Physics

Tag archives for Physics

“It’s Dr. Evil, I didn’t spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called “mister,” thank you very much.” -Dr. Evil, from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Graduate school is hard work, and Ph.D. programs in Physics and Astronomy are some of the most demanding and competitive ones out there. It’s well-known that…

The Astrophysicist’s Alphabet

“When I was having that alphabet soup, I never thought that it would pay off.” -Vanna White Ever want an A-to-Z illustrated alphabet of astrophysics? Turns out that — other than writing your own via Galaxy Zoo — it doesn’t yet exist. So I thought it would be delightful to make one for you… right…

“It took less than an hour to make the atoms, a few hundred million years to make the stars and planets, but five billion years to make man!” -George Gamow Earlier today, a video (from last month) was released where one of the members of the US House of Representative — a member who sits…

Behind the Galaxy’s Most Famous Nebula

“The self-same atoms which, chaotically dispersed, made the nebula, now, jammed and temporarily caught in peculiar positions, form our brains; and the ‘evolution’ of brains, if understood, would be simply the account of how the atoms came to be so caught and jammed.” -William James Up in the heavens, there are planets, stars, and galaxies…

“Science enhances the moral value of life, because it furthers a love of truth and reverence—love of truth displaying itself in the constant endeavor to arrive at a more exact knowledge of the world of mind and matter around us, and reverence, because every advance in knowledge brings us face to face with the mystery…

Weekend Diversion: The Physics of Happy Gilmore

“What a shot by Happy Gilmore! <aside> Who the hell is Happy Gilmore?” -Announcer, from Happy Gilmore As I prepare to write this, it occurs to me that some of you may not have seen the greatest* movie of all time, Happy Gilmore. The movie begins with a montage of Happy’s disastrous and violent childhood,…

“We knew that we had indeed done something that was very different and very exciting, but we still didn’t expect it to have something to do with physical reality.” -Gerald Guralnik, co-developer of the Higgs mechanism Might as well make this entire week “Higgs week” here on Starts With A Bang, given how important yesterday’s…

“This is evidently a discovery of a new particle. If anybody claims otherwise you can tell them they have lost connection with reality.” -Tommaso Dorigo You’ve probably heard the news by now: the Higgs boson — the last undiscovered fundamental particle of nature — has been found. Indeed the news reports just keep rolling in;…

“Give me a coin. <Takes Coin.> All right. Uh… heads, I win, tails, you lose. Right? <Flips coin.> Tails, you lose.” -Ralph Kramden All things being equal, you’re well aware that if you flipped a completely fair coin, you’d have a 50% chance of it landing on heads, and a 50% chance of landing on tails…

The Strong Force for Beginners

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way — things I had no words for.” -Georgia O’Keeffe When it comes to the Universe, it isn’t just the stuff that’s in it that’s important. It’s also how all that stuff interacts with itself and everything else. To…