Category Archives: physics

Einstein right again: Gravitational waves discovered at last!

There were rumors afoot yesterday that this would be announced today. And my CNN news feed just directed me to their article, which I reproduce in its entirety; the headline calls gravitational waves “the holy grail of modern physics.” Gravitational waves are a reality, according to scientists from an institution that has been hoping to observe […]

Gravitational waves discovered?

If they’re real, this is a stupendous discovery. Read about them here and here, and here’s a tw**t by Lawrence Krauss

Magnets are magic

by Matthew Cobb [JAC: Here’s how a small perturbation in a magnetic field sets off a cool chain reaction. It’s the butterfly effect!] "Magnetic field disruption causing chain reaction." via https://t.co/VGaJb3rOXq pic.twitter.com/Lq3WbEmwkC — samim (@samim) January 9, 2016 Here’s the original video, which I can’t embed.

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! pic.twitter.com/H0ExNMArUP — Meriel (@MerielMyers) November 29, 2015 Wave motion at the surface of water is made up of small circular motions of parcels of water. pic.twitter.com/m6VSYKCYMF — 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 […]