Scientific papers

Category archives for Scientific papers

Big Bang Alternatives, anyone?

[The Big Bang] is an irrational process that cannot be described in scientific terms … [nor] challenged by an appeal to observation. –Fred Hoyle Contrary to popular public opinion, the Big Bang is one of the most sound, well-tested and verified scientific models of all time. It’s right up there with Evolution, General Relativity, and…

Is the Universe a Giant Hologram?

Note: I’m on vacation this week, so here’s one from the vault. This article first appeared on my old website, back in February of 2009. Some days the questions I get are easy, and some days I get questions from our longtime reader, Ben. This past week, there have been reports all over the news…

Is String Theory an Unphysical Pile of Garbage?

Before you ask yourself, “what kind of incendiary title is that,” let me put this in perspective. In 2001, I started graduate school at the University of Florida, and in 2002, I took one of the most difficult year-long courses a physics student can take: Quantum Field Theory. This was both the best and worst…

Magnetic Monopoles? Oh, dear.

Electric charges come in two types, positive and negative. Magnetic poles also come in two types, North and South. In both cases, like charges/poles repel, and opposites attract. The big difference? Electric charges can exist in isolation; you can have just a positive or negative charge by itself. Whereas in a magnet, you always need…

Weekend Diversion: Have a seat, CSI

New technology has led to breakthroughs in practically every aspect of our lives since the dawn of the industrial revolution. In nearly every case, it’s for the betterment, in some way, of society. (And yet, I like my music best when it’s acoustic, unprocessed, and barely produced at all.) Take a listen to Song for…

A Missing Link Found!

One of the greatest challenges in all of evolutionary science is to figure out which species evolved into which over time. From our perspective, we would love to know how humans came to be, who our ancestors were, and what simpler animals gave rise to us. Well, we don’t know this right now. We know…

How Massive is the Milky Way?

Those of you who are astronomy buffs (or Colbert Report fans) may have heard the news this past January that the Milky Way is just as massive as Andromeda. Colbert even did a special on his show about “America’s Galaxy.” Could this be wrong? Could we really be just about the same size? Well, an…

How “Quantum” is the Big Bang?

There is a very techincal paper this morning by Martin Bojowald that asks the question, How Quantum Is The Big Bang? Let me break it down for you. If you took a look at empty space and zoomed in on it, looking at spaces so small that they made a proton look like a basketball,…

Gravitational Waves: Inflation or not?

Nothing gets past you, does it? A scientific paper came out earlier this week, and I took a look at it, sighed, and Jamie asked me, “What?” And I said to her, “When I see bad science, it just makes me a little bit frustrated and sad.” Of course, I had no intention to write…

A Discovery of Gravitational Waves?

Two summers ago, I was in Les Houches, France, for a summer school that turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. Seriously, we’d wake up every day and this was the view from the school: Well, the University/Institution that ran the school sends periodic updates to me. And they linked…