Category Archive: Physics

Feb 26 2013

Halos in the sky


I just got back from this evening’s Cafe Scientifique — where were you guys? — and I got to see lots of pretty pictures of halos and sundogs and light pillars. One of the nice things about living in Morris is that we actually get a lot of that weird atmospheric phenomena here, because we …

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Oct 22 2012

Physicist squelching fantasy

Sean Carroll puts limits on reality. Good stuff; no gods, no magic powers, no life after death…just us as part of a universe with rules.

Jul 04 2012

Have they got a Higgs boson?


Sean Carroll live-blogged a seminar discussing the latest results, which meant he wrote down a heck of a lot of cryptic jargon I couldn’t understand at all. But here’s the bottom line: Personal editorializing by me: we’ve found the Higgs, or at least a Higgs. Still can’t be sure that it’s just the vanilla Standard …

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Feb 23 2012

I have a plan for faster-than-light travel now

Both Phil Plait and Sean Carroll and Mano Singham are tentatively reporting that they may have an explanation for the recent anomalous report of neutrinos traveling faster than light: it may have been a case of a faulty connection in a timing circuit. If that bears out, it may be a bit embarrassing. But it …

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Dec 15 2011

Alister McGrath fails to make the next obvious statement

I will never forgive Leon Lederman for calling the Higgs boson the “god particle”. It’s fueled decades of unjustified patronizing nonsense from theologians, and the latest is Alister McGrath, who babbles obliviously about it. Science often proposes the existence of invisible (and often undetectable) entities – such as dark matter – to explain what can …

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Oct 25 2011

Grace under pressure

The BBC is running an interview with Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, and it’s very good. Bell-Burnell is the woman who discovered pulsars, and until I heard this interview, I hadn’t realized how it was done. Yeah, there weren’t computers available so the reams of data came out on strip chart – paper chart – and the …

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Aug 17 2011

Would Neil deGrasse Tyson please run for president?

I’d vote for him. Wouldn’t you? (Also on Sb)

Aug 07 2011

Live-Blogging Curiosity

I just learned that Sean M. Carroll is live-Blogging Curiosity, the new television program that asks whether gods exist. Hawking comes out strongly with a confident “NO”. But now they have this horrible, awful post-show panel where they bring in weasely theologians to sow confusion. Carroll is also on the panel, and seems to be …

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Aug 07 2011

Live by the science, die by the science

This is a wonderful video debunking the Kalam Cosmological Argument. What I really like about it is that it takes the tortured rationales of theologians like William Lane Craig, who love to babble mangled pseudoscience in their arguments, and shows with direct quotes from the physicists referenced that the Christian and Muslim apologists are full …

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Aug 07 2011

Anti-matter! In space!

Science fiction dreams may come true: a small, thin band of stable anti-matter has been discovered near Earth. It was predicted theoretically, but now emissions from the annihilation of these particles has been observed. The existence of a significant flux of antiprotons confined to Earth’s magnetosphere has been considered in several theoretical works. These antiparticles …

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