General · Media · Story

Yes, Virginia, there is a black hole in the center of our Milky Way

Yes, Virginia, there is a black hole in the center of our Milky Way [1]. What might be expected if you asked, à la a Jay Leno “Jaywalking” segment, some random people this question: “Where’s the nearest black hole?” Well, tallying those that know what a black hole is … those that know what the… Continue reading Yes, Virginia, there is a black hole in the center of our Milky Way

General · Language · Media

Connecting everyday experience with quantum effects

NASA’s outreach efforts over the decades have touted the benefits of space science in our (macroscopic) everyday lives. Technology. How about quantum physics? A recent YouTube video by Sabine Hossenfelder (below) is a useful start in answering the question: How does our “big and warm” everyday experience evince quantum effects? (from transcript) … the weird… Continue reading Connecting everyday experience with quantum effects

General · Language

Universal symmetries – what really is broken?

An article from Quanta Magazine (below) recaps the history of space-time symmetries in physics and how those symmetries have, in a sense, been simplified: Galilean (Newtonian) static, separate space and time. Relativistic “flat” space-time – Minkowski / Poincaré / Einstein. de Sitter spherical space-time: “… in the same way that the finite speed of light… Continue reading Universal symmetries – what really is broken?

General · Language

When conservation of energy goes out the window?

This post was inspired by Don Lincoln’s YouTube video “Subatomic Stories: Is the Planck length really the smallest?” In his Q&A (where he responds to questions from prior videos), he notes a caveat about the law of conservation of energy. Energy may not be conserved … because space-time can change. He offers some links for… Continue reading When conservation of energy goes out the window?

General · Language · Media · Site

Sightseeing near the speed of light – realistic simulation

Paraphrasing: Just a note before you go,A vision to be learnedTraveling near the speed of lightIt’s easy to get … Imagining how things would look when traveling near the speed of light is an interesting exercise. Using a freeware video game developed by MIT Game Lab (2012), this visualization (below) by The Action Lab is… Continue reading Sightseeing near the speed of light – realistic simulation

General · Language · Media

Quantum mechanics math basics – tasting the notation

[Communicating science series] All hail vector spaces! Imagine walking into an elementary school classroom and finding kids talking about quantum states. Depicting quantum interactions using diagrams and bra-ket manipulatives, for wave functions. Someday, eh. While we may never achieve Ernest Rutherford‘s notion of a quantum theory so simple that we can explain it to an… Continue reading Quantum mechanics math basics – tasting the notation

General · Problem

Life and the physics of having a moon

So, today I’m celebrating the Moon. The ancient mythology and modern physics of its stabilizing influence. Both the Moon’s natural prominence in the earthly sky and its regular cycle of phases as seen from Earth have provided cultural references and influences for human societies and cultures since time immemorial. After enjoying the full moon for… Continue reading Life and the physics of having a moon