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U=(N/T)M*G: Snow

Tubular model for fluid dynamics.

Physics is weird. Of course, I mean that in the most respectful way possible, but physics is weird. Weak forces and strong forces and thermodynamics. Fluid dynamics. Quantum mechanics. I sort of understand most of it, but did science, as a whole field, really have to make the whole thing as opaque and esoteric as possible? For instance, I was reading articles on the probability of snow falling upwards under the ice sheets covering Europa. Super cool stuff. I had to crawl through about six articles packed full of the science lingo before I figured out what was going on. … Read more

Quantum Entangled Tardigrades?

tardigrade - deposit photos

Tardigrades — those microscopic, plump-bodied critters lovingly known as “moss piglets” — have been put through the ringer for science. The amazingly durable creatures have been shot out of guns, bathed in boiling-hot water, exposed to intense ultraviolet radiation and even (accidentally) crash-landed on the moon, all to test the limits of their impressive “tun” state — a survival mechanism wherein tardigrades curl up into shrunken, dehydrated balls and suspend their biological functions indefinitely in order to endure extreme environmental conditions. Now, researchers have exposed tardigrades to the coldest temperatures and highest pressures that moss piglets have ever survived — … Read more

PHYSICS: Meet the Swirlon

school of fish - swirlon - Yay Images

Fish school, insects swarm and birds fly in murmurations. Now, new research finds that on the most basic level, this kind of group behavior forms a new kind of active matter, called a swirlonic state. Physical laws such as Newton’s second law of motion — which states that as a force applied to an object increases, its acceleration increases, and that as the object’s mass increases, its acceleration decreases — apply to passive, nonliving matter, ranging from atoms to planets. But much of the matter in the world is active matter and moves under its own, self-directed, force, said Nikolai … Read more

Where are all the squarks and gluinos?

Large Hadron Collider - Deposit Photos

Supersymmetry is the idea that the fundamental particles of nature are connected through a deep relationship. This theory predicts the existence of brand-new particles in the world’s largest collider experiments. But according to a recent report, there have been no signs of supersymmetry, and the theory is looking a little shaky. The subatomic universe is composed of two fundamental kinds of particles, called the fermions (in honor of Enrico Fermi) and bosons (named for Satyendra Nath Bose). In essence, fermions are the building blocks of the natural world: the quarks, the electrons, the neutrinos. If you zoomed into your own … Read more

What We Learned About Black Holes in 2020

black holes - deposit photos

Physicists are currently in a golden age of new knowledge about black holes. Since 2015, researchers have been able to get signals directly from merging black holes using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), while observatories like the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) have produced the first image of a black hole’s shadow. This year was no exception, with a fresh crop of exciting and unique results expanding our black hole horizons. Here, we take a look at some of the most spectacular black hole findings of 2020.  Nobel Prize in physics goes to black holes As if to certify that this … Read more

World’s Largest Atom Smasher Might Be Seeding Tiny Black Holes. And That’s a Good Thing?

Large Hadron Collider - Deposit Photos - LHC

The cosmos may be studded with black holes so tiny they could slip in between atoms, a wild new theory suggests. And we could be making these teensy singularities all the time at the world’s largest atom smasher, a new study shows. If we could make these objects, they could be a window into the mysterious nature of gravity. We have four fundamental forces of nature (at least, that we know about so far): electromagnetism, strong force, weak force and gravity. All four forces operate at different ranges, have different carriers and interact in different ways. They also have very … Read more