Category Archives: physics

Steven Weinberg discusses the mysteries of physics

A common misconception is that the major problems of physics have mostly been solved, and all that’s left is some minor sweeping-up.  I doubt that the readers here would agree, for huge surprises and mysteries continue to surface in physics. In a new piece in the New York Review of Books, “Physics: What we do […]

Physics Nobel goes to Englert and Higgs; Sean Carroll kvetches a bit

Well, contrary to Sean Carroll’s guess, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded this morning to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert. The news came out only about 20 minutes ago, and is the subject of a terse New York Times piece: STOCKHOLM — Physicists Francois Englert of Belgium and Peter Higgs of Britain have won […]

Debate/discussion: Krauss vs. Craig

UPDATE:  It appears now that the first and third parts of the debate are posted at this link, but I don’t know where part 2 is. They’ve also separated the interviews with Krauss and Craig from the onstage exchange. The Bible Society also has written interviews with Krauss and Craig about the debate.  An excerpt […]

Cat-and-science themed Google doodle

Take a look at today’s Google doodle and guess what it’s about: Of course you guessed correctly when you saw the dead and living cats in the box. Today would have been the 126th birthday of physicist Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961). As the Guardian notes: However, it was not until his late 30s that he was […]

The physics of a rising chain

Posting will be light this morning as Professor Ceiling Cat has cat stuff to do. In the meantime, entertain yourself with two videos of a remarkable phenomenon of physics: the slinking chain. The first shows the phenomenon, and the second goes into greater detail. A longer video: If you want a more detailed explanation for […]

It’s alive!

But it’s dead in another world! Thanks to several readers for sending this.

Sean Carroll: There is no classical world

I’m not a physicist but wanted to direct you to Preposterous Universe, where, in a new post called “There is no classical world,” Sean Carroll mentions an experiment showing definitively that even a macroscopic object—a mirror cooled to near absolute zero—behaves according to quantum rather than classical mechanics.  That is, instead of remaining absolutely still, […]

Demonstration of some physical principle I don’t understand

Okay, some physics maven please explain this to me, and also why a few of the patterns formed by the sand are asymmetrical.  (I haven’t looked up the Chladni plate experiment.) From io9, where the notes say this: Stop what you’re doing and watch this. It’s a video of sand. Sand skittering around on a […]

Philosophy of the gaps?

Humanist, poet, ex-scientist, ex-physician, philosopher, prolific writer —the list goes on—Raymond Tallis is the only person I’ve seen whose profession is described as “polymath” on Wikipedia.  But being a polymath doesn’t always guarantee you’re right.  In his column at the Guardian yesterday, “Philosophy isn’t dead yet, Tallis claims that philosophy—metaphysical philosophy—is the only way physics […]

An awesome animation of single atoms

I’ll be busy today, so talk among yourselves. In the meantime, here’s an animation created by moving carbon atoms around one by one with precise (and astounding) new technologies. As the BBC reports, Researchers at IBM have created the world’s smallest movie by manipulating single atoms on a copper surface. The stop-motion animation uses a […]

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