It's a brand new year with a bunch of shiny new physics links. Among this week's highlights: an effort to classify all phases of matter, metalens-shaped light for cloaking devices, and the mysterious Tabby star isn't aliens after all--just dust.
How temperature affects the bubbly explosion when you open a champagne bottle.
Two Experiments Show Fourth Spatial Dimension Effect. “Physically, we don’t have a 4D spatial system, but we can access 4D quantum Hall physics using this lower-dimensional system because the higher-dimensional system is coded in the complexity of the structure.”
Physicists Aim to Classify All Possible Phases of Matter. A complete classification could lead to a wealth of new materials and technologies. But some exotic phases continue to resist understanding.
Mystery of 'Alien Megastructure' Star Has Been Cracked--And It's Not Aliens. Twinkle, twinkle Tabby's Star: Dips in brightness so bizarre. Could it be we've found ET? Nope, not yet. It's dust we see.
Are cloaking devices coming? Metalens-shaped light may lead the way.
Ideas of parallel universes and alternative histories, once confined to fictional scenarios, are now a part of science.
The fat in a perfect croissant: Delicious, flaky croissants owe their wonderful texture to the complex, multiscale structure of butter or related fats.
We've Entered a New Era of Quantum Computing. “Quantum computers with 50-100 qubits may be able to perform tasks which surpass the capabilities of today’s classical digital computers, but noise in quantum gates will limit the size of quantum circuits that can be executed reliably.”
How Much Power Does Magneto Need to Rip Iron from Blood?
Doing some science based on the Mortal Engines Trailer: The Physics of Those Giant Driving Cities.
The Physics of Plastic Sheets … and Their Invisible Force Fields?
Meet Dr. Ramon Ferrer-i-Cancho, the Scientist Using Physics Techniques to Solve Linguistic Mysteries. Related: The Anatomy of the Urban Dictionary: The first large-scale study of the Urban Dictionary provides unique insights into the way our language is evolving.
One bad apple can spoil a robot swarm: Coordinated robot swarms can achieve amazing feats, but even a single faulty unit can have serious consequences.
Flat Earth Is the Ultimate Conspiracy. Motherboard went to the very first Flat Earth International Conference. "The shape of the world is only half the story of flat eartherism. It is also a full assault on authority and its trappings."
Scientists have long sought to unravel the mysteries of water, and researchers at Stockholm University say the compound's odd behavior stems from its ability to exist in two, liquid states.
Bose-Einstein condensates may be able to simulate cosmic inflation.
This was the year that analysis of data finally backed up a prediction, made in the mid 1970s, of a surprising emergent behaviour in the strong nuclear force.
Researchers in London have developed scanning techniques that show what is written on the papyrus that mummy cases are made from.
Physics Found Gravitational Waves. Now Come the Existential Questions. “What if there’s nothing? Then we learned, there is nothing.”
Watching How Rare, Meteoric Diamonds Form: A shock collision experiment maps their transition from graphite in real time.
Oh snap: How a shrimp closes its claws fast enough to vaporize water.
Secret to Porpoise Sonar Revealed. The animals can adjust structures in their foreheads to change the echolocation signals they emit.
The science of how air fryers work (Some of it involves concepts of physics and meteorology).
How Isaac Newton Lost $3 Million Dollars in the “South Sea Bubble” of 1720: Even Geniuses Can’t Prevail Against the Machinations of the Markets.
The Fluid Dynamics of "The Starry Night": How Vincent Van Gogh's Masterpiece Explains the Scientific Mysteries of Movement and Light.
Washing your hair in space is a nice lesson in elastocapillarity.
Panza's Paradox. How Cervantes pondered and resolved a set theory puzzle over 400 years ago.
Do You Know Your ABCs? The mysterious abc conjecture is once again in the news. What is it?
Simulating Chutes and Ladders in Python: The popular board game can be analyzed by converting it to a Markov Chain.
Largest prime number ever found has over 23 million digits.
The Math Behind Gerrymandering and Wasted Votes. Simple math can help scheming politicians manipulate district maps and cruise to victory. But it can also help identify and fix the problem.
Steven Strogatz interview on math education, chaos theory, prisoners dilemma and why math is not really boring.
When Science Fiction Meets Social Science: sci-fi author Ada Palmer explains why she goes less into the details of antimatter engines and more into sociological questions of of state formation, legal history, identity groups.
CDC plans session on ‘preparing for the unthinkable’: a nuclear detonation. “Learn how planning and preparation efforts for a nuclear detonation are similar and different from other emergency response planning efforts,” a CDC email says.
Americans played football in the nuked remains of Nagasaki for the 'Atom Bowl' in 1946.
Baseball and the Atom Bomb: The Epic Story of Catcher Moe Berg and His Secret Mission to Determine Werner Heisenberg's Progress in Nuclear Research During World War II.
On its 100th birthday in 1959, new documents reveal that Edward Teller warned the oil industry about global warming.
Former NASA Engineer Mark Rober Uses Science and a Robot to Discover That an Arcade Game Is Rigged.