Scientists are marching on behalf of science all over the country today, in case you haven't heard--despite the controversy about what one might call the diversity question. Per The Atlantic, Marching scientists will have a lot in common with angry 70s farmers, although "It’s unlikely that scientists will release 50 goats on the Capitol steps." Related: How a Scientist Who Studies Marches Sees the March for Science. Hahrie Han explains why some protests are effective and others aren’t. Also: In theory, science is not political. In practice, it needs a march. Bonus: Why the FBI Kept a 1,400-Page File on Einstein: The world-famous physicist was outspoken against racism, nationalism, and nuclear bombs, prompting deep suspicion from J. Edgar Hoover.
The Time Lord has some thoughts on the march, too, being a featured speaker at the Los Angeles March for Science. Marching for the right to be wrong: What it means to protest in the name of science. "The most obvious thing that our government can do, and our society along with it, is to help science to flourish in its own right, and accept what it has to teach us. Sometimes research tells us answers we don’t want to hear—that human activity is warming the planet, that we share a common ancestor with other living beings here on Earth, or that the universe is winding down toward its ultimate heat death. We need the courage to face up to the truth, whatever it turns out to be."
And since it's not sufficient merely to march: a volcanologist runs for Congress. "When asked whether she’s nervous about the possibility of a crowded primary and a long and bruising campaign, [Jess] Phoenix brushes it off. 'I walk into active volcanic eruptions,' she says. 'Congress? Come on.'" Related: Scientists Are Running for Office to Bring Facts Back to Washington. Also: 'We're Totally Fucked': Scientists Explain Why They're Running for Office.
The week kicked off with the Easter holiday, providing an excellent excuse for exploring the science behind a perfectly dyed Easter egg. "The vinegar—a solution of 5 percent acetic acid in water—is there to bring the pH low enough that the dye will actually bind. But is there an ideal pH for perfect egg-dying saturation?" Related: On Easter Day 1562 three 'Roman youths' put a joint of lamb on to cook and later found the meat glowed in the dark. The culprit? Bioluminescence!
Physicists have created a fluid with [effective] "negative mass", which accelerates backwards when pushed. But what does it tell us? The fluid, which defies everyday laws of motion, is a rare achievement and provides a platform to study an otherwise hypothetical form of matter. Also, as to why I put "negative mass" in scare quotes: No, Scientists Didn't Just Create Negative Mass or Defy the Laws of Physics. They created a negative "effective" mass. Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder has more technical details at her Backreaction blog.
A Cosmic Burst Repeats, Deepening a Mystery. After a surprise discovery, astrophysicists are racing to understand superenergetic flashes of radio waves that sometimes beep out from distant galaxies.
A Trail of Strange Physics Results Offers Tantalizing Hints of New Particles. A sigma here and a sigma there. Odd findings at the Large Hadron Collider have theorists hoping for new particles. Related: New LHC Results Hint At New Physics... But Are We Crying Wolf?
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the proton. Questions loom about the iconic particle's size, spin and decay.
Mapping the Sounds of Greek Byzantine Churches: How Researchers Are Creating “Museums of Lost Sound.”
The Wacky Physics of Firing a Ball Out of a Moving Cart.
Scientists from Israel and the United States provide new insight on how to control swirling of objects in a fluid.
Can we see a naked singularity? A team of scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research thinks there might be a way.
Like disappearing ink, but cooler: Laser-powered invisible images demonstrated. The image is only revealed if the right color laser is shone on surface.
The Failed Experiment That Changed The World. "In 1887, two scientists set out to measure how the speed of light changed with the Earth’s motion. The experiment was a total failure, and that was the biggest success of all."
Our Ancient Mutliverse: The multiverse is not a new idea. It's been messing with people's heads for at least 2,500 years.
Physics Urban Legends: The Legend of London's Time-Traveling Tomb--or is it a teleportation chamber?
Burning bones helped prove that women were poisoned by glowing paint.
Bubbles can reduce drag on ships, but we're still struggling to understand exactly how.
Mathematically optimizing traffic lights in road intersections. "In a paper published yesterday in the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, authors Simone Göttlich, Andreas Potschka, and Ute Ziegler address the problem of computing optimal traffic light settings for urban road intersections by applying traffic flow conservation laws on networks."
Why Does The Proton Spin? Physics Holds A Surprising Answer. "If you thought it was because it's made of three quarks, you might luck into the right answer, but not for the right reason."
Giant space magnet may have trapped antihelium, raising idea of lingering pools of antimatter in the cosmos.
The Orca Project: At the Bottom of the Sea, Glass Spheres Prepare to Hunt for Mysterious Neutrinos.
Stacking up gravitational-wave “ringdown” signals from a set of black hole mergers increases the sensitivity.
Fusion efficiency boosted by exploding a tiny gold shell from the inside. Shining laser through tiny hole yields smooth compression, lots of neutrons.
The entangled fabric of space: embracing the “It from qubit” motto.
Birds are changing their songs to shout over traffic noise. Will it keep them from finding love?
39-year-old drawing hints at what the Event Horizon Telescope may have just captured: the true shape of a black hole.
Fibonacci’s real mathematical legacy: "although Liber Abaci seems to predate the vernacular abacus books, did it actually inspire them? [Keith] Devlin points out that Fibonacci had also written a shorter, simpler abacus book in the vernacular, intended for merchants. That is now generally considered to be lost. If this book could be found, he argues, it might turn out to be the “missing link” between Liber Abaci and the spread of popularized arithmetic texts that came later."
Linden Gledhill's award-winning work merges art and science--like working with ferrofluids. [Artist site: Linden Gledhill]
Piezoelectricity for the win! Putting gridlock to good use. California Moves to Turn Freeway Traffic Into Electricity.
Exploding Sea Cucumber Butt Threads Are a New Material. "Engineers can use a sea cucumber’s technology to create new substances that change form when we need them to."
Let’s use some Legos and a six-side die to model radioactive decay, and understand carbon dating, enthuses Wired's Rhett Allain.
MIT Researchers Produce High-Quality Ink from Tailpipe Air Pollution.
Plants use acoustic vibes to find a drink.
How Turing's Enigma machine machine was able to break Enigma codes in under 20 minutes every day.
Why the FBI Kept a 1,400-Page File on Einstein: The physicist was outspoken against racism, nationalism, and nukes.
New 3D Quantum Liquid Crystals May Play Role in Future of Computers, could potentially be precursors to topological superconductors.
Euler's Identity: The World’s Most Beautiful Mathematical Equation.
Via Boing Boing: "The deceptively simple Collatz Conjecture is one of mathematics' most difficult puzzles. Alex Bellos shows off a cool rendering by Edmund Harris that looks like a beautiful life form from the sea."
Giordano Bruno and the Spirit that Moves the Earth -- a fascinating article on astronomy and heresy.
What Sorts Of Problems Are Quantum Computers Good For? Related: Quantum cryptography is unbreakable. So is human ingenuity. Related: How Cryptographers Will ‘Fight Quantum With Quantum.’ "Government agencies still want to restrict or control research into cryptographic security."
NASA Uses Gravitational Wave Detector Prototype to Detect ‘Space Mosquito’ Splats.
Other intelligent civilizations must have developed lasers. What if they are pointing them our way?
Orbital Graveyards Filled With Spacecraft Corpses Threaten Future Missions.
This tech was meant to explore space. Can it also solve the mysteries of breast cancer?
Space pants? Not quite, but "space fabric" does link fashion and engineering.
Planets: A Modest Proposal. When is a planet a planet? Always, whether it's a hecto-planet or a milli-planet.
… and Proxima makes three: Alpha Centauri really is a triple star.
What is Quantum Entanglement? Part 1: Waves and particles.
Consciousness Is Made of Atoms, Too, and sensations may be the building blocks.
Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy on the Unknown, and Why the Cross-Pollination of Disciplines is the Seedbed of Truth.
Scientists and Strategists Contemplate the Increasing Odds of Nuclear War.
At a ‘nuclear weapons summit’ in Santa Fe, experts counted the ways catastrophe could be unleashed — and the many fewer ways it can be prevented.
A UKIP Politician Is Selling A Health Product Called "Aerobic Oxygen" And It's Actually "Bleach."
The Art Experiments of Jonathon Keats Explore What’s Next for Science and Tech.
New series Genius is a Relatively Great Look at the Real Albert Einstein (Nerdist Review). Related: You Can Chat With Albert Einstein’s Facebook Bot Alter-Ego; Just prepare yourself for some physics puns.
Why Do We Teach "Physics For Poets" But Not "Poetry For Physicists?"
And finally, physicist Sabine Hossenfelder has channeled her inner electronic synth pop star and created a new music video "Catching Light." (There's some background information on her blog, too.)