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Long-term view of extreme cosmic burst challenges astronomers

Several years of observations from the afterglow of one of the most powerful explosions in the universe could upend the standard view of how these bursts work

Old Scientist: The black hole at the end of the tunnel

Enter our time tunnel through March issues of New Scientist to find stories of British decline and accidental apocalypse

Our galaxy’s impossible collision could break gravity

The ballistics of galactic shrapnel show that the Milky Way has already crashed into its giant neighbour, Andromeda – but if that's right, physics is wrong

Short Items

A few short items: Beams are back in the LHC. You can follow what is going on here real-time, or here for details of this year’s beam commissioning. Physics runs scheduled to start last week of April. There’s a wonderful … Continue reading ?

Egon, Pablo, Vincent

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

Preparing a little montage of Schiele, Picasso, and Van Gogh, made of postcards gathered from museums in Vienna (the Leopold), Madrid (the Reina Sofia), and Amsterdam (the Van Gogh). Sadly, I'm leaving out the one on the far left (aShow More Summary

The Milky Way’s hot spot

The center of our galaxy is a busy place. But it might be one of the best sites to hunt for dark matter. When you look up at night, the Milky Way appears as a swarm of stars arranged in a misty white band across the sky.  But from an outside perspective, our galaxy looks more like a disk, with spiral arms of stars reaching out into the universe. Show More Summary

Two Book Reviews

Blogging has been light here, trying to finish a complete draft of the book I’m working on, this should be done very soon. Here are a couple all-too-short reviews of books with some relation to math or physics. A Doubter’s … Continue reading ?

Weekend Reminder

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

While wandering with the family in the Natural History Museum this weekend, I spotted a reminder (click for larger view) for Friday's event, which you might be interested in. I'll be on a panel about science (particularly space-related)...Show More Summary

New maths proof shows how to stack oranges in 24 dimensions

Mathematicians have discovered the best way to pack spheres in 8 and 24 dimensions - the first real progress on this geometric mystery in almost two decades

Feedback: Lawmakers’ raw milk celebrations hit a sour note

Plus grated umbrella handles, string theory of tangled cables, UK police arrest the ban on everything, the national standard peanut butter, and more

Physics Week in Review: March 26, 2016

The physics of curling ribbons, the most detailed gravity maps yet of Mars, and how Superman's X-ray vision might work were among this week's physics highlights. Me at Gizmodo: How Physics Can Make You a Master Ribbon Curler. "Most of...

The next big LHC upgrade? Software.

Compatible and sustainable software could revolutionize high-energy physics research. The World Wide Web may have been invented at CERN, but it was raised and cultivated abroad. Now a group of Large Hadron Collider physicists are looking...Show More Summary


2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

Apparently I was on an episode of the BBC program Horizon a couple of hours ago over in the UK. I completely forgot that was coming up and forgot to mention it. Sorry! I've no idea what parts of the interview with me they used, or what...Show More Summary

Sabbatical Dreams Fulfilled!

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

Well, today's hunt for a print copy of the New York Times was easier than the Wall Street Journal hunt a couple of months back. Been a while since I was in the Science Times, and I've not been in it in this capacity before (click for larger view). Show More Summary

Ceres surprises with water ice and colourful bright spots

NASA's Dawn spacecraft zoomed in on dwarf planet Ceres and found unexpected treasures hidden in its craters

LIGO could catch dark matter made of black holes

The black holes that kicked off the first detection of gravitational waves seem to be the right size and frequency to be long-sought primordial black holes

Ghostly galaxies are light on stars but heavy on dark matter

The first measurement of an ultra-diffuse galaxy's mass finds that dark matter makes up more than 99.96 per cent of its weight - a startling figure

Why are particle accelerators so large?

CERN physicist Edda Gschwendtner explains why we need big machines to study tiny particles. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN is a whopping 27 kilometers in circumference. Edda Gschwendtner, physicist and project leader for CERN's plasma...Show More Summary

Live Blogging of the LHCb Bs pi result

There has been a lot of press about the recent DØ result on the possible \(B_s \pi\) state. This was also covered on Ricky Nathvani’s blog. At Moriond QCD, Jeroen Van Tilburg showed a few plots from LHCb which showed no signal in the same mass regions as explored by D?. Tomorrow, there will be a special LHC

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