Physics

Category archives for Physics

“It’s becoming clear that in a sense the cosmos provides the only laboratory where sufficiently extreme conditions are ever achieved to test new ideas on particle physics. The energies in the Big Bang were far higher than we can ever achieve on Earth. So by looking at evidence for the Big Bang, and by studying…

“The hurricane flooded me out of a lot of memorabilia, but it can’t flood out the memories.” -Tom Dempsey As I write this, the gulf coast is currently being battered by Hurricane Harvey, with a few locations already having accumulated more than three feet of rainfall. This storm shows no signs of letting up anytime…

“Imagination makes us aware of limitless possibilities. How many of us haven’t pondered the concept of infinity or imagined the possibility of time travel? In one of her poems, Emily Bronte likens imagination to a constant companion, but I prefer to think of it as a built-in entertainment system.” -Alexandra Adornetto The dream of futuristic…

“North Korea has taught a great lesson to all the countries in the world, especially the rogue countries of dictatorships or whatever: if you don’t want to be invaded by America, get some nuclear weapons.” -Michael Moore Last year, North Korea claimed to have obtained the technology to create a nuclear fusion bomb: the most…

“Presently thought to be the most powerful explosions in nature… their sources have only recently been localized by observations of associated afterglows in X-rays, visible light, and radio waves, delayed in that order.” -Richard Matzner, on the dictionary entry for Gamma Ray Burst It seems like an eternity ago, but it’s been under two years…

“Maybe that is our mistake: maybe there are no particle positions and velocities, but only waves. It is just that we try to fit the waves to our preconceived ideas of positions and velocities. The resulting mismatch is the cause of the apparent unpredictability.” -Stephen Hawking So, you’ve got a black hole in the Universe,…

“We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.” -R. D. Laing This coming Monday, tens of millions of people will gather to watch the total solar eclipse that will go coast-to-coast across the continental United States. Total…

“Even though the reason for taking the photographs was science, the result shows the enormous beauty of nature.” -Miloslav Druckmuller, eclipse photographer During those moments of totality, the Sun is eclipsed by a new Moon, with the latter’s shadow falling onto Earth. From within that shadow, the Sun’s disk is blocked entirely, revealing a slew…

“In the future, maybe quantum mechanics will teach us something equally chilling about exactly how we exist from moment to moment of what we like to think of as time.” -Richard K. Morgan It’s absolutely true that, in quantum mechanics, there are certain pairs of properties that we simply can’t measure simultaneously. Measure the position…

“Honestly, if you’re given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don’t say ‘what kind of tea?” -Neil Gaiman Enjoying the Perseid meteor shower this year, as perhaps you do every August? As you look up, the great cosmic show might have a lot more to offer than mere streaks of light, due to cometary…