Thursday June 22nd 2017

Posts Tagged ‘physics’

Auto-focus eyeglasses rely on liquid lenses

Auto-focus eyeglasses rely on liquid lenses

With round lenses set in super-thick frames, these new eyeglasses look like they belong on a cartoon character. But what they lack in style, they make up for in smart design. Their lenses are made of glycerin — a thick, colorless liquid — encased in clear rubber. And [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]

Burning to learn

Burning to learn

  In central California’s Yosemite National Park, it doesn’t take much to set the forest on fire. A discarded cigarette. A match. Or, as is often the case, a bolt of lightning. On July 31, 2011, thunder boomed as a severe storm pelted the park. The lightning struck [Read More]

Hacking the Planet

Hacking the Planet

  Some problems have easy solutions. If we feel sweaty, we’ll head for the shade. If our soup’s too hot, we’ll blow on it. If a room’s too stuffy, we’ll open a window. But what are the options when the planet grows too warm?   That is the problem — and [Read More]

Just Press Print

Just Press Print

A person with a failing vital organ usually has only one treatment option: get a new one. But right now, that often means joining a long waiting list and hoping for the best. Moving up that list means someone ahead of you gets taken off it – either through their death, [Read More]

Ahead of the wave

Ahead of the wave

  Bump a glass and any water inside might slop over the side. Splash in the bathtub and waves slosh. Toss a rock into a pond and ripples move outward in expanding rings. In each case, the water moves in waves. Those waves carry energy. And the more energy that gets [Read More]

Riding raindrops

Riding raindrops

  To humans, falling rain usually amounts to little more than a minor inconvenience. After all, we are big and raindrops are small – they splatter on our heads and sleeves, and we end up a little wetter. But a mosquito’s mass is only 2–3 μg and the largest [Read More]

Are we alone?

Are we alone?

  If aliens ever sent us a message, scientists hope to pick it up in a remote part of northern California.   There, in a clearing nestled amid the volcanoes of the Cascade Range, 42 radio dishes point together at the sky. The dishes, each 20 feet across, form a [Read More]

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Auto-focus eyeglasses rely on liquid lenses

Auto-focus eyeglasses rely on liquid lenses

With round lenses set in super-thick frames, these new eyeglasses look like they belong on a cartoon character. But [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 [Read More]

Seeking a Second Opinion

Seeking a Second Opinion

In November 2012, when she was 52 years old, Shannon Semple was diagnosed with a disease she didn’t have. She credits [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 [Read More]

Solving a math problem to create art

Solving a math problem to create art

Optimization is the mathematical quest for the best way to do something, from finding the shortest distance between two [Read More]

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