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Local Debates

I noticed that tomorrow (Tuesday, April 5) evening here in New York City there will be not one, but two debates involving theoretical physicists: At 7 pm the American Museum of Natural History will host the 2016 Asimov Debate, with … Continue reading ?

SETI looks at red dwarf stars in its search for ancient aliens

The extraterrestrial-hunting SETI Institute is aiming its array of radio telescopes at 20,000 small, cold stars unlike our own to see if anyone is home

Space at the Movies

3 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

Well, that was a fun event. Here's a photograph of Sean Carroll and me as guests of the always-excellent host Patt Morrison at the Natural History Museum as we talk about aspects of the science of space (and time) as it appears in the movies, how we go about giving advice to filmmakers, and so forth. It was part of the First Fridays series which has a special focus on [...]Show More Summary

Physics Week in Review: April 2, 2016

A solution to the sphere-packing problem in many dimensions, the mathematics of the complicated relationships in Game of Thrones, and Japan's lost communication with its Hitomi black hole telescope were among this week's physics highlights. Me at Gizmodo: Black Hole...


3 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

Extract from Wednesday's General Relativity class: Me, at the board writing equations: "...and so the ratio of the earth's radius to its radius of gyration is about 0.577..." Student raises hand and asks: "What's radius of gyration?" Me: "Er... Show More Summary

Was LIGO a hack?

3 months agoAcademics / Physics : Resonaances

We have had recently a few scientific embarrassments, where a big discovery announced with great fanfares was subsequently overturned by new evidence. We still remember OPERA's faster than light neutrinos which turned out to be a loose cable, or BICEP's gravitational waves from inflation, which turned out to be galactic dust emission... Show More Summary

Belle II and the matter of antimatter

Go inside the new detector looking for why we’re here. We live in a world full of matter: stars made of matter, planets made of matter, pizza made of matter. But why is there pizza made of matter rather than pizza made of antimatterShow More Summary

Lab news

Get the latest news from the world’s biggest science lab! All the facts, all the truth, totally verified and true beyond all reasonable doubt. 85% official news. Brought to you by the team that revealed Elvis landing on the moon. ATLAS to install neutrino calorimeters The ATLAS detector is currently the largest experiment on the

Is String Theory Scientific?

Among the various April Fool’s things on the web, the most subtle one I’ve found is by the people at James Madison University, who are advertising an April 1 event discussing the question of Is String Theory Scientific? Part of … Continue reading ?

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

3 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

3 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...

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