physics

A Tale of Physics, Betrayal, and Art: The World Premiere of Delicate Particle Logic

A Tale of Physics, Betrayal, and Art: The World Premiere of Delicate Particle Logic

It has been 70 years since nuclear fission co-discoverer Lise Meitner was passed over for the Nobel Prize, and for many, the wound is still raw and open. While we largely understand why Chien-Shiung Wu or Rosalind Franklin were denied the award (the former, because experimentalists are always passed over in favor of theorists, and the latter because Nobels aren’t given posthumously), there is some... »

Trades… Of… Science!  FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics, Volume 1.

Trades… Of… Science! FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics, Volume 1.

Quantum tornados, localized time dilation, and fluctuating gravity are the workaday business of the Federal Bureau of Physics, a governmental organization tasked with handling “physics-related emergencies,” in Simon Oliver and Robbi Rodriguez’s ongoing comic series FBP. In the universe they create, the normal rules of physics are bent and torn as parallel universes slide over each other, generatin... »

The Secret Life of Hormones: Rosalyn Yalow and the Discovery of Radioimmunoassaying

The Secret Life of Hormones: Rosalyn Yalow and the Discovery of Radioimmunoassaying

There’s an unsung immensity in the craft of Measuring Things Better. Within our twisting cleverness for developing better and better measurement tools there lies the secret of our advancement not only as science-doers, but as a species generally. The dramatic potential for improving human life through better measurement has no grander success story than that of Rosalyn Yalow, co-discoverer of Radi... »

ATLAS Soared: Fabiola Gianotti and the Discovery of a Higgs Particle (Women In Science 19)

ATLAS Soared: Fabiola Gianotti and the Discovery of a Higgs Particle (Women In Science 19)

In a corner of a room, tucked unostentatiously away from the notice of the raving hordes of just barely contained school children using their field trip to Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science to wreak havoc, there lies behind glass a hundred year old circular object no bigger than a water canteen. It’s the world’s first cyclotron, held together by wire and wax, and built by Ernest O Lawrence in 19... »

The Science of Bubbles + Bubble Universe Cocktail

The Science of Bubbles + Bubble Universe Cocktail

This post is based on a demonstration I gave in the Skepchick Space Lab at CONvergence 2014 on the science of bubbles. If you saw the demo and came to check out the blog, welcome! (My post about the molecular gastronomy Sandbox will be up next week!) Below is a video of the demo, filmed by our wonderful volunteer Chris Pederson. A written version of the presentation is below the fold, followed by ... »

Mary Somerville: Savior of British Mathematics.

Mary Somerville: Savior of British Mathematics.

In the 1750s, when France was foundering scientifically in the Cartesian shallows, it took Emilie du Châtelet’s French translation of Newton’s Principia to reinvigorate Continental physical science. Then it was England’s turn to toss itself headlong into the longest stretch of scientific stagnation it has ever known. From the age of Newton, Harvey, Halley, Boyle, Hooke, and Wren, there stretched a... »

Hedy LaMarr: The Movie Star Who Invented Bluetooth… in 1942.

Hedy LaMarr: The Movie Star Who Invented Bluetooth… in 1942.

A movie star. An avant-garde composer. A radio-controlled torpedo. Wi-Fi. One of the unfortunate truths about our web of modern comforts is that the great majority of them stem, via twisting strands of causality, from warfare. World War II in particular forced the West into an orgy of technological creativity whose fruits we are still blithely and blissfully nomming on. One of the strangest storie... »

Parity Girl: The Experimental Physics of Chien-Shiung Wu

Parity Girl: The Experimental Physics of Chien-Shiung Wu

How does a neutrino sign its name? Sometimes it’s only the truly absurd questions that can break physics from its well-worn grooves and force it to elaborate fantastic new schemes to explain reality.  The notion that, for some processes, there is a distinct right or left handed bias in nature, is one that was routinely scoffed at right until the moment it was proven true by a series of supremely e... »

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