LIGO pulls a hat trick with third gravitational wave detection, scientists are back to arguing about glass, and using beer years to make composite graphene foams were among this week's physics highlights.
LIGO is back, baby, as it detects gravitational waves from another black hole collision, and confirms another part of Einstein’s theory of relativity. This Third Gravitational Wave Detection Is About Much More Than Black Holes. The new signal deepens the riddle of how black holes come to collide. That means Merging Black Holes Can Now Be Used To Test Quantum Gravity, and it's now possible to compare different cases of colliding black holes. Related: Here's what's next for gravitational wave astronomy. Also: Six reasons why scientists are so excited about gravitational waves. [Image: LIGO collaboration]
Scientists Reignite Thirty-Year-Old Debate About Glass With New Calculation.
Higgs on the Moon: "The possibility that the LHC will only further confirm the Standard Model is often referred to as the nightmare scenario. The puzzles that emerge are not the nightmare; physicists love difficult problems. On the contrary, it is the indefinite persistence of the current confusing situation that is considered nightmarish."
A Theory of Reality as More Than the Sum of Its Parts. A new idea called causal emergence could explain the existence of conscious beings and other macroscopic entities.
Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible.
Fermented foams: Graphene composite foams using beer yeasts.
Doped Diamonds Push Practical Quantum Computing Closer to Reality.
Prepare for takeoff: Flying squirrels can generate lift that's comparable to powered flight.
Do stars fall quietly into black holes, or crash into something utterly unknown? Related: Surprise! The Universe Has A Third Way To Form Black Holes Also: X-ray Blast Produces a 'Molecular Black Hole.'
Using the Sun as a Cosmic Telescope: Astronomers want to harness the Sun's spacetime-warping gravity as a lens to image the surface of exoplanets
Rings and asteroids may explain ‘alien megastructure’ star. "It may not be aliens after all."
Break The Standard Model? An Ultra-Rare Decay Threatens To Do What The Large Hadron Collider Can't.
The Inflated Debate Over Cosmic Inflation: Why majority of physicists are on one side of a recent exchange of letters.
Could Cold Spot in the Sky Be a Bruise from a Collision with a Parallel Universe?
By studying the particles that cascade to Earth, scientists can learn about the energy of the original cosmic rays.
A 16th-century engineer whose work almost defeated an Empire. When the Ottomans laid siege to Rhodes, this smart inventor held them off for months.
Take three minutes and watch this incredible animation of Jupiter from NASA (with appropriate music).
Mosquito Detection with Neural Netting: To identify the sound of a single mosquito.
Rogue One science: The Physics of Ramming an Imperial Star Destroyer, Explained.
Why Wonder Woman's Sword is the Sharpest Blade in the Universe.
Awesome timelapse of breaking wave Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds over the Colorado Rockies.
Fractal: A Magnificent Supercell Thunderstorm Timelapse by Chad Cowan. "Cowan has recorded hundreds of storms and condensed the highlights into this short film."
Is there really a cosmological constant? Or is dark energy changing with time?
String Theory’s Weirdest Ideas Finally Make Sense—Thanks to VR.
A brief etymology of particle physics: How did the proton, photon and other particles get their names?
It’s Not an Impossible Fish Tank, It’s Just Physics, and you can even make your own vacuum suspended tank.
On Earth, gravity dominates over many fluid effects, but in microgravity a different picture emerges.
In space, no one can hear when you're hit by a meteoroid. Except that one time when LRO was hit.
Astronomers Are Coming to Grips With Moving The Thirty Meter Telescope From Hawaii to Spain.
A NASA spacecraft will aim straight for the sun next year bearing the name of astrophysicist Eugene Parker.
NASA is testing solar panels that unfurl like Fruit Roll-Ups in space.
Paul Allen Built the World’s Largest Plane to Fling Satellites Into Space.
Is Algebra Just a Series of Footnotes to the Distributive Property? Writes Ben Orlin: "'No black boxes' has long been my motto. Intuition before formalism. Never charge forward with symbolic manipulations until you understand what those symbols actually symbolize." Related: Believing that mathematical ability is a “gift” is like believing that the earth is flat, Keith Devlin explains.
"If it quacks like a sphere…": Scientific American's Evelyn Lamb explains the Poincaré Homology Sphere.
Historians Kennefick and Martínez like how Einstein is portrayed in Genius, despite dramatic license. Related: Einstein's civil rights activism explored on Antiques Roadshow when woman brings husband's rare photos for appraisal. Also: An Albert Einstein-Themed Restaurant Just Opened in Chicago. "[T]he Albert’s walls are lined with 12,000 science-related books, including stimulating and uplifting tomes like the Encyclopedia of the Diseases of Children, Advanced Mechanics of Materials, and books on figures like Leonardo da Vinci. A full 19 feet above the restaurant floor, a chandelier filled with glass cylinders suspends infused liquor, bitters, and spirits from the ceiling as a kind of hanging science lab for alcohol."
Art of Science: renowned printmaker Judith Brodsky takes on the greatest scientific questions of the 21st century. “What I’m interested in,” she says, “is the relation of science to culture, and to existence in a philosophic sense. What is its impact on our way of thinking? Which comes first, the science, or the need for a particular scientific concept? I’m interested in all of those kinds of issues. But also interested in making something that’s visually attractive. To seduce people into thinking about scientific issues in a way, perhaps, that they hadn’t thought about them before.” [Image: Judith Brodsky]
The Galileo Trial: Faux News from the 17th Century.
Shakespeare’s Genius Is Nonsense: What the Bard can teach science about language and the limits of the human mind.
Richard Feynman (in comic form) travels to the 21st century via time machine in 2003 Alley Oop comic by Jack and Carole Bender.
That Time Marie Curie Was Just Trying to Get the Electricity Running.
Pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell on the art of knowing what to do with your life.
Why the world needs more Leo Szilards. "Szilard's motto for the interaction of science with politics was one of accommodation. He was always an ardent believer in the common goals that human beings seek, irrespective of the divergent beliefs that they may hold. He was also an exemplar of combining thought with action, projecting an ideal meld of the idealist and the realist. Whether he was balancing thermodynamic thoughts with refrigeration concerns or following up political idealism with letters to prominent politicians, he taught us all how to both think and do. As interdisciplinary scientist, as astute technological inventor, as conscientious political activist, as a troublemaker of the best kind, Leo Szilard leaves us with an outstanding role model and an enduring legacy. It is up to us to fill his shoes."
Trump stands with climate change deniers, withdraws from Paris Agreement.
How the White House Lost Its Brains: POTUS’s climate, security, and budget decisions are being made without input from science advisors. Related: The White House has asked Congress for $120 million to jump-start the stalled development of a permanent storage facility for the nation's nuclear waste — but a resolution to the decades-long debate appears as unlikely as ever.
In the Midst of Global Turmoil, Russia’s Science Community Reboots.
Not all "experts" are created equal. Just because someone has a PhD doesn't make the conspiracy theory they're espousing any more real.
What An Old Moon Globe Says About the Nature of Science. "Scientists build models using the best evidence available. And you can’t model data you don’t have. Until someone saw the far side of the moon, science could only speculate as to what was back there. The blank side of this old moon globe reminds us that models are never perfect, but they remain useful just the same."
Mesmerizing See-Through Look at a Giant Firework Shell Igniting and Exploding in Ultra Slow Motion.
This (2009) Visualization of Sound Shows Us What Sound Waves Look Like (Sort Of).
Anstruther Model Solar System: Bronze plates around this Scottish fishing village form a true-scale model of the solar system.
Ode to a Flower – Richard Feynman's timeless meditation on knowledge and mystery, animated.
The Lutetium Project takes viewers inside the process of creating microfluidic circuits, also known as labs-on-a-chip.
Trippy video sets crow wing movements to audio waveforms.
The Turing Tumble, A DIY Mechanical Computer Powered by Marbles That Solve Puzzles of Logic.
Just three girls rockin' out and eating cereal... You know, a normal Monday for the trio of science-loving actors known as the Scirens.