Scientific papers

Category archives for Scientific papers

So much more than an Atom Smasher

“Forget it. I didn’t have that thing inside me where I wanted to smash against somebody and watch them break. I was too sensitive for that and disliked being that sensitive.” -Josh Brolin How do you figure out what something is made of? You take it apart — cracking it open if necessary — and…

“…this consensus has been brought about, not by shifts in philosophical preference or by the influence of astrophysical mandarins, but by the pressure of empirical data.” -Steven Weinberg One of the most fundamental questions we could ever ask about all of existence is “What makes up the Universe?” I don’t mean “stars and galaxies,” like…

The Halloween Horror of the Dark Universe!

“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 Despite the wondrous, luminous sights of the night sky, we’ve…

The Secret to Writing Your Dissertation

“I spent every night until four in the morning on my dissertation, until I came to the point when I could not write another word, not even the next letter. I went to bed. Eight o’clock the next morning I was up writing again.” -Abraham Pais, physicist You’ve been in graduate school for many years…

Have we reached the end of Particle Physics?

“The particle and the planet are subject to the same laws and what is learned of one will be known of the other.” -James Smithson The entirety of the known Universe — from the smallest constituents of the atoms to the largest superclusters of galaxies — have more in common than you might think. Although…

My First Trip To A Glacier May Be My Last

“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed Everybody knows that the war is over Everybody knows the good guys lost Everybody knows the fight was fixed The poor stay poor, the rich get rich That’s how it goes; everybody knows.” -Leonard Cohen As you know, last week I took my…

A Super-Sized Sister Solar System!

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” -Neil Armstrong Here on our little wet rock in our Solar System, we…

“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?” -Stephen Hawking After a long search spanning more than my entire lifetime (so far), the Higgs boson has finally been…

The Fat Lady Sings for OPERA

“The saying ‘It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings’ is erroneous, because women who are fat are never listened to.” -Margaret Cho Last year, the OPERA collaboration made worldwide headlines when they announced the results of a remarkable experiment. From over 730 kilometers away, in another country, neutrinos were created by one of the…

Are You Being Honest With Yourself?

“Be careful. People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them new things. New things…well, new things aren’t what they expect. They like to know that, say, a dog will bite a man. That is what dogs do. They don’t want to know that man bites…