Uncategorized

Category archives for Uncategorized

When you think of thermodynamics, and how energy, temperature, heat and entropy are all related in a system full of particles so numerous you could never hope to count them all in a thousand lifetimes, there are only a few names that stand out as titans in the field. Boltzmann and Ehrenfest are perhaps two…

From Heaven to Earth (Synopsis)

If you want to know where you are on Earth, you use a GPS, you use other terrestrial landmarks to help determine your location, or you use some well-known objects in the sky. This will get you latitude easily, but how about longitude? While there are some tricky things you can do to help yourself…

“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.” -Charles Dickens Just… go. I can’t even do it justice in a synopsis, or with 600 pixel image widths. This was the original. Go…

“A physicist is just an atom’s way of looking at itself.” -Niels Bohr There’s a wonderful story that the Universe tells us about itself: the story of where everything in it came from, and how it came to be this way. From the perspective of a human being, there’s possibly no component of that as…

Messier Monday: The Ultimate Trip (Synopsis)

“If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn. Oh, the most wonderful stuff.” -Dr. Seuss It’s been more than two years in the making; we started Messier Monday way back in October of 2012, and after 110 consecutive weeks, we finally arrived at our final entry last week. What better…

Dark Matter and the Origin of Life (Synopsis)

When you think of the origin of life, you probably think about the atoms coming together to make molecules, the molecules coming together to make self-replicating, information-encoded strands, and how all that took place here on Earth. But you might want to consider a different point of view! Instead, try thinking about the fact that,…

Throwback Thursday: Quantum Reality (Synopsis)

“I asked the Zebra, are you black with white stripes? Or white with black stripes? And the zebra asked me, Are you good with bad habits? Or are you bad with good habits? Are you noisy with quiet times? Or are you quiet with noisy times? Are you happy with some sad days? Or are…

“It’s a brilliant surface in that sunlight. The horizon seems quite close to you because the curvature is so much more pronounced than here on earth. It’s an interesting place to be. I recommend it.” -Neil Armstrong Whether it’s a job, a college/University, a scholarship or a competitive program, we’ve all had occasions where we’ve…

“All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.” -Theophrastus Phillipus Auroleus Bombastus von Hohenheim Some scientific topics are so far outside my area of expertise that I need to bring in outside help to do it justice. Today, we’re lucky enough to have a guest…

“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 Now that the Higgs has been discovered, the Standard Model is complete. But are there any other new particles? If asymptotic safety is right — and it’s looking like the…