Quote: “Always two there are, no more, no less.” – Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace  Well, stars do not always come in pairs (or triples, etc.). But binary stars – stellar pairs – are common. Estimates vary. Wiki uses an estimate “that approximately one third [33%] of the star systems in… Continue reading Stellar pairs – when the tango stops
[“Quantum foundations” series] Carlo Rovelli’s new book Helgoland – Making Sense of the Quantum Revolution is in the news cycle this week, with promo’s and reviews. (Probably more comments later.) (quote) Helgoland is a book by Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli. It is about quantum mechanics and its relational interpretation. The title refers to Werner Heisenberg’s… Continue reading Helgoland? – escape from quantum island
Epic events catch our attention. Spectacular stellar events have attracted attention since ancient times. Some events, however, cannot be observed with our eyes (visible light). Radio sources. And massive spikes in radio energy are telling astronomers something interesting. • NASA > “Hubble Tracks Down Fast Radio Bursts to Galaxies’ Spiral Arms” (May 20,2021) [Includes YouTube… Continue reading FRBs – whence galactic epic flashes of energy?
When not merely obscured in our field of view, things which we cannot see – that are essentially invisible – often may be either impossibly distant or impossibly small (among other factors). That’s why we have telescopes and microscopes. At cosmic scales, imaging a black hole was like seeing something spanning “the size of a period… Continue reading Imaging atoms – seeing the impossibly small
As noted in comments for my “The future of (particle) physics?” post, the first results from Fermilab’s Muon g-2 experiment are a big deal for physics. Waiting for years. Highly anticipated. As expected, today these results were officially released. Fermilab itself released an excellent YouTube video visualization which includes background on the project and experiment… Continue reading Evidence for new physics? > Fermilab’s Muon g-2 results announced
[“What’s changed in the last 50 years” series] Another interesting Symmetry Magazine article – a historical recap of the Standard Model and some highlights. • Symmetry Magazine > “Six fabulous facts about the Standard Model” by Sarah Charley ( March 16, 2021) – Learn about the Standard Model of particle physics and how physicists use… Continue reading Particle zoo to Standard Model and beyond
Frank Wilczek referenced this topic – time crystals – in his latest book (Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality). Time crystals are physical systems that spontaneously settle into stable loops of behavior. I proposed this concept in 2012, and many interesting examples have been discovered since then, both theoretically and experimentally. A recent example is close to… Continue reading Time crystals? – crystal patterns in space and time
So, the short answer is yes. A useful model, at a certain scale. How can that be? The cosmos is full of stuff. Vast collections of stars, planets, rocks, dust, gas. Chunked over vast distances. Not what our everyday experience considers fluid stuff. Well, in physics and engineering, fluid dynamics embraces what typically are referred… Continue reading The cosmos is like a fluid?
So, what are axions? I’ve noticed more articles lately about axions. Why all the fuss, eh? • Wiki The axion is a hypothetical elementary particle postulated by the Peccei–Quinn theory in 1977 to resolve the strong CP problem [violation of the combined symmetries of charge conjugation and parity] in quantum chromodynamics (QCD). If axions exist… Continue reading What are axions – real or not?
So, it’s that time of year again: lots of recaps, lists of top this-and-that. Even milestones, discoveries, or breakthroughs in science. Here’s a YouTube video highlighting some progress in physics: • YouTube > Quanta Magazine > “The Year’s Biggest Breakthroughs in Physics” (Dec 23, 2020) YouTube description: This year, two teams of physicists made profound… Continue reading 2020 highlights