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WHAT IF: Sound Traveled As Fast As Light?

sound waves - pixabay

Every Wednesday, we’re asking a what-if question – how would our world be different if something were changed? Today’s question is from Live Science: What if the speed of sound was as fast as the speed of light? Read the article: Share your serious scientific analyses, your off-color jokes, and random thoughts on the topic on our FB and MeWe Groups: FB: MeWe:

SPACE: How Black Holes bend Light and Spacetime

Blach Holes Bend Spacetime - NASA

When two orbiting supermassive black holes get close to each other, the results can be pretty twisted. A new NASA visualization shows how the irresistible pull of extreme gravity bends and distorts light in the glowing rings of hot gas circling the black holes in a simulated binary system. The animation shows two black holes: The bigger of the pair, which is about 200 million times the mass of our sun, is surrounded by red rings of hot gas called an accretion disk. Orbiting that giant is a second black hole weighing in at about half of that mass, and … Read more

Physicists Break the Rules of Light

light - fantasy - pixabay

Physicists have built a ring in which pulses of light whip circles around each other and the normal rules that govern light’s behavior no longer apply. Under normal circumstances, light displays certain kids of physical symmetry. First, if you were to play a tape of light’s behavior forward and then backward, you would see it behave in the same way moving in both directions in time. This is called time-reversal symmetry. And second, light, which can move through the world as a wave, has what is called polarization: how it oscillates relative to the motion of the wave. That polarization usually … Read more

SPACE: A Second Moon Could Soon Hang Over China

moon - pixabay

Moonlit skies over the Chinese city of Chengdu may soon get a boost from a second moon. City officials recently announced plans to build an artificial moon, launching it to hang over Sichuan province’s capital city by 2020, Chinese news site People’s Daily Online (PDO) reported. The illuminated orb is intended to complement the light of Earth’s existing moon, and will be eight times brighter than the natural satellite, Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co. Ltd. (CASC) — the primary contractor for the Chinese space program — told PDO. In fact, light … Read more

SCIENCE: How to Stop Light

light - pixabay

Light moves fast. That’s kind of the whole point of light, at least the way most people think about it. Light shoots through the 93 million miles between Earth and the sun in just 8 minutes, it carries information all around the world nearly instantly, and its top speed of 186,000 miles per second (300,000 kilometers/s) turns out to be the absolute speed limit of the entire universe. But there are some physicists interested in turning that trait of light on its head, and slowing it way down. And in a new paper, published Jan. 3 in the journal Physical … Read more