Tangled quantum histories, NASA's day of remembrance for lost astronauts, and a high-stakes game of quantum chess between physicist Stephen Hawking and actor Paul (Antman) Rudd were among this week's physics highlights.
Me at Gizmodo:
Why Bamboo Chopsticks Sound Like an Earthquake When They Break. "The sounds bamboo chopsticks emit when they’re snapped in half are remarkably similar to the laws that govern the magnitude and frequency of earthquakes. Such insights could one day help engineers determine more precisely when a bridge or dam, for instance, might be about to fail."
This Is How Hummingbirds Regulate Their Body Temperatures in Flight. "Hummingbirds flap their wings a blistering 12 to 80 times per second (depending on the species) when in flight. This can generate quite a bit of extra body heat, which must be dissipated somehow to prevent the birds from overheating. Now scientists think they understand a bit more about how these tiny creatures regulate body temperature."
Take an Audio Tour of Classic Paintings Transformed Into Soundscapes. "Many have savored the arresting visual beauty of Raphael’s “Madonna del Prato” (1505). Now you can listen to it as well, thanks to a new series by Athens-based artist and physicist Yiannis Kranidiotis, who transformed this and other classic paintings into haunting digital soundscapes."
This Shark Shepherdess Looks Like She Stepped Out of an Underwater Fairy Tale. "A lovely shepherdess in a flowing white dress tends to her flock in these gorgeous photographs reminiscent of a fairy tale. The twist: the shepherdess is underwater, and her charges are white-tipped reef sharks. The image is part of the latest series from conservation photographer Benjamin Wong, a.k.a. Von Wong."
Paul Rudd and Stephen Hawking Face Off in a High-Stakes Game of Quantum Chess. "What do you do if you’re Paul Rudd and itching to speak at a Caltech event about quantum mechanics? Challenge your arch-rival, Stephen Hawking, to a game of quantum chess, of course. The very future of the universe might be at stake." [Related: Why a quantum chess match between Stephen Hawking and Paul Rudd?]
Other Cool Links:
Quantum histories get all tangled up: Tracing a particle’s past requires multiple chronologies, physicists say.
Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia: Remembering NASA’s lost astronauts. Related: Courage is contagious': NASA remembers astronauts on Challenger explosion's 30-year anniversary. Also: A famous physicist's simple experiment showed the inevitability of the Challenger disaster; Richard Feynman also authored the Challenger Disaster’s Minority Report. Bonus Op-Ed: We Never Should Have Mothballed the Space Shuttle: "they judged that the rewards were worth the risks."
Old Nuclear Fallout Proves Useful for Sea Turtle Clues.
New Clues to How the Brain Maps Time. our thoughts may take place on a mental space-time canvas.
The Doomsday Clock Remains at 3 Minutes to Midnight, But That's Horrible News.
The Toughest Scene I Wrote: How Drew Goddard Made Physics Fun in The Martian.
Two American Physics Labs Are Vying for a Billion-Dollar Particle Accelerator.
The Game of Go Is No Longer Insurmountable for AI.
How Fast Did Blue Origin’s Rocket Accelerate on Launch?
Fermi's Paradox is not Fermi's and it is not a paradox. "[he] never suggested that aliens don't exist."
Corals, Crochet And The Cosmos: How Hyperbolic Geometry Pervades The Universe.
Physicist Fires a Rifle at Himself Under Water in the Name of Science.
Beyond element 118: for the next row of the periodic table, a technological leap may be called for.
How to Skip a Stone: ‘Throw at a 20-degree angle.’
Physicists Cut Through the Randomest Randomness of Large Quantum Systems.
A New Planet or a Red Herring? The history of astronomy gives us plenty of reasons to be skeptical about the potential new addition to our solar system.
These Gecko Gloves Can (Kind of) Turn You Into Spider-Man.
CERN Engineers Have to Identify and Disconnect 9,000 Obsolete Cables.
Dark Energy May Be Distorting Our View of Gravitational Waves.
How the Eyes of a Dragonfly Helped Us Discover New Galaxies with a Telephoto Lens.
This Is Why Understanding Space Is So Hard.
Everything You Need To Know About The Deep Space Station NASA Has To Build By 2018.
Berkeley’s cell phone radiation warning law can go into effect, judge rules.
Math Books I Wish I Had on My Shelf: "How To Lower Your Erdos Number in Just Six Weeks!"
How a Mathematical Superstition Stultified Algebra for Over a Thousand Years.
An NFL player was just accepted to the math PhD program at MIT. Smash those stereotypes!
Math Predicts Large-Scale Conspiracies Would Fall Apart, Is Probably LIES Anyway so Whatever.
Retiring a Detector: After 30 years, an underground lab (MINOS) faces an uncertain future.
Science and Life Are More Algorithm Than Math Equation.
Thomas Edison tells a joke about a very healthy liver, recorded on his Edison Blue Amberol cylinder. (1906)
How Do You Save an Elephant’s Tusk? Ask a Materials Engineer.
A unique evening at the Science Museum celebrated the acclaimed Cosmonauts exhibition with a PSB concert about the space race.
How Special Is Your Birthday? (Mathematically Speaking, That Is.)
This old study aid for math has a scientific basis. tracing over what you're learning makes it easier to remember.
Litvinenko inquiry unveils science sleuths at heart of investigation who tracked trail left by dissident’s killers.
Hundreds Of Thousands Of People Have Tried To Crack This Puzzle And No One Has Been Able To Get It Right.
Physics Problems Written by a Professor Addicted to Tentacle Porn.
Everyone in This Animated Short Is Stuck in a Time Loop.
B.o.B. Just Started a Rap War With Neil DeGrasse Tyson Over His Flat Earth Tweets. "As much as B.o.B. might protest, the idea that the Earth is round isn’t exactly up for debate." Related: the Silly But Serious History of the International Flat Earth Society. Also: an Impractical, Mathematically Elegant Way to Figure out Earth Is a Sphere, plus a more pragmatic method -- Here's How Ancients Proved the Earth wasn't flat.
Finally, check out the latest video from New Scientist's Explanimator series: the concept of reality isn't that simple in the quantum world.