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What’s an attosecond?

As I continue to ponder the mind boggling character of quantum physics (the 10^-n reality), I’m fascinated by articles about novel experiments which routinely explore infinitesimal time scales and distances. Nanoscale (10^-9) is amazing! But now there’s the attosecond. This Space.com article (April 30, 2018), “The ‘Attoclock’ Shows How Fast Electrons Move in a Millionth of a Billionth… Continue reading What’s an attosecond?

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Celebrity and cultural phenomenon — Stephen Hawking

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

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Star bright, first light — fingerprint hunt

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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