General · Media

Beyond the Milky Way — a game-changing discovery

As I’ve noted elsewhere (Beyond the infinity of black holes), it wasn’t long ago — maybe a 100 years or so, that our view of the cosmos was much more circumscribed. Those who studied cosmology — physicists, astronomers, et al, viewed our cosmos in a much different way, at a much different scale — basically… Continue reading Beyond the Milky Way — a game-changing discovery

General · Media · Site

Communicating what physics says — The Science Asylum

Today’s post is somewhat different than usual. I’m highlighting a YouTube channel. Communicating science to a general audience has a long history. The bibliography for my physics blog contains some books by authors to this purpose. Modern physics has many great stories, and the just plain strangeness of quantum physics lends itself to great storytelling.… Continue reading Communicating what physics says — The Science Asylum

General · Media · Site

Quantum physics 2017 — highlights

Yesterday Space.com summarized some of the highlights in quantum physics for 2017 (slideshow): “Quantum Physics in 2017.” This year ushered in astonishing quantum discoveries from all corners — deep-buried neutrino labs in Antarctica, quantum-computing labs at major universities and even thunderstorms rumbling over Japan. From time crystals to the elusive tetraquark, here are 15 of… Continue reading Quantum physics 2017 — highlights

General · Language · Media

Astrophysics is what?

Wiki’s definition of astrophysics is comprehensive. Contemporary astrophysics often is associated with Big Science programs involving both observational and theoretical work by large, interdisciplinary teams. Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that employs the principles of physics and chemistry “to ascertain the nature of the heavenly bodies, rather than their positions or motions in space.”… Continue reading Astrophysics is what?

General · Language

Quantum spin — angular what?

I’ve been reading about quantum spin for awhile and taking notes. Hobson’s book1, for example, discusses the foundational experiment which discovered spin. In the mean time, Space.com posted an article today which may serve as a placeholder for the topic while my draft notes on other topics develop. The Space.com article “The Weird Quantum Property… Continue reading Quantum spin — angular what?

General · Media · Photo · Site

Kilonovas and multi-messenger astrophysics

So many media headlines today regarding the observation of both light (EM spectrum, not just visible/optical light) and gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars. Lots of visualizations. Big science in action. Here’s a sampling of headlines: Gravitational waves from kilonova collision of neutron stars discovered – The Washington Post Gravitational waves: So many new toys… Continue reading Kilonovas and multi-messenger astrophysics

General · Media

Caltech scientists awarded 2017 Nobel Prize in physics

Much buzz this morning regarding announcement of the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics. Among others, the Caltech Alumni Association emailed an article. See this PDF version for the full, extended story: Kip Thorne (BS ’62) and Caltech Professor Barry C. Barish Win 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics Below are excerpts. The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics… Continue reading Caltech scientists awarded 2017 Nobel Prize in physics

Book · General · Language

Point particles RIP

I typically add samples of books to my Kindle library when considering purchases. While examining my Kindle library yesterday, I started reading a sample of Art Hobson’s 2017 book Tales of the Quantum: Understanding Physics’ Most Fundamental Theory and then became interested in his background. A Google search found biographical information, references to his books,… Continue reading Point particles RIP

General · Language · Site

Beyond the infinity of black holes

As noted previously, quantum physics has struggled with infinities. A recent Space.com article on black holes reminded me of another part of that saga. Black holes serve as touchstones in several ways. Wiki: … there are some theoretical circumstances where the end result is infinity. One example is the singularity in the description of black… Continue reading Beyond the infinity of black holes

General · Language

Infinity and beyond … under the rug

Buzz Lightyear‘s tag line “To infinity … and beyond” reminds me of the mantra in modern physics that the appearance of infinities in equations tells us that we don’t understand something, that our computational model has hit a wall, so to speak. Wiki: Sometimes an infinite result for a physical quantity may mean that the… Continue reading Infinity and beyond … under the rug