Physics Buzz

Hot and Cold, All at Once
Monday, November 23, 2015
New research slated for publication in Physical Review B shows that “cold spots” can be localized within a molecule, leaving single atoms with temperatures near absolute zero, while other parts of the molecule rest around a comparatively balmy 100 Kelvin... more

What Can a Blob-eating Game Teach Us About Biblical Plagues?
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Swarming behavior has always fascinated physicists, biologists, and behavioral scientists alike—as well as anyone who’s seen a sky-darkening flock of starlings twist into its mesmerizing shapes. It’s hard not to wonder how such elegantly concerted behavi... more

Ask a Physicist: FTL Communication With a Very Long Stick
Friday, November 06, 2015
Amy from Hull, England asks:"Imagine a tube structure stretching a large distance (say a light year) encasing a row of ballbearings that are lined up inside the full length of the tube. If I push one more ballbearing in from one end, would a ballbearing ... more

Two by Two
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
For close to a decade now, two of the hottest buzzwords in technology have been “Quantum Computing”—the promise of storing a information by manipulating the spin of a single electron, and the associated prospect of harnessing quantum entanglement for fas... more

What's in a (Martian) Name?
Thursday, October 29, 2015
If you’re a fan of The Martian, then you’re familiar with the alien landscape of Acidalia Planitia and Arabia Terra. But you may be wondering: Where did these strange names come from? On this week’s podcast we set out to answer that question, in a fun... more

Slippery Lipids Give Snakeskin its Slither
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Snakes can slither smoothly over almost any surface, from jungle branches to desert sands, without damaging their skin – an ability that has fascinated researchers.The fatty layer covering snakeskin protects the animal's underside against scrapes and wea... more

Scaling Down the Solar System
Thursday, October 22, 2015
“I sort of missed the science boat entirely,” says Wylie Overstreet, one of the creators behind the new short film To Scale: The Solar System. “It was only a couple of years ago that I discovered science as a story...and it was transformative. I sudden... more