January 30 was National Croissant Day. And yes, there’s a Physics Today article for that. The fat in a perfect croissant: Delicious, flaky croissants owe their wonderful texture to the complex, multiscale structure of butter or related fats.
Shrinking black holes avoid paradox by oozing hidden information. "The random disorder of subatomic particles – their entropy – might be the key to solving a long-standing puzzle about how black holes lose information. This proposal could help unite gravity and quantum mechanics."
Multiverse Thought Experiment Suggests Life Could Still Exist Under Different Laws of Physics. Related: Universes with no weak force might still have stars and life. An alternate cosmos could do without one of the fundamental forces, physicists say
Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers. The quest for "quantum supremacy" – unambiguous proof that a quantum computer does something faster than an ordinary computer – has paradoxically led to a boom in quasi-quantum classical algorithms.
No, We're Not All Doomed by Earth's Magnetic Field Flip. A geomagnetic apocalypse may not be on the horizon, but there is some fascinating science behind the doomsday hype.
Synchronized Galactic Orbit Challenges Our Best Theory of How the Universe Works.
Scientists Build Universe to Understand How Black Holes Kill Galaxies.
Black Hole Mergers Might Actually Make Gamma-Ray Bursts, After All.
How the Universe Got Its Bounce Back. Cosmologists have shown that it’s theoretically possible for a contracting universe to bounce and expand. The new work resuscitates an old idea that directly challenges the Big Bang theory of cosmic origins.
Olympic Big Air Snowboarders Use Physics to Their Advantage. The PyeongChang Winter Games will debut big air snowboarding, where athletes who master the laws of physics will be most likely to medal and avoid injury.
Laser Scans Reveal Maya "Megalopolis" Below Guatemalan Jungle. A vast, interconnected network of ancient cities was home to millions more people than previously thought.
Can an Airplane Take Off on a Moving Runway? "Where do you get a giant plane-sized treadmill that goes 100 mph?"
Hauntingly Beautiful Infrared Photos of Life Arising Amongst the Rust of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, by Photographer Vladimir Migutin. Via Laughing Squid: "It’s pretty hard to describe the overall atmosphere I experienced during this trip. Despite the events of 1986, the ruins, and the rust, I didn’t have grim feelings while traveling there. On the contrary, it felt like I was in a “kind of” paradise on a different planet. Thirty years after the fallout, while men still stay away, the forests, the animals, the plants, everything is thriving, revived by nature." [Image: Vladimir Migutin]
Missing Neutrons May Lead a Secret Life as Dark Matter. This may be the reason experiments can’t agree on the neutron lifetime, according to a new idea.
An updated Feynman experiment could lead to a Theory of Everything. Measuring quantum gravity has proven extremely challenging, stymying some of the greatest minds in physics for generations.
Nanowrinkles In The Sea: How An Experiment In Sydney Harbor Could Help Reduce Global CO2 Emissions.
Eyes are common at the center of cyclones, but scientists are only now understanding how they form.
Isaac Newton Vs. Las Vegas: How Physicists Used Science To Beat The Odds At Roulette.
Astronauts lose weight in space, and it might be because their food is literally floating around inside them.
If there’s no predeterminism in quantum mechanics, can it output numbers that truly have no pattern? "Can you ever rule out the existence of a pattern, just because you’d failed to find one? The answer to this question takes us to the heart of quantum mechanics, to the part that popular explanations usually mangle." Scott Aaronson on quantum randomness in The American Scientist.
"Mathematical analysis shows that flat surfaces exposed to a flow that melts or dissolves them unavoidably develop these scallops."
Bummer update: HD 131399Ab is not an exoplanet. It’s a star.
Mathematicians work to expand pictorial language into other fields. "Pictorial laws appear to unify ideas from disparate, interdisciplinary fields of knowledge, linking them beautifully like elements of a da Vinci painting."
Meet the 'odderon': Large Hadron Collider experiment shows potential evidence of quasiparticle sought for decades.
MIT researchers are using customized LEGO bricks to make a modular microfluidics platform.
Draft of US government cell phone safety study backtracks on earlier claims. Related: Of Science, Certainty, and the Safety of Cell Phone Radiation. How to cover an issue when the stakes for human health seem so high, scientific questions still linger, and passions run so deep?
Is space the next frontier for archaeology? What does the Huygens lander have in common with Stonehenge? More than you expect. “There's stuff in orbit, particularly in middle to high orbits, that's up there for thousands or even millions of years.”
Nobel-Winning Physicist Niels Bohr on Subjective vs. Objective Reality and the Uses of Religion in a Secular World. “The fact that religions through the ages have spoken in images, parables, and paradoxes means simply that there are no other ways of grasping the reality to which they refer. But that does not mean that it is not a genuine reality. And splitting this reality into an objective and a subjective side won’t get us very far.”
A century ago, Romain Rolland, born on January 29 in 1866, penned the remarkable and timely "Declaration of the Independence of the Mind," which Einstein, Tagore, Hesse, and a number of the era's titans signed. "We commit ourselves never to serve anything but the free Truth that has no frontiers and no limits and is without prejudice against races or castes."
Semi-Fictional Geothermal Physics Lab: A speculative gold-plated laser buried in the San Andreas Fault, extracting energy from geothermal friction.
The Four Scientific Meanings Of 'Nothing': In science, we often talk about getting something from nothing. But not everyone agrees what 'nothing' actually is.
Designed from scratch today, a modern, profit-minded brewery would do no brewing. Instead, it would be a distillery — a lean, sterile study in efficiency that churns out pure alcohol from a cheap source of carbohydrates.
Artificial Intelligence May Have Cracked the Code of the Voynich Manuscript: Has Modern Technology Finally Solved a Medieval Mystery?
Gorgeous New Sparkling Blooms Photographed with Ultraviolet-Induced Visible Fluorescence by Craig Burrows. Per Colossal: "[He] continues to explore a unique photography method called ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence that uses high-intensity UV lights to excite fluorescence found in some plants, animals, and various objects. Burrows chooses to focus on flowers, creating colorfully vivid interpretations of jade blooms, daisies, and irises that seem to practically glow from within." [Image: Craig Burrows]
What is the Fourier Transform and what is it good for?
What Makes Extraordinary Science Extraordinary. "Political junkies watch C-SPAN. Sports fans watch ESPN. Art collectors watch Christie’s. I watch scientists respond to ideas."
The Tech Behind The Biggest Planetarium In The Western Hemisphere: The Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium at the Liberty Science Center.
'Fits neatly inside a lizard's cloaca': Scientists are leaving Amazon reviews, and it's amazing. "Disclaimer: The Washington Post is owned by Jeffrey P. Bezos, who also runs Amazon, though we really don't think we're doing the site any favors with this article."
This Thread Expertly Breaks Down the Real-World Logistics of Fighting in a Ball Gown. https://www.themarysue.com/this-thread-expertly-breaks-down-the-real-world-logistics-of-fighting-in-a-ball-gown/
How Much Sugar Would It Take To Get A Rocket To The Moon?
The Marvelous Ms. Maisel: Science, Comedy And Genius. "A big part of my job as a scientist is teaching graduate students who are trying to climb their own ladder to excellence. From a distance, science can be one of those places where full-fledged practitioners just seem to exist in a state of grace, of fully accomplished understanding. But, in truth, the ladder is made of a thousand small steps — and missteps."
Watch how 19th-century Genaille-Lucas calculating rulers work. "Multiplying large numbers before calculators led to a number of ingenious inventions to make things easier."
Dr. MegaVolt Interacts With a Super High Voltage Tesla Coil in Slow Motion.
Why do mirrors flip horizontally (but not vertically)? The Physics Girl, Diana Cowern, explains.
The ingenious design of the drinking bird (and what it is hiding under its hat). "Albert Einstein spent 3.5 months studying it."