One of the main themes of this blog is “What’s changed in the last 50 years?” — as far as our understanding of physics and the cosmos. For this post, let’s consider the last 100 years or so. There have been major changes in our cosmic perspective. Rather than adding the content of this post… Continue reading Cosmic retrospective — gamma ray bursts
As teased earlier this month, today the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project announced and presented the first ever photographs of a black hole — “the last photon orbit.” Another epic story of big science and an international team. The interplay of models and simulations, data capture, and complex processing. And funding. Much news coverage. Here’s… Continue reading Photographing a black hole?
Regarding recent posts about black holes, here’s another YouTube video by The Science Asylum on the topic (published February 16, 2019): “Black Holes can SPIN?!?” I’ve previously highlighted The Science Asylum as a science communicator. This latest video is an interesting overview of black holes: non-spinning vs. spinning, the math vs. reality inside and outside… Continue reading Ergosphere – what?
In the last few months, I’ve been struck by how many articles have been published in the popular media and science news about black holes and the Big Bang. Mainstream physics and science communications (like phys.org, quantamagazine.org, etc) lately seem to be discussing more and more “mind blowing” geometries of the universe (or multiverse, eh).… Continue reading Cosmological fact and fiction
Space.com May 30, 2018, “World Science Festival Kicks Off in NYC with Black Holes, Aliens and More.” Science fans from around the globe will converge in New York City this week for the 11th annual World Science Festival, a celebration of scientific discoveries with more than 70 live events. The festival kicked off Tuesday (May… Continue reading World Science Festival — black holes, aliens, etc
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
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
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
Lately in reading about modern physics and watching video interviews on contemporary cosmology, the number 10^100 (ten to the power of 100) kept coming up. Well, I found out probably why. Googol (not Google) is a large number: “In decimal notation, it is written as the digit 1 followed by one hundred 0s.” A googol has… Continue reading Googol, googolplex