Category Archives: physics

Nobel Prize for Physics goes to three who invented a light-emitting diode

This happened about 45 minutes ago, and here’s my CNN bulletin This year’s Nobel Prize for physics has been awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources,” the awarding committee said. The committee said the trio’s work […]

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 […]

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