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Keyword: physics

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  • What Is The Strongest Force In The Universe?

    04/27/2016 7:17:25 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 78 replies
    Forbes ^ | 26 Apr, 2016 | Ethan Siegel
    When it comes to the fundamental laws of nature, we can break everything down into four forces that are at the core of everything in the Universe: The strong nuclear force: the force responsible for holding atomic nuclei and individual protons and neutrons together. The electromagnetic force: the force that attracts and repels charged particles, binds atoms together into molecules and life, and causes electric current, among other things. The weak nuclear force: the force responsible for some types of radioactive decay and the transmutation of heavy, unstable fundamental particles into lighter ones. And gravity: the force that bind the...
  • Engineers develop micro-sized, liquid-metal particles for heat-free soldering

    04/25/2016 10:53:07 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 19 replies
    phys.org ^ | April 25, 2016 | Provided by: Iowa State University
    The vial contains liquid-metal particles suspended in ethanol. The particles were used to demonstrate heat-free soldering. Credit: Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University =========================================================================================================== Martin Thuo likes to look for new, affordable and clean ways to put science and technology to work in the world. His lab is dedicated to an idea called frugal innovation: "How do you do very high-level science or engineering with very little?" said Thuo, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State University and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory. "How can you solve a problem with the least amount...
  • Even Engineers Are Completely Baffled By This New Magnet Technology

    03/31/2016 10:29:32 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 119 replies
    damn.com ^ | 03-31-2016 | Staff
    When you think of magnets you probably imagine being a kid in class playing with them for the first time, figuring out that forces we can’t see have the ability to manipulate physical objects. We can make things affected by the magnetic waves, but not until recently have we been able to “program” them. A highly innovative company from Alabama have introduced to the world “Polymagnets,” and they’re incredible. They’re guaranteed to be one of the coolest things you see today!
  • Astrophysicists detect ultra-fast winds near supermassive black hole

    03/24/2016 12:44:16 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 22 replies
    phys.org ^ | March 21, 2016 | Provided by: York University
    Artist's illustration of turbulent winds of gas swirling around a black hole. Some of the gas is spiraling inward, but some is being blown away. Credit: NASA, and M. Weiss (Chandra X -ray Center) ============================================================================================================================================== New research led by astrophysicists at York University has revealed the fastest winds ever seen at ultraviolet wavelengths near a supermassive black hole. "We're talking wind speeds of 20 per cent the speed of light, which is more than 200 million kilometres an hour. That's equivalent to a category 77 hurricane," says Jesse Rogerson, who led the research as part of his PhD thesis in...
  • Classical physics in a spin

    03/10/2016 1:57:14 PM PST · by molewhacka · 18 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | March 10, 2016 | Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
    Simple "spin models" used to explain magnetism can precisely reproduce any possible phenomenon in classical, non-quantum physics, according to scientists at the MPQ and UCL. This is the first time such simple 'universal models' have been found to exist, showing that something analogous occurs in physics. The study, published this week Science, builds on pioneering work from the '80s which is at the interface between theoretical computer science and physics. Extremely simple computers are universal: they can in principle compute anything that can be computed. Spin systems are a very simplified, stripped-down model of the interactions between particles making up...
  • Are the Constants of Physics Constant?

    03/09/2016 6:07:00 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 56 replies
    Scientific American ^ | 7 Mar, 2016 | Venkat Srinivasan
    When Max Born addressed the South Indian Science Association in November 1935, it was a time of great uncertainty in his life. The Nazi Party had already suspended the renowned quantum mechanics physicist's position at the University of Gottingen in 1933. He had been invited to teach at Cambridge, but it was temporary. Then, the Party terminated his tenure at Gottingen in the summer of 1935. Born took up an offer to work with C. V. Raman and his students for six months at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. While there, he found that his family had lost...
  • US physicists discover new elementary particle

    03/03/2016 2:49:21 AM PST · by kitchen · 24 replies
    newKerala.com ^ | 03--03-2016
    New York, March 3 : A team of US researchers has detected a new form of elementary particle called the "four-flavoured" tetraquark that can affect scientists' understanding of "quark matter" -- the hot, dense material that existed moments after the Big Bang and may still exist in the super-dense interior of neutron stars. For most of the history of quarks, it's seemed that all particles were made of either a quark and an antiquark or three quarks, "This new particle is unique -- a strange, charged beauty. It's the birth of a new paradigm. Particles made of four quarks --...
  • The number that fascinates physicists above all others

    02/20/2016 2:09:29 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 67 replies
    Cosmos Magazine ^ | Paul Davies
    "God is a pure mathematician!" declared British astronomer Sir James Jeans. The physical Universe does seem to be organised around elegant mathematical relationships. And one number above all others has exercised an enduring fascination for physicists: 137.03599913. Let me explain. When scientists measure any quantity they must specify the units being used. The speed of light, for example, is either 186,000 or 300,000 depending on whether it is expressed as miles per second or kilometres per second. Likewise your weight might be 150 or 68 according to whether you are measuring in pounds or kilograms. Without knowing the units being...
  • Announcement Thursday on Einstein's gravitational waves

    02/09/2016 12:29:36 AM PST · by WhiskeyX · 6 replies
    phys.org ^ | February 8, 2016 | AFP
    Scientists are set to make a major announcement Thursday on efforts to pinpoint the existence of gravitational waves, or ripples of space and time that transport energy across the universe. The waves themselves have never before been directly measured, though Albert Einstein said a century ago they were out there, according to his theory of general relativity. They are believed to form around massive objects like black holes and neutron stars, warping space and time. If gravitational waves have been spotted, it would mark one of the biggest scientific discoveries of our time, filling in a major gap in our...
  • How Physics Lost Its Fizz: Physics is now just recycling once-exciting ideas

    01/21/2016 12:52:39 PM PST · by Trumpinator · 57 replies
    blogs.scientificamerican.com ^ | January 18, 2016 | John Horgan
    How Physics Lost Its Fizz Physics, which decades ago seemed capable of answering the deepest mysteries of existence, is now just recycling once-exciting ideas By John Horgan on January 18, 2016 For a lapsed Catholic like me, physics represented a kind of scientific theology, an empirical, rational way of probing the mysteries of existence. Physicists were discerning resonances between the smallest and largest scales of reality and spinning out astonishing conjectures about our universe and even other universes. ...snip... Physicists' fantasies about parallel and virtual realms are not just stale. Increasingly, they strike me as escapist and even irresponsible, because...
  • Quantum Weirdness Now a Matter of Time

    01/19/2016 5:20:28 PM PST · by Reeses · 37 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | January 19, 2016 | George Musser
    Bizarre quantum bonds connect distinct moments in time, suggesting that quantum links - not space-time - constitute the fundamental structure of the universe. ... A field is a highly entangled system. Different parts of it are mutually correlated: A random fluctuation of the field in one place will be matched by a random fluctuation in another. ("Parts" here refers both to regions of space and to spans of time.) Even a perfect vacuum, which is defined as the absence of particles, will still have quantum fields. And these fields are always vibrating. Space looks empty because the vibrations cancel each...
  • Why String Theory Is Not Science

    12/24/2015 6:40:17 AM PST · by C19fan · 44 replies
    Forbes ^ | December 23, 2015 | Ethan Siegel
    There are a lot of different ways to define science, but perhaps one that everyone can agree on is that it’s a process by which: 1.knowledge about the natural world or a particular phenomenon is gathered, 2.a testable hypothesis is put forth concerning a natural, physical explanation for that phenomenon, 3.that hypothesis is then tested and either validated or falsified, 4.and an overarching framework — or scientific theory — is constructed to explain the hypothesis and that makes predictions about other phenomena, 5.which is then tested further, and either validated, in which case new phenomena to test are sought (back...
  • Physicists figure out how to retrieve information from a black hole

    12/23/2015 1:17:47 PM PST · by Red Badger · 51 replies
    sciencemag.org ^ | 23 December 2015 3:15 pm | By Adrian Cho
    Black holes earn their name because their gravity is so strong not even light can escape from them. Oddly, though, physicists have come up with a bit of theoretical sleight of hand to retrieve a speck of information that's been dropped into a black hole. The calculation touches on one of the biggest mysteries in physics: how all of the information trapped in a black hole leaks out as the black hole "evaporates." Many theorists think that must happen, but they don't know how. Unfortunately for them, the new scheme may do more to underscore the difficulty of the larger...
  • Black holes can grow to 50 billion times the mass of the Sun... and then stop

    12/21/2015 1:15:25 PM PST · by Red Badger · 32 replies
    www.ibtimes.co.uk ^ | December 21, 2015 12:30 GMT | By Matt Atherton
    Black holes can only grow if they have a gas disc to feed on NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr ======================================================================================================== Black holes can only grow to 50 billion times the mass of the Sun, before they lose their only source of 'food' and stop growing. Scientists discovered that black holes have a size limit, as when it gets so big, the gas which feeds the great void loses its energy, and falls into the unknown. A researcher from the University of Leicester analysed the disc of gas which surrounds supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies. He found that...
  • Potential New Particle Shows Up at the LHC, Thrilling and Confounding Physicists

    12/20/2015 12:36:01 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 28 replies
    Scientific American ^ | December 16, 2015 | Clara Moskowitz
    The gigantic accelerator in Europe has produced hints of an exotic particle that defies the known laws of physics. A little wiggle on a graph, representing just a handful of particles, has set the world of physics abuzz. Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland, the largest particle accelerator on Earth, reported yesterday that their machine might have produced a brand new particle not included in the established laws of particle physics known as the Standard Model. Their results, based on the data collected from April to November after the LHC began colliding protons at nearly twice the...
  • What Are Quantum Gravity's Alternatives To String Theory?

    12/19/2015 7:19:11 AM PST · by C19fan · 19 replies
    Fortune ^ | December 17, 2015 | Ethan Slegel
    The Universe we know and love — with Einstein’s General Relativity as our theory of gravity and quantum field theories of the other three forces — has a problem that we don’t often talk about: it’s incomplete, and we know it. Einstein’s theory on its own is just fine, describing how matter-and-energy relate to the curvature of space-and-time. Quantum field theories on their own are fine as well, describing how particles interact and experience forces. Normally, the quantum field theory calculations are done in flat space, where spacetime isn’t curved. We can do them in the curved space described by...
  • A Fight for the Soul of Science (physicists, philosophers debate boundaries of science)

    12/17/2015 10:01:58 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 28 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 12/16/15 | Natalie Wolchover
    A Fight for the Soul of Science String theory, the multiverse and other ideas of modern physics are potentially untestable. At a historic meeting in Munich, scientists and philosophers asked: should we trust them anyway? Laetitia Vancon for Quanta MagazinePhysicists George Ellis (center) and Joe Silk (right) at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich on Dec. 7. By: Natalie WolchoverDecember 16, 2015 Comments (17) Share this: facebooktwitterredditmail PDF Print Physicists typically think they “need philosophers and historians of science like birds need ornithologists,” the Nobel laureate David Gross told a roomful of philosophers, historians and physicists last week in Munich, Germany,...
  • Black holes have a size limit of 50 billion suns

    12/10/2015 8:44:24 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 27 replies
    New Scientist ^ | 10 Dec, 2015 | Joshua Sokol,
    Even gluttons can't eat forever. When black holes at the hearts of galaxies swell to 50 billion times the mass of our sun, they may lose the discs of gas they use as cosmic feedlots. Most galaxies host a supermassive black hole at their centre. Around this is a region of space where gas settles into an orbiting disc. The gas can lose energy and fall inwards, feeding the black hole. But these discs are known to be unstable and prone to crumbling into stars. Theoretically, a black hole could grow so big that it swallows up the stable part...
  • Death Star: NASA engineer reveals Empire could have re-purposed asteroid to create ultimate weapon

    12/10/2015 8:18:22 PM PST · by rickmichaels · 21 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | December 11, 2015 | Cheyenne MacDonald
    A NASA engineer has proposed a method to efficiently build a Death Star, and it's not the way the Empire would have done it. Instead of constructing the massive weapon from nothing, by shooting materials out from a planet, an asteroid could be used to provide all of the essential building blocks. The Empire is doing things the hard way; using an asteroid to build a Death Star would require much less work, as metals and organic compounds would already be there.
  • Spacecraft Launches to Test the Hunt for Ripples in the Fabric of Spacetime

    12/03/2015 5:00:08 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on December 3, 2015 | Nancy Atkinson
    The European Space Agency successfully launched the LISA Pathfinder, a spacecraft designed to demonstrate technology for observing gravitational waves in space. The launch took place at Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on a Vega rocket, at 4:04 GMT on December 3, (10:04 pm EST Dec 2), 2015. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of spacetime, which were predicted by Albert Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity. So far, because they are extremely tiny and incredibly faint, gravitational waves have proved to be elusive. The technology needed to detect them is highly sensitive and therefore has been difficult...
  • Lift-off for Lisa Pathfinder! Mission to detect Einstein's gravitational waves successfully [tr]

    12/03/2015 6:10:56 AM PST · by C19fan · 4 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | December 3, 2015 | Richard Gray
    A Vega rocket carrying the European Space Agency's Lisa Pathfinder has finally blasted into orbit after being delayed by a 'technical issue'. The rocket, with the probe mounted on top, lifted off earlier today in Kourou, French Guiana, to begin its mission to hunt for gravitational waves in space. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time, predicted a century ago by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, but until now have proved elusive. The rocket had been expected to launch on 2 December - exactly 100 years since Einstein published his theory - but 'technical issues' delayed it...
  • 'Material universe' yields surprising new particle

    11/25/2015 12:22:07 PM PST · by Red Badger · 14 replies
    phys.org ^ | November 25, 2015 | Provided by: Princeton University
    These tungsten ditelluride crystals behave as insulators for current applied in some directions and as conductors for current applied in other directions. The researchers found that this behavior is due to a newly theorized particle, the type-II Weyl fermion. Credit: Wudi Wang and N. Phuan Ong, Princeton University --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- An international team of researchers has predicted the existence of a new type of particle called the type-II Weyl fermion in metallic materials. When subjected to a magnetic field, the materials containing the particle act as insulators for current applied in some directions and as conductors for current applied in other...
  • The Most Mind-Bending Fact I Learned in Physics

    11/19/2015 10:56:52 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 64 replies
    Real Clear Science ^ | 11/2015 | Tom Hartsfield
    Physics is built out of philosophically fascinating ideas. Or, at least, ideas that fascinate us as physicists. We are often moved to reverentially proclaim the beauty of various concepts and theories. Sometimes this beauty makes sense to other people (we're made of star stuff) and other times it's opaque (Frobenius manifolds in psuedo-Euclidean spaces). I have my own personal favorite idea. It arises from the philosophically fantastic (but mathematically moderate) workings of Einstein's relativity theory. The theory of special relativity holds that time and space are not separate entities, each operating on its own; rather they are intimately and inextricably...
  • How To Go To Space (made simple) -- 3min YouTube video

    11/12/2015 1:53:00 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 6 replies
    YouTube ^ | 11/10/15
    Click Here
  • What If Everyone JUMPED At Once?

    10/29/2015 1:43:27 PM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 40 replies
    YouTube ^ | Aug 18, 2012 | Vsauce
    What If Everyone JUMPED At Once? Geek & Sundry
  • A particle purely made of nuclear force [Gluons]

    10/15/2015 1:38:34 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 24 replies
    phys.org ^ | October 13, 2015 | Provided by: Vienna University of Technology
    Nucleons consist (left) of quarks (matter particles) and gluons (force particles). A glueball (right) is made up purely of gluons. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scientists at TU Wien (Vienna) have calculated that the meson f0(1710) could be a very special particle – the long-sought-after glueball, a particle composed of pure force. For decades, scientists have been looking for so-called "glueballs". Now it seems they have been found at last. A glueball is an exotic particle, made up entirely of gluons – the "sticky" particles that keep nuclear particles together. Glueballs are unstable and can only be detected indirectly, by analysing their decay. This...
  • Two physicists earn Nobel Prize for discovering neutrino's chameleon-like powers

    10/06/2015 5:24:45 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 10/06/2015 | Amina Khan
    The 2015 Nobel Prize in physics has gone to two scientists for discovering the quirky, shape-shifting behavior of neutrinos — tiny ghostlike particles that fill the universe, traveling close to the speed of light. Takaaki Kajita of the Super-Kamiokande experiment at the University of Tokyo and Arthur B. McDonald of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory at Queen’s University in Canada were awarded the physics Nobel on Tuesday for their discovery that neutrinos oscillate — and thus, that they must have mass. Small as these particles are, the scientists' insight — that neutrinos are chameleon-like particles, switching identities in an instant —...
  • Near term Commercial Fusion Power Possible -

    09/25/2015 6:28:38 PM PDT · by ckilmer · 59 replies
    nextbigfuture.com ^ | 9/25/2015 | brian wang
    Near term Commercial Fusion Power Possible - Laser induced fusion of ultra-dense deuterium with double net energy gain has been produced and gain of 20 times is within reach energy, fusion, laser, materials, nuclear, physics, science Facebook Twitter linkedin google Reddit Researchers at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Iceland are researching a new type of nuclear fusion process. This produces almost no neutrons but instead fast, heavy electrons (muons), since it is based on nuclear reactions in ultra-dense heavy hydrogen (deuterium). The new fusion process can take place in relatively small laser-fired fusion reactors fuelled by heavy...
  • Are We Living In A Black Hole?

    09/05/2015 2:41:01 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 39 replies
    One Universe at a Time ^ | 9/4/15 | Brian Koberlein
    Are We Living In A Black Hole? // / Here’s an idea, what if the universe and everything we see around us is actually inside a black hole?Whenever I’m asked this question, what folks typically have in mind is that the universe began as an infinitely dense point, just like the singularity of a black hole, and because of cosmic expansion there’s a limit to how far we can observe, so maybe that’s like the event horizon. While it’s an interesting idea, things aren’t quite so simple.To begin with, the universe did not begin with an explosion from a...
  • Scientists Confirm the Existence of Cosmic Neutrinos

    08/22/2015 5:57:13 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 13 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | August 20, 2015 | Maddie Stone and The Guardian
    A team of Antarctic scientists has just verified the existence of cosmic neutrinos — tiny, energetic particles that might hail from far reaches of the Milky Way and beyond. And these ghostly little flecks of matter could hold the key to some of the deepest mysteries of the cosmos. High-energy cosmic neutrinos are thought to be produced by some of the universe’s most violent agents, including black holes, supernovae, and the energetic cores of galaxies. Unchanged as they zip across space and time, these particles may represent something of an intergalactic breadcrumb trail, pointing us in the direction of any...
  • No, German Scientists Have Not Confirmed the “Impossible” EMDrive

    07/29/2015 10:27:45 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 35 replies
    io9.com ^ | 7/28/15 10:40am | George Dvorsky
    Two German researchers claim they have produced measurable amounts of thrust using a copy of NASA’s controversial EMDrive. It’s a result that has many people talking, but don’t plan your trip to the to the Alpha Centauri system just yet—the experts we spoke with are all highly skeptical of the study and its findings. As reported in Hacked, the details of the new study are being presented this week by Martin Tajmar, a professor and chair for Space Systems at the Dresden University of Technology, and co-author G. Fiedler, at the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Propulsion and Energy...
  • Scientists have finally discovered massless particles, and they could revolutionise electronics

    07/25/2015 5:31:56 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 75 replies
    Science Alert ^ | July 23, 2015 | Fiona MacDonald
    They can theoretically carry charge 1,000 times faster than ordinary electrons. After 85 years of searching, researchers have confirmed the existence of a massless particle called the Weyl fermion for the first time ever. With the unique ability to behave as both matter and anti-matter inside a crystal, this strange particle can create electrons that have no mass. The discovery is huge, not just because we finally have proof that these elusive particles exist, but because it paves the way for far more efficient electronics, and new types of quantum computing. "Weyl fermions could be used to solve the traffic...
  • Gravity Simulator

    07/23/2015 12:57:13 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 12 replies
    Click here
  • Einstein saves the quantum cat

    06/19/2015 7:37:01 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 30 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 063-16-2015 | Provided by University of Vienna
    Einstein's theory of time and space will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year. Even today it captures the imagination of scientists. In an international collaboration, researchers from the universities of Vienna, Harvard and Queensland have now discovered that this world-famous theory can explain yet another puzzling phenomenon: the transition from quantum behavior to our classical, everyday world. Their results are published in the journal Nature Physics. In 1915 Albert Einstein formulated the theory of general relativity which fundamentally changed our understanding of gravity. He explained gravity as the manifestation of the curvature of space and time. Einstein's theory predicts that...
  • ‘Beautiful Mind’ Mathematician John Nash Replaced Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity Days Before Death

    06/01/2015 12:19:56 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 104 replies
    The Inquisitr News ^ | May 30, 2015 | Tara West
    John Forbes Nash Jr. was a mathematical genius who had his life chronicled in the movie A Beautiful Mind. One of Nash’s colleagues says that just days before he died in a New York taxi cab accident, he had discussed his latest and possibly most brilliant discovery to date. Mathematician Cédric Villan says that Nash told him that he had replaced Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and that the new equation would further explain quantum gravity. The Daily Mail reports that on May 20, 2015, just three days before the tax cab accident that would take his life, Nash spoke to...
  • Advanced Ligo gravitational wave hunt is green lit

    05/20/2015 8:00:08 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 13 replies
    The British Broadcasting Corporation ^ | May 20, 2015 | Jonathan Amos, Science Correspondent
    One of the great physics experiments of our age looks ready to begin its quest.Scientists have held a dedication ceremony to inaugurate the Advanced Ligo facilities in the US. This pair of widely separated laboratories will be hunting for gravitational waves. These ripples in the fabric of space-time are predicted to result from extreme cosmic events, such as the merger of black holes and the explosive demise of giant stars. Confirmation of the waves' existence should open up a new paradigm in astronomy. It is one that would no longer depend on traditional light telescopes to observe and understand phenomena...
  • Quantum physics: What is really real?

    05/20/2015 9:21:49 AM PDT · by Reeses · 46 replies
    nature.com ^ | 20 May 2015 | Zeeya Merali
    Owen Maroney worries that physicists have spent the better part of a century engaging in fraud. Ever since they invented quantum theory in the early 1900s, explains Maroney, who is himself a physicist at the University of Oxford, UK, they have been talking about how strange it is — how it allows particles and atoms to move in many directions at once, for example, or to spin clockwise and anticlockwise simultaneously. But talk is not proof, says Maroney. “If we tell the public that quantum theory is weird, we better go out and test that's actually true,” he says. “Otherwise...
  • Physicists Are Philosophers, Too

    05/12/2015 6:16:56 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 12 replies
    Scientific American ^ | 5/8/15 | Victor J. Stenger, James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian
    Physicists Are Philosophers, Too In his final essay the late physicist Victor Stenger argues for the validity of philosophy in the context of modern theoretical physics By Victor J. Stenger, James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian | May 8, 2015 The ongoing feud between physicists and philosophers cuts to the heart of what science can tell us about the nature of reality. EditorÂ’s Note: Shortly before his death last August at the age of 79, the noted physicist and public intellectual Victor Stenger worked with two co-authors to pen an article for Scientific American. In it Stenger and co-authors address...
  • Particle Physics On The Cheap

    04/13/2015 1:56:28 PM PDT · by Citizen Zed · 4 replies
    Inside Science ^ | 4-13-2015 | Ben Stein
    Thinking of particle physics experiments may inspire images of huge, multibillion-dollar facilities, such as Europe's Large Hadron Collider. But exploring the secrets of subatomic particles doesn't require a massive financial commitment. Three undergraduate students and their professor have built a particle detector for just a little bit over $500. Their design could help bring particle physics experiments to universities everywhere. The device can detect exotic subatomic particles known as muons, which exist in our midst. Muons are the heavy cousins of electrons, over 200 times greater in mass. When cosmic rays from space smash into molecules in the atmosphere, they...
  • Particle jets reveal the secrets of the most exotic state of matter

    03/15/2015 12:03:33 PM PDT · by samtheman · 18 replies
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/ ^ | March 11, 2015 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences
    Shortly following the Big Bang, the Universe was filled with a chaotic primordial soup of quarks and gluons, particles which are now trapped inside of protons and neutrons. Study of this quark-gluon plasma requires the use of the most advanced theoretical and experimental tools. Physicists have taken one crucial step towards a better understanding of the plasma and its properties.
  • Infinity Is a Beautiful Concept – And It’s Ruining Physics

    02/20/2015 6:01:20 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 94 replies
    Discover Magazine ^ | 2/20/15 | Max Tegmark
    Infinity Is a Beautiful Concept – And It’s Ruining Physics By Max Tegmark | February 20, 2015 9:00 am I was seduced by infinity at an early age. Georg Cantor’s diagonality proof that some infinities are bigger than others mesmerized me, and his infinite hierarchy of infinities blew my mind. The assumption that something truly infinite exists in nature underlies every physics course I’ve ever taught at MIT—and, indeed, all of modern physics. But it’s an untested assumption, which begs the question: Is it actually true?A Crisis in Physics There are in fact two separate assumptions: “infinitely big” and “infinitely...
  • Come out, come out, wherever you are!

    02/04/2015 2:55:51 AM PST · by samtheman · 10 replies
    The Economist ^ | Jan 3, 2015 | The Economist
    IN MARCH, after a two-year shut down for an upgrade, the world’s biggest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), will reopen for business. The rest of the year will see physicists biting their nails—for one way or another 2015 will go down as a famous date in their field. Either theoreticians will be proved spectacularly right, and experimenters can move confidently on into the verdant pastures of so-called new physics, engaging in a positive safari of hunting for novel particles, or they will find out, to exaggerate only slightly, that they do not understand how the universe really works.
  • The supersymmetry calamity

    01/31/2015 9:06:49 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 25 replies
    Winnipeg Free Press ^ | 1/31/15 | Colin Gillespie
    Enlarge Image It sounds esoteric, like an episode of The Big Bang Theory, and maybe someday it will be. But even in the fields of physics, supersymmetry is esoteric. What is supersymmetry? What is the calamity? Why should you care?What it is... is an idea: particular superheroes! Here's their story. The standard model is the crown jewel of physics. All you need to know is it describes subatomic particles and the forces that affect them. It has 16 kinds of particles: six quarks, six leptons and four bosons. Lately, headlines tell us add the Higgs. The standard model depicts...
  • Particles accelerate without a push (But Newton's not dead)

    01/25/2015 10:48:22 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 8 replies
    MIT News Office ^ | 1/20/15 | David L. Chandler
    New analysis shows a way to self-propel subatomic particles, extend the lifetime of unstable isotopes. David L. Chandler | MIT News Office January 20, 2015 Press Inquiries Some physical principles have been considered immutable since the time of Isaac Newton: Light always travels in straight lines. No physical object can change its speed unless some outside force acts on it. Not so fast, says a new generation of physicists: While the underlying physical laws haven’t changed, new ways of “tricking” those laws to permit seemingly impossible actions have begun to appear. For example, work that began in 2007 proved that...
  • Epic cosmic radio burst finally seen in real time

    01/20/2015 10:42:42 AM PST · by Red Badger · 25 replies
    www.newscientist.com ^ | 08:00 19 January 2015 | by Michael Slezak
    A gigantic but fleeting burst of radio waves has been caught in the act for the first time, helping to narrow down the vast array of things that might cause them. Figuring out what these fast radio bursts are or where they come from could help answer some of the biggest cosmological questions. They last about a millisecond but give off as much energy as the sun does in a day, all seemingly in a tight band of radio-frequency waves. Their source is a mystery, but whatever causes them must be huge, cataclysmic and up to 5.5 billion light years...
  • The Chameleon in the Vacuum Chamber (physics, dark energy)

    01/14/2015 10:38:37 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 10 replies
    The Chameleon in the Vacuum Chamber A new proposal for an experiment that could test the presence of a fifth force with unprecedented precision. It still amazes me that everything I see is made up of only some few dozen particles and four interactions. For all we know. But maybe this isn’t all there is? Physicists have been speculating for a while now that our universe needs a fifth fundamental force, one responsible for the phenomenon of dark energy, to maintain the observed expansion rate. Although this idea has been around for more than a decade, it has turned...
  • Quantum physics just got less complicated

    12/19/2014 11:34:49 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 76 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | 12/19/14
    Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications. Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one."The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you...
  • Fun with Vortex Rings in the Pool

    12/19/2014 12:56:52 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 13 replies
    YouTube ^ | 12/1714 | PhysicsGirl
    Video here.
  • A New Physics Theory of Life

    12/10/2014 2:18:28 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 45 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 1/22/14 | Natalie Wolchover
    A New Physics Theory of Life Katherine Taylor for Quanta MagazineJeremy England, a 31-year-old physicist at MIT, thinks he has found the underlying physics driving the origin and evolution of life. By: Natalie WolchoverJanuary 22, 2014 Comments (151) print Why does life exist?Popular hypotheses credit a primordial soup, a bolt of lightning and a colossal stroke of luck. But if a provocative new theory is correct, luck may have little to do with it. Instead, according to the physicist proposing the idea, the origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as...
  • Proof of Life

    12/07/2014 8:01:54 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 5 replies
    PJ Media's Belmont Club ^ | December 7, 2014 | Richard Fernandez
    The intellectual role that used to be occupied by theology is now largely filled by science fiction. Wikipedia lists only a dozen of possibly hundreds of books where writers, some of them practicing mathematicians or scientists themselves, examine the consequences of our current understanding of the universe. The familiar, everyday world that we know isn’t what it seems. It is actually a strange place. On large scales it isn’t governed by ‘common sense’ Newtonian physics but by the paradoxes of relativity. At very small scales, perhaps at its foundation, it is governed by quantum phenomena, which is stranger still. Arthur...