Check out my latest feature for Quanta: Why Did Life Move to Land? For the View. The first creatures that crawled onto land may have been lured there by the benefits of seeing through air. Co-author Malcolm MacIver produced this whimsical explainer video to accompany the publication in PNAS. Ed Yong also covered this fascinating new paper at The Atlantic.
Sad news: Gravitational waves pioneer Professor Ron Drever dies at the age of 85, narrowly missing out on a Nobel Prize for his work. Related: How Richard Feynman Convinced The Naysayers 60 Years Ago That Gravitational Waves Are Real.
Product of a 'Holy Grail" Physics Experiment has Disappeared. Looking for lost metallic hydrogen sample is like "Where's Waldo," but a kajillion times harder.
Old Equations Find New Life: The Physics of Ice Bridges.
Little Spheres are Pushy. A simple diffusion model explains why small particles tend to push big ones to the bottom of a drying colloid film.
‘Digital Alchemist’ Seeks Rules of Emergence. Computational physicist Sharon Glotzer is uncovering the rules by which complex collective phenomena emerge from simple building blocks.
Why Didn’t Saint Laurent’s No-Heel Shoe Break on the Runway? A Physics Professor Explains.
Engravings from Johann Zahn’s Oculus Artificialis (1685), a seminal work in 17th-century optics. "Among the studies is an envisaging, for the very first time, of a portable hand-held version of the camera obscura. At the heart of the imagined device is a mirror reflex mechanism, technology that would not see realisation until a century and a half later with the birth of the photographic camera"
Engineers have reinvented 3D synthetic aperture radar using metamaterials.
What are time crystals, you ask? The answers are in this mind-bending feature in Nature. Related: Time crystals make their appearance, no blue police box reported. Ions oscillate in synchrony, but will do so only if there is some noise. Also check out my own recent New Scientist piece on time crystals.
How Nature Controls Traffic on the Surface of Cells. "this spider web-like scaffolding, called the cytoskeleton, has a fractal structure [that] ... seems to play an important role in organizing the activity on the surface of the cell."
The geometry of weird-shaped dice. "How does one design dice with a weird number of faces? What mathematical strategies does one use to make them? What other types of dice are possible? And, perhaps most important: are these dice 'fair'?"
The Expanse Is so Committed to Science Its Scripts are Color-Coded for Gravity.
No conspiracy of dark matter or death stars; asteroid strikes seem to be pure dumb luck.
Perspective from the Washington Post's Joel Achenbach: About those mysterious fast radio bursts from deep space...
Drones built like squishy bugs won't break when they crash.
What is the Most Important Idea about Universe? Peter Watson argues that it's "convergence" i.e. seemingly disparate areas of science are fundamentally linked.
How can these cops run up a wall using only a pole? Physics, of course.
Quantum microscope offers MRI for molecules. Diamond-based imaging system uses magnetic resonance of electrons to detect charged atoms and peer at chemical reactions in real time.
Coffee-ring effect leads to better crystallization control. "A chance observation of crystals forming a mark that resembled the stain of a coffee cup left on a table has led to the growth of customized polycrystals with implications for faster and more versatile semiconductors."
Whirligig beetles create waves as they skim across the water--the result of both surface tension and gravity.
Physicists built a novel 'triangulene' molecule atom by atom, then imaged it atom by atom.
How the hair-trigger nuclear age and fears of Armageddon inspired visionary cold warriors to invent the internet.
This beautiful experiment with water and alcohol could improve how we clean up oil spills.
NASA Just Found a Lost Spacecraft Orbiting the Moon.
Fuzzy pulsars orbiting black holes could unmask quantum gravity.
Virtual Reality Poses the Same Riddles as the Cosmic Multiverse. Alt-realities, whether cosmic or VR, would undermine the laws of physics.
Kepler Telescope Releases Trove of Data on Newfound Earth-Sized Exoplanets.
Behold Saturn’s moon Pan: Space walnut? Space empanada? UFO? You decide.
Scientists created a mesmerizing, self-folding origami that could one day be used in space or medicine.
Physics teachers really ought to include numerical calculations in their lessons says Wired's Rhett Allain.
Vox First Person: "I learned how to do math with the ancient abacus — and it changed my life."
The International Space Station May Soon Host the Coolest Place in the Universe. The station's Cold Atom Laboratory will reach temperatures just a billionth of a degree above absolute zero.
Understanding what's happening inside liquid droplets. "In the laboratory of Alberto Fernandez-Nieves in Georgia Tech's School of Physics, [Ph.D. candidate Alexandros] Fragkopoulos is studying how toroidal droplets - which initially take the shape of a donut - evolve into spherical droplets by collapsing into themselves or breaking up into smaller droplets."
Here are Five of The Most Symmetrical Objects in the World, including Gravity Probe B 'squartz gyroscope rotors and the Avogadro Project silicon kilogram.
How an 18th Century Clergyman Schemed to Weigh the World.
Big Bang Theory: Why Georges Lemaître (1894-1966) should be as famous as Einstein.
How Iconic Psychiatrist Carl Jung and Nobel-Winning Physicist Wolfgang Pauli Bridged Mind and Matter. Two of humanity’s greatest minds explore the parallels between spacetime and the psyche, the atomic nucleus and the self.
Fact-Checking Sites Find Their Way Into Science. It started with outlets like Snopes. Now a French-language site vets science claims, and others may follow. Is this the best way to ensure accuracy?
On Being a Trans Mathematician: A Q&A with Autumn Kent. "Being trans is beautiful."
Artist Rachel Sussman created a colorful image of the cosmic microwave background out of sand—and then destroyed it.
The Musical, Mathematical Genius in You "that sees the Fibonacci sequence in the whorls of a flower."
Hear the Earliest Known Piece of Polyphonic Music: This Composition, Dating Back to 900 AD, Changed Western Music.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer celebrated its 20-year anniversary yesterday, and as the author of a book called The Physics of the Buffyverse, I remain a huge fan of the series. So is Charlie Jane Anders, who wrote a wonderful tribute for Wired: Self-aware jokes? Female heroics? Tropes? Buffy was slaying all of that two decades ago. And we still need her.
Explaining physics with wonderful, 1930s-style animation. Per Boing Boing: "These amazing animated shorts on physics feature an adorable, 1930's style version of Maxwell's Demon."