Physics

Category archives for Physics

A Real Tractor Beam

In this weeks’ news, Weizmann Institute scientists and researchers in Australia have invented a sort of tractor beam. In essence, a tractor beam is a wave that propagates outwards but pulls objects toward its point of origin, rather than pushing them out. Like the science fiction versions, such “beams” might be designed in the future…

Here are some more unsung heroes of research: scanners (the human kind). In the 1950s, Donald Glaser invented the bubble chamber – a way to track infinitesimally small quantum particles as they winked in and out of existence. The idea – which may or may not have been tested in beer – was to create…

Today’s new articles involve flow: the flow of positrons through the Universe and the flow of particles around the tiny cilia of corals. They involve beauty and mystery, as well. The particle flow, imaged in brilliant colors, won first place in the photography category of the 2013 Science/National Science Foundation International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.…

Today’s guest post is by Weizmann Institute physicist, Prof. Micha Berkooz. Berkooz, a string theorist, recently organized a conference at the Institute on “Black Holes and Quantum Information Theory.” We asked him about Hawking’s recent proposal, reported in Nature under the headline:”There are no black holes.”   Celebrated theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has opened a…

Breaking the Law

A recent paper by Weizmann Institute scientists suggests that we might be able to break the third law of thermodynamics. This is how that law was originally formulated in 1908 by Walther Nernst: “It is impossible for any procedure to lead to the isotherm T = 0 in a finite number of steps,” (source: Wikipedia).…

Science Haiku 3×3

More science-themed haikus. I seem to keep writing them because we tend to put out three “mini press releases” at a time (a relic of the days when they were printed on two sides of a fold-up page and mailed). So I could pick just one to blog about, or I could try to fit…

Physical Benefits

Of the four new articles online on our website, three happen, purely by accident, to be on physics research. The three are very different, and yet each is an illustration of the ways that basic physics research changes our world – in small and large, practical and enlightening ways. And each is situated at a…

Touching on Physics

  What happens when a former physics-student-turned-documentary-director is invited to create a video clip for the first ever physics reunion? The answer is below. You may not learn anything new about physics by watching it, but you will note that Weizmann President Prof. Daniel Zajfman and VP Prof. Israel Bar-Joseph are featured, along with others.…

At the beginning of the year, we published an interview with Dr. Zohar Komargodski on this blog. Apparently we were not the only ones impressed by Komargodski’s accomplishments: The Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation has announced that he will be one of three recipients of a New Horizons in Physics Prize. This prize is given to…

Is anyone old enough to remember the ad in which two people walking down the street while snacking accidently bump into each other and discover peanut butter on a chocolate bar? Well, it turns out that when physics students run into each other on the street, the result is a quasicrystal with topological properties. The…