Stephen Hawking died last week. Lots of tributes in the media about his scientific legacy and life. Sean Carroll posted an article on his blog on March 16: “Stephen Hawking’s Scientific Legacy.” It’s particularly interesting. As a career physicist and cosmologist, Carroll met and interacted with Hawking over the decades. Early in his career Carroll turned… Continue reading Celebrity and cultural phenomenon — Stephen Hawking
While it is strange (and disturbing) that some religious conservatives dispute the scientific consensus on the age of the Earth and the universe, another Space.com article this past week (3-10-2018) — Yep, the Earth Is Still Round, Neil deGrasse Tyson Says — reminded me that there’s an even stranger group, namely, those who still play… Continue reading The Earth is round — needless to say?
Following up on the “Ultimate how” question in the context of the Big Bang theory, how far back in time can we actually detect evidence, follow a breadcrumbs trail? To a cosmic dawn? Space.com, among others, today posted articles about research at the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory (MRO), in particular the MRO’s Experiment to Detect the Global EoR… Continue reading Star bright, first light — fingerprint hunt
Perhaps the ultimate why question: Why is there something rather than nothing? Sean Carroll’s blog is a feed on my blog. I enjoyed reading his recent post and paper on this question. Quite a challenge to summarize the topic in 15 pages. I’ve talked before about the issue of why the universe exists at all… Continue reading Ultimate why?
A lot of science goes into exploring space. Great stories, with lots of people, lots of hard work, lots of challenges, lots of money. Yesterday’s historic launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is one of those stories which reflect our understanding of the Earth and beyond. A tale of 10^n. It’s an epic moment when we… Continue reading Beyond The Jetsons — SpaceX’s orbital car
This Space.com article heralds the coming new season of the “Cosmos” TV series: “‘Cosmos’ Tackles Humanity’s Future: Q&A with Creator Ann Druyan.” Yes, science communicator is a real profession. A new season of the science TV series “Cosmos” [“a show largely about astronomy and astrophysics”] is set to premiere in the spring of 2019, penned by… Continue reading We’re a story-driven species — 2019 TV series ‘Cosmos’
So, on the 10^n scale, today Space.com posed the interesting question “What Is the Biggest Thing in the Universe?” Scientists have created the first map of a colossal supercluster of galaxies known as Laniakea, the home of Earth’s Milky Way galaxy and many other. This computer simulation, a still from a Nature journal video, depicts… Continue reading Biggest thing in the universe?
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
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
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