This week started off with peak frivolity as everyone went bonkers over Pokemon Go, and ended in tragedy when dozens of people were killed by a terrorist attach in Nice, France, after a lorry drove into the crowds celebrating Bastille Day. Don't even get me started on the military coup in Turkey. Jen-Luc Piquant is grieving in solidarity with the rest of the world today. But she did manage to compile some physics news links, nonetheless.
Me at Gizmodo:
Pitching the perfect curveball takes just the right mix of skill and physics. "Among a baseball pitcher’s arsenal of tricks is the infamous curveball, whereby the baseball takes a sudden dive downward just before it reaches the plate, faking out the batter. A new “History Minute” video from the National Institute of Standards and Technology takes a look at the physics behind this longstanding bane of batters."
Here's Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night Recreated with 'DNA Origami.' "Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” seems to have a special appeal for scientists, who have recreated it using bacteria, among other media, in the past. Now scientists at Caltech have made their own tiny version of the painting—a dime’s width across—out of folded DNA molecules. Some day the same technique could be used to build teensy biosensors, or for targeted drug delivery." [Image: Paul Rothemund/Caltech]
Drawing Eyes on Cow Butts May Ward Off Hungry Lions. "A conservation biologist has come up with a novel method for protecting cattle from being hunted by African lions: paint eyes on their butts. The lions will think their intended prey has seen them and will move on, since they’ve lost the element of surprise."
The Math Behind the Perfect Climbing Rope. "Rock and mountain climbers rely on strong, yet elastic ropes to keep them safe should they happen to fall. Now mathematicians at the University of Utah have come up with an equation to design an ideal climbing rope—one that would be safer and more durable. They described this perfect rope, and a promising class of materials that might be used to make it, in a recent paper in the Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology."
Other Cool Links:
The Noise at the Bottom of the Universe: origin of quantum noise is modern incarnation of a millennia-old debate.
Three Puzzles Inspired by Ramanujan give us a number of ways to explore the infinite.
What is entropy, REALLY? Aatish Bhatia made an interactive blog post to answer this question with sheep.
Could Dark Energy Be Caused By Frozen Neutrinos?
The physics behind hitting a home run.
How Much Energy Could the Tour de France Generate? The numbers might surprise you.
Who Ya Gonna Call? MIT physicists Lindley Winslow and Janet Conrad gave the Ghostbusters crew a taste of life in the lab. And now co-star Kate McKinnon Is Obsessed With Physics. Related: Ghostbusters: Yes, the Equations are Correct. Also: Bustin' Ghosts with Science: The Physics of the Proton Pack:
What happens if you throw Thor's hammer at the Juggernaut? Something *bad*.
Dissecting Sheldon Cooper: How The Big Bang Theory plays with the stereotype of the mad genius.
The twisted physics behind the incredible sport of 'tricking'– the love child of martial arts, parkour, break dancing and gymnastics.
What to Wear in the Ninth Dimension: Why your clothing is actually visiting you from higher-dimensional space.
The Gas Law Pentagram: Wired's Rhett Allain has a request of physics faculty: "Please don't use the "density triangle" or anything like that (or the P-I-V triangle)."
The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule.
What do you do with a problem like space junk? ESA may have a solution.
Radiation From Ancient Supernovae May Have Given Evolution an Astrophysical Push.
A Pinch of Nuclear Forensics Can Change the Way We View Past Blasts.
Why the First Close-Up Image of Mars Was Hastily Painted in Pastels. "Impatient to behold Mars up-close for the first time, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) decided to literally take the pictures into their own hands. As soon as their probe sent along its image codes, they recreated the image with a pastel set by assigning colors to various number ranges." [Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Dan Goods]
Ask Ethan: Did The LHC Discover A New Type Of Particle?
Honda engineers scaled back rare earth metals in hybrid engines significantly.
Desert Moss Makes Water Trap So Powerful It Can Hoist Water Against Gravity.
Putting a New Spin on Sound Waves.
A primer on particle accelerators: What’s the difference between a synchrotron and a cyclotron, anyway?
Big things come in little packages: How Willis Lamb's tiny measurement revolutionized 20th century physics.
Laplace’s calorimeter: he reached the limits of his ability when it came to managing people post French Revolution.
Calculus apprehensions may steer women away from science careers.
The Last of the Earthquake Predictors: using ambient noise.
The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected: Astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser on Fishing as Metaphor for Pursuit of Knowledge.
Neil deGrasse Tyson was once stopped by police while carrying physics books to his office.
The folks at Vox asked hundreds of scientists what they’d change about science. Here are their favorite responses.
NASA and LEGO team up to give kids a space challenge.
Someone Bought Einstein's Smelly Leather Jacket for Nearly $150,000.
Fun With the Physics Girl: Bizarre Spinning Toys: