Category Archives: physics

Zero-G kittehs

I always thought Russians were the world’s greatest cat lovers—until I saw this video. Reader Stephen Q. Muth, better known as Butter’s Staff, sends this intriguing video of a cat (and two mice, barely visible) subjected to zero gravity on one of those airplane rides where, as a plane goes over the top of a parabolic arc, […]

Another Schrödinger’s cat meme

It’s the end of a very long week. I’ll be leaving tomorrow afternoon, so there will be a Caturday felid, a Hili dialogue, and perhaps a few sundry treats before I take off for the Chicago-Warsaw leg. In the meantime, have a cat: From Super-Fun-Pak Comix by Ruben Bolling: Or, in Hili’s case, napping and lapping […]

Two physicists pile on Chopra

Resident guest writer/biologist Matthew Cobb is friends with physicist Brian Cox, and sometimes appears on his “Infinite Monkey Cage” show. Matthew keeps me filled in on Cox’s continuing Twi**er battle with Deepakity, which I’m very glad about since it means that someone who knows more than I about physics can keep Chopra busy tweeting nonsense. […]

A funny interview with Stephen Hawking

Everybody who interviews Stephen Hawking treats him as a god, and there’s no doubt the man is smart, but this interview, by John Oliver, shows that Hawking has a good sense of humor. Oliver treats Hawking as Stephen Colbert would, with irreverence and a bit of faux solipsism. This is from Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” show, and […]

New chemical element found

Well, element 117, which has the titular name of “ununseptium”, was actually discovered by a team of Russians and Americans four years ago, and has been submitted for recognition as an “official element,” but its creation was just replicated by a group in Darmstadt, Germany, and that should speed its acceptance. The new discovery and its implications […]

BICEP, gravitational waves et al.

Reader Justin sent a link to this animated video by MinutePhysics that tries to explain what the BICEP project really revealed about the Big Bang (I say “tries” because I’m not a physicist). Do note, though, that Official Website Physicist™ Sean Carroll was an advisor on the science, so it must be right!. One thing […]

Neil deGrasse Tyson identifies the greatest physicist of all time—in slow motion

I don’t know why I—or reader Gregory, who sent the link to me—find this video so funny, but I suspect it’s because it makes Tyson sound like he’s been smoking wacky tobacky.  What the astonomer says is right on (he’s describing his hero Newton), but the slowing down—2/3 speed, I think—makes one think that as […]

Prince Rupert’s Drop

Here’s another physics phenomenon that, despite being fascinating, I still can’t quite get my head around. It’s Prince Rupert’s Drop, a phenomenon created when molten glass is dripped in a tadpole-like shape into ice-cold water.  This object and its peculiar physical properties have been known since at least 1625, and are seen in this don’t-miss […]

A physicist decries “quantum woo”

You may recall the bizarre “Biocentrism” theory of Dr. Robert Lanza, which I’ve discussed before (here, and here, for instance). I’ve also consulted Official Website Physicist™ Sean Carroll, who pronounced biocentrism pretty much a crock. If you want Lanza’s scholarly explanation of biocentrism (and take a Pepto-Bismol first), read this piece he wrote for The American Scholar (shame […]

Update: Sean Carroll on biocentrism

At my request, Official Website Physicist™ Sean Carroll gave me his take on Robert Lanza’s theory of biocentrism that I discussed this morning. Here’s what Sean emailed me (quoted with permission): Like Chopra, Lanza mixes (1) completely legitimate (but strange sounding) statements about quantum mechanics, (2) tendentious interpretations of what quantum mechanics says that are […]

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