Physics

Category archives for Physics

“All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work.”  -Thomas J. Watson You’ll frequently hear people say, “the science is settled.” Scientifically speaking,…

What is Color? (Synopsis)

“You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.” -Alan Alda Alan Alda recently challenged scientists to explain this simple question to 11-year-olds in less than 300 words. Could you do it?…

“If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.” -Lee Trevino It’s one of the most beautiful (and terrifying) sights in the world. But what causes it? If the Earth is about to spew volcanic ash, smoke,…

“If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens… Where Is Everybody?” -Stephen Webb If stars, planets, and biological processes are so common in the Universe, then where is everyone? Here on Earth, we take for granted how easy it was for life to form. Our world has been around for some four-and-a-half billion years, and the oldest…

Ask Ethan #24: Cheating Time and Space

“For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.” -Lao Tzu You know the deal: it’s the end of the week, so it’s time for another Ask Ethan! You’ve continued to send in your questions-and-suggestions, much to my delight, and I’m pleased to tell you that this week’s question…

The world’s first suspended traffic circle… for bicycles! “I would like to propose slow cycling. Commute by bike. At a stroke, you remove the need for and absurd cost of public transport. Cycling is almost completely free. There is no longer any need for the gym as you get fit by cycling. And you can…

Ask Ethan #21: Why does life exist?

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” -Robert Frost Well, here we are, at the end of the week, and you know what that means: another Ask Ethan column! This week, I’ve been asked about the same thing by many different people, so I’ll credit it to Patrick E. and…

“I had seen birth and death but had thought they were different.” -T. S. Eliot Time passes, and things grow; that’s the way of the world, so it seems. 2013 was no exception, and as Joshua Radin (featuring Patty Griffin) would sing, You Got Growin Up To Do. Well, the world grew again this year,…

“Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark? Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.” -National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Ahh, Christmas. It’s easy to forget how much the invention of the light bulb in 1879 reduced the number of tree fires in people’s homes. It was a mere three years later that people began…

Ask Ethan #16: What are Variable Stars?

“To be is to be the value of a variable.” -Willard Van Orman Quine It’s the end of the week once again, and the very end of our Year In Space 2014 Wall Calendar giveaway! So for this week’s Ask Ethan column, after dipping into our question/suggestion box, I’m very pleased to let Vera from…