Category Archives: physics
PPPL and Max Planck physicists reveal experimental verification of a key source of fast reconnection of magnetic fields
Magnetic reconnection, a universal process that triggers solar flares and northern lights and can disrupt cell phone service and fusion experiments, occurs much faster than theory says that it should. Now researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics have discovered a source of the speed-up in a common form of reconnection. Their findings could lead to more accurate predictions of damaging space weather and improved fusion experiments.
Click here or on the picture for the full story: PPPL and Max Planck physicists reveal experimental verification of a key source of fast reconnection of magnetic fields
John Carlstrom gives the plenary lecture at the New Horizons in Inflationary Cosmology Templeton Conference organized by the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics.
Our understanding of the origin, evolution and make-up of the Universe has undergone dramatic and surprising advances over the last decades. Much of the progress has been driven by measurements of the fossil light from the big bang, called the cosmic microwave background radiation, which provides us with a glimpse of the Universe as it was 14 billion years ago. This talk will discuss what we know about the Big Bang and how we learned it. We will also talk about the new questions we are asking about the origin of the Universe and the experiments being pursued to answer them, peering back to the beginning of time.
Click here for the: Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics
In order to fully understand the quantum world, we may have to develop a new realm of mathematics.
Mathematics might be more of an environmental science than we realize. Even though it is a search for eternal truths, many mathematical concepts trace their origins to everyday experience. Astrology and architecture inspired Egyptians and Babylonians to develop geometry. The study of mechanics during the scientific revolution of the 17th century brought us calculus.
Remarkably, ideas from quantum theory turn out to carry tremendous mathematical power as well, even though we have little daily experience dealing with elementary particles. The bizarre world of quantum theory — where things can seem to be in two places at the same time and are subject to the laws of probability — not only represents a more fundamental description of nature than what preceded it, it also provides a rich context for modern mathematics. Could the logical structure of quantum theory, once fully understood and absorbed, inspire a new realm of mathematics that might be called “quantum mathematics”?
Click here for the full article: Quantum Questions Inspire New Math
Every massive particle exerts a gravitational force. So what do antimatter particles do?
Why aren’t there any particles that fall upwards in the gravitational field of Earth? It would be so handy – If I had to move the couch, rather than waiting for the husband to flex his muscles, I’d tie an anti-gravitating weight to it and the couch would just float to the other side of the room.
Click here or on the picture for the full story: Why Doesn’t Antimatter Anti-Gravitate?
I will be starting a regular series of posts of lectures, talks, podcasts, etc. If you have requests for topics, please feel free to comment on this post or send me a message via the contact links. The first of these posts is below:
On Oct. 7, 2015, Perimeter Institute Director Neil Turok opened the 2015/16 season of the PI Public Lecture Series with a talk about the remarkably simplicity that underlies nature. Turok discussed how this simplicity at the largest and tiniest scales of the universe is pointing toward new avenues of physics research and could lead to revolutionary advances in technology.
The thinnest, smoothest layer of silver that can survive air exposure has been laid down at the University of Michigan, and it could change the way touchscreens and flat or flexible displays are made.
Source: Transparent silver: Tarnish-proof films for flexible displays, touch screens
The LHCb experiment at CERN is a hotbed of new and outstanding physics results. In just the last few months, the collaboration has announced the measurement of a very rare particle decay and evidence of a new manifestation of matter-antimatter asymmetry, to name just two examples.
Scottish physicist Ronald Drever, one of the architects behind the discovery of gravitational waves, has died at the age of 85.
Bizarre forms of matter called time crystals were supposed to be physically impossible. Now they’re not.
Source: The quest to crystallize time
Scientists are upgrading one of the four main experiments on the world’s biggest atom smasher in hopes it will help them discover previously unknown particles or physical properties.
Vera Rubin, a pioneering astronomer who helped find powerful evidence of dark matter, has died, her son said Monday.
Dr. Birman was instrumental in the creation of a program that helped refugee scientists restart their careers in the United States in the 1990s.< Source: Joseph L. Birman, Physicist and Humanitarian, Dies at 89 – The New York Times
Celebrate STEM at the largest science festival in the country! Join the 4th USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. April 16-17, 2016.
Source: USA Science and Engineering Festival – Home
CfA astronomer Doug Finkbeiner and a team of colleagues claim to have identified just such a signature of dark matter annihilation.
Although in theory it may seem possible to divide time up into infinitely tiny intervals, the smallest physically meaningful interval of time is widely considered to be the Planck time, which is approximately 10-43 seconds. This ultimate limit means that it is not possible for two events to be separated by a time smaller than this.
The physicist Subir Sachdev borrows tools from string theory to understand the puzzling behavior of high-temperature superconductors.
Quantum Weirdness Now a Matter of Time Bizarre quantum bonds connect distinct moments in time, suggesting that quantum links — not space-time — constitute the fundamental structure of the universe.
If a theory can’t be tested, is it still science?
Physicists and Philosophers Debate the Boundaries of Science | Quanta Magazine
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the image of the first-ever predicted supernova explosion. The reappearance of the Refsdal supernova was calculated from different models of the galaxy cluster whose immense gravity is warping the supernova’s light.
Caught in the act | ESA/Hubble