…

Ask Ethan #7: How to End the World

“If you are writing any book about the end of the world, what you are really writing about is what’s worth saving about it.” -Justin Cronin Well, it’s Friday again, and that means it’s time to dip into the question/suggestion box, and see what you’ve come up with for me. This week’s Ask Ethan comes…

The Unlikely King of the Kuiper Belt

“It is not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow, that the lover of knowledge is reluctant to step into its waters.” -Friedrich Nietzsche Although the innermost planets, from Mercury through Saturn, were known since ancient times, it’s only since the advent of the telescope that we’ve discovered what really lives in our Solar…

“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” -Patrick Henry It’s not a good idea to showcase a galaxy for you every Messier Monday, considering that even a crescent Moon can render most of them completely unobservable. Now that the autumnal equinox has passed, however,…

Weekend Diversion: The Physics of Flamingos

“Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he’s carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he’s carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you’re drunk.” -Jack Handy The diversity of the world’s animals is one of the most…

Ask Ethan #5: The Weak Force

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” -Marcus Aurelius Every one of us does our best to come up with an accurate picture…

Scientific Paradoxes are Omens of Advance

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” -Charles Darwin There are problems with science today, no doubt. With all the knowledge we’ve accumulated about the Universe, from…

Are Parallel Universes Real?

Farnsworth: “There is it. The edge of the Universe!” Fry: “Far out. So there’s an infinite number of parallel Universes?” Farnsworth: “No, just the two.” Fry: “Oh, well, I’m sure that’s enough.” Bender: “I’m sick of parallel Bender lording his cowboy hat over me!” -Futurama Our existence here in this Universe is something that we…

The Little Bit of Dark Matter We Know

“A cosmic mystery of immense proportions, once seemingly on the verge of solution, has deepened and left astronomers and astrophysicists more baffled than ever. The crux … is that the vast majority of the mass of the universe seems to be missing.” -William J. Broad It was in the 1930s, looking at dense clusters of…