Saturday February 24th 2018

‘Physics’ Archives

Fighting Fire with Fire

Fighting Fire with Fire

Robert Kremens fights fire with fire. No, really – that’s his job. Kremens sets fires in a host of locations across the US. In April he drove 18 hours from his home in Rochester, New York, to Tall Timbers, a research station in Tallahassee, Florida, to set three or four [Read More]

The quantum world is mind-bogglingly weird

The quantum world is mind-bogglingly weird

If you’re interested in the smallest things known to scientists, there’s something you should know. They are extraordinarily ill-behaved. But that’s to be expected. Their home is the quantum world. These subatomic bits of matter don’t follow the same rules as [Read More]

How Bose–Einstein condensates keep revealing weird physics

How Bose–Einstein condensates keep revealing weird physics

A Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), the first of which was shown experimentally 22 years ago, isn’t your garden variety state of matter. It formed at a fraction above absolute zero and only in atoms that act like bosons, one of two types of fundamental particles. Bosons [Read More]

How nonequilibrium thermodynamics speaks to the mystery of life

How nonequilibrium thermodynamics speaks to the mystery of life

In his 1944 book What is Life?, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger argued that organisms stay alive precisely by staving off equilibrium. “How does the living organism avoid decay?” he asks. “The obvious answer is: By eating, drinking, breathing and (in the case of [Read More]

The return of supersolids!

The return of supersolids!

We learn it from a young age: solids hold their shapes; liquids flow. Physical states of matter are mutually exclusive. A solid occupies a particular position in space, its molecules fixed. A fluid assumes the shape of its container, its molecules in constant motion. But a [Read More]

The wild weirdness of topological insulators

The wild weirdness of topological insulators

For more than 200 years, physicists have wanted to understand why electricity flows through some materials and not others. In some of the first experiments aimed at understanding conductivity, at the start of the 18th century, British autodidact Stephen Gray observed that [Read More]

Every breath we take

Every breath we take

Back in Christmas 2013, the CineStar cinema in Mainz, Germany, became an impromptu, oversized laboratory. Over the course of 108 screenings of 16 films, it hosted an unprecedented experiment on about 9500 moviegoers. Not that most of them noticed, or even knew they were [Read More]

Preserving the Past

Preserving the Past

The George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, is the oldest photography museum in the world. The Victorian mansion that houses the museum was once home to Eastman himself – a pioneer in photography who in the 1880s helped bring photography to the masses after [Read More]

Computing’s Search for Quantum Questions

Computing’s Search for Quantum Questions

It was billed as the vindication of the quantum computer. Late last year, researchers at Google announced that a quantum machine called the D-Wave 2X had executed a task 100 million times faster than a classical computer. The claim implies that the machine can complete in [Read More]

All about quantum dots

All about quantum dots

In September 2015, Philips, an electronics company based in The Netherlands, unveiled a computer monitor that achieved a brilliant color display using quantum dots: semiconductor nanocrystals that can be tuned to glow in any color. The Philips monitor was the first of its [Read More]

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Latest Topics

Targeting brain cancer

Targeting brain cancer

Seven years after her brain cancer diagnosis, Liz Salmi decided she wanted to know more about the makeup of the tumor [Read More]

How to stop phone apps from spying on you

How to stop phone apps from spying on you

Many smartphone apps don’t cost anything to download and use. But don’t be fooled: There’s still a [Read More]

Everything Worth Knowing About Virtual Reality

Everything Worth Knowing About Virtual Reality

 Forget reality: In virtual reality, you can be whomever and wherever you want. VR makes the unreal real, using [Read More]

Researchers find history in the diagrams of Euclid’s Elements

Researchers find history in the diagrams of Euclid’s Elements

The fourth book of Euclid’s Elements, a 2,300-year-old geometry text, includes directions for constructing a [Read More]

Fighting Fire with Fire

Fighting Fire with Fire

Robert Kremens fights fire with fire. No, really – that’s his job. Kremens sets fires in a host of locations across [Read More]

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