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

General · Media · Site

Cassini finale — historic Saturn mission ends

Much in the media over the years, the Cassini–Huygens space mission ended today with the controlled re-entry of the Cassini orbiter into Saturn’s atmosphere after over 13 years there. Wiki: Cassini–Huygens, or more commonly, Cassini, is a Flagship-class unmanned robotic spacecraft which was planned, built, launched, and operated in collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency, and… Continue reading Cassini finale — historic Saturn mission ends

General · Media · Site · TV

The Golden Record — “We offer friendship across the stars”

I’ve followed news and documentaries on the Voyager probes over the decades. A friend recently wrote: Did you happen to see the recent retrospective on the Voyager space crafts on PBS? 1  Great show!  Fascinating to see how much their work and their “baby” meant to the scientists and engineers — now in their 80s.… Continue reading The Golden Record — “We offer friendship across the stars”

General · Media · Site

Eclipse as tale of computation

There’s a lot of media coverage on the upcoming total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. More attention than I remember for any eclipse event. These events have been noteworthy throughout history. Varied reactions and interpretations. This Space.com article “How Eclipses Drove 2,000 Years of Math: A Q&A With Stephen Wolfram” (August 18, 2017) highlights… Continue reading Eclipse as tale of computation