Category Archives: physics

Sean Carroll debunks the “fine-tuning” argument for God

I don’t know how many readers watched Official Website Physicist™ Sean Carroll debate theologian William Lane Craig on whether cosmology gives evidence for God, but nonbeliever Carroll clearly won (I’m not unbiased, of course!). Here Carroll takes apart the argument that the so-called “fine tuning” of the physical constants of the Universe constitutes evidence for […]

Cold fusion back in the spotlight (courtesy of Templeton)

Reader Michael called my attention to a pair of dueling articles about cold fusion. You may remember the kerfuffle about this issue, first reported as a viable process by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons in 1989, who said they could effect nuclear fusion at room temperature, a process previously thought possible only at extremely high temperatures. If their finding […]

Monday afternoon gifs

by Matthew Cobb Three tw**ted gifs for a Monday: What sheep get up to when you're not looking! — Meriel (@MerielMyers) November 29, 2015 Wave motion at the surface of water is made up of small circular motions of parcels of water. — Exploratorium (@exploratorium) November 28, 2015 Physics Gif Friday: refraction of […]

You won’t believe these pictures of molecules!

Well, I just wrote my first clickbait headline as a test to see if it attracts readers. I’m referring here to a 2.5-year-old paper that just came to my attention; I call it to yours because although the chemistry is complicated, the pictures are lovely. The work in question is by Dimas de Oteyza et al. and […]

Krauss on entanglement

Doesn’t the New Yorker need someone to write about evolution as well as cosmology? Once again, I’m both impressed by and jealous of Lawrence Krauss’s performance at that venue, and this week he writes about the new physics experiment that pretty much verified the idea of quantum entanglement and nonlocality. The piece, “Tangled up in entanglement.” […]

NASA animation: black hole sucks in passing star

On the NASA site you can find this description of a new piece of research about a star encountering a black hole, and observations from X-ray spectral analysis of what happened when it did. Predictably, the results are dramatic, though some of the star stuff doesn’t get sucked all the way in. I haven’t read the paper (reference […]

Bad science journalism: The Express reports that scientists have “proved” that God didn’t create the universe

I should start giving an award for the Most Misleading Science Journalism of the Year. If I did, this article from The Sunday Express would surely be a contender. Here’s the headline (click on it to go to the article): The piece starts like this: A TEAM of scientists have made what may turn out to be […]

Krauss on neutrinos and the Nobel Prize

I’m jealous that Lawrence Krauss seems to have secured a regular gig as a New Yorker columnist. Don’t they need a biologist or anything? However, you can’t fault him,  as the man writes a good column. His newest one, “What neutrinos reveal,” is straight physics, so presumably it won’t alienate anyone, even Edward “I Can Prove […]

Feser to Krauss: Shut up because of the Uncaused Cause

I didn’t know anything about the Witherspoon institute, where Catholic religious philosopher Edward Feser has published a strident piece called “Scientists should tell Lawrence Krauss to shut up already“, but it appears to be a right-wing think tank. According to Wikipedia: The Witherspoon Institute opposes abortion and same-sex marriage and deals with embryonic stem cell research, […]

Schrödinger’s bacterium: physicists plan to put a microbe in two places at the same time

Okay, this is WAY above my pay grade, but I’ve been sent articles on this by several authors, including an explanation at the Guardian. It’s a description by two theoretical physicists of an experiment that uses quantum superposition to put a bacterium in two places at the same time. They plan to collaborate with experimentalists to actually carry it […]