Physics Buzz

Simulation Offers Tips on Creating Element 120
Friday, June 24, 2016
If you caught our TETRIS! post a couple of weeks ago, you’ll know that the seventh row of the periodic table is officially complete and that earlier this month the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry disclosed recommended names for the four... more

When Morality and Automobiles Collide
Thursday, June 23, 2016
 A woman is the sole passenger in an autonomous self-driving vehicle traveling at the speed limit down a main road. Suddenly, 10 pedestrians appear ahead, in the direct path of the car. The car could be programmed to: SWERVE off to the side of road,... more

Vapor Explosions: Magic and Metallurgy
Monday, June 20, 2016
It is New Year's Eve and, somewhere in Scandinavia, a family sits around a small table, illuminated by candlelight, speaking to one another in subdued tones. On the table, an ornate spoon rests in a small silver stand, its head sitting above an open cand... more

Physics Book Club: The Hainish Cycle
Friday, June 17, 2016
The Hainish Cycle, a loosely interconnected science fiction series by author Ursula K. LeGuin, is everything sci-fi ought to be. Set in a universe where humanity was “seeded” across the galaxy long ago from an ancient spacefaring homeworld, each book ex... more

Gravitational Waves Explained: Feynman's "Sticky Bead"
Thursday, June 16, 2016
With yesterday's report from the LIGO collaboration indicating that they had observed a second black hole merger event, the 'net is once again abuzz with talk of gravitational waves, but some of you might still be struggling to understand precisely what ... more

LIGO Does it Again! Second Black Hole Merger Recorded
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
It’s a good day. This morning, scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration announced that late on the evening of December 25, 2015, LIGO detectors observed gravitational ... more

Scientists Shine a Spotlight on Photons Produced in Neutron Decay
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Studying decay might seem like a job for the biologists, but not so when it comes to particles. The strange, but common process through which particles decay, or change from one type into two or more other types, is fundamental to the way the universe wo... more