Posts tagged with ‘physics

The World’s Smallest Movie: A Boy And His Atom

IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules (two atoms stacked on top of each other), all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times.

Check out the trailer for ‘The Theory of Everything’, the story of Stephen Hawking

Starring Eddie Redmayne (“Les Misérables”) and Felicity Jones (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), this is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of – time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed. The film is based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, by Jane Hawking, and is directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh (“Man on Wire”).

Sunday mindfuck: Was the Big Bang the product of the collapse of a four dimensional star?

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Trying to figure out exactly what the Big Bang was, what caused it, and what might have come before it, is one of the greatest and most fundamental questions in understanding our universe. One new theory, that may sound crazy, but is mathematically sound and possibly testable, is that what we perceive as a “big bang” was the collapse of a four dimensional star into a black hole, and that our three dimensional universe is merely that four dimensional star being smashed into three dimensions, exactly like how in our universe, three dimensional objects become two dimensional when they reach the event horizon of a black hole. 

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Evening science: What is the speed of dark? And why does it act faster than light even though it violates no laws of physics?

Vantablack is the new black

British researchers have created the ‘new black’ of the science world - and it is being dubbed super black.

The material absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of light, a new world record, and is so dark the human eye struggles to discern its shape and dimension, giving the appearance of a black hole.

Named Vantablack, or super black, it also conducts heat seven and half times more effectively than copper, and is ten times stronger than steel.

It is created by Surrey NanoSystems using carbon nanotubes, which are 10,000 thinner than human hair and so miniscule that light cannot get in but can pass into the gaps in between.

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The simple principle that illustrates how we may have been misinterpreting quantum mechanics this whole time

At the quantum level, things have been described as “super weird” and “doesn’t make any damn sense based on what we know”, what with quantum particles appearing and disappearing, moving across time and space instantaneously, spontaneously come into being and annihilate, seeming to exist in multiple places at once, etc etc. But one interesting experiment has shown that perhaps the quantum world does operate with some kind of mechanics we already understand, even by certain principles of classical physics.

The experiments involve an oil droplet that bounces along the surface of a liquid. The droplet gently sloshes the liquid with every bounce. At the same time, ripples from past bounces affect its course. The droplet’s interaction with its own ripples, which form what’s known as a pilot wave, causes it to exhibit behaviors previously thought to be peculiar to elementary particles — including behaviors seen as evidence that these particles are spread through space like waves, without any specific location, until they are measured.

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This is what it looks like when a ping pong ball hits a paddle at supersonic speeds

Or rather, when a ping pong ball burns through a wooden ping pong paddle like it’s not even there. Velocity counts for a lot, kids.

Here’s NASA’s totally awesome design for a future warp drive ship

Just because NASA’s budget isn’t nearly what it should be, it doesn’t mean they can’t dream big about the future. The above rendering is a beautiful look at what NASA thinks a warp drive ship of the future would look like. There’s the ship itself, and on the outside, you’ll notice the two enormous rings that would theoretically create the warp bubble.

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Afternoon deep science: Why does time exist?

Time does exist, obviously, but why? Here’s my two cents on this fundamental question: Because it has to in order for any workable universe to exist in the first place. We don’t know how many zillions of times our universe, or any other popped into existence and disappeared in a fraction of a second. In our Big Bang, during those first few milliseconds, shit is going everywhere— energy, particles, pieces of particles, photons, strings, quantum particles etc are shooting in every direction, colliding into one another, transforming from one thing to the other. But in order for a universe to succeed at all, there has to be space, so things have somewhere to exist, and there has to be time or there’s nowhere or no possibility of anything going anywhere or doing anything. So of all the crap spewing out of any big bang event, there’s only one thing that’s not optional, one thing that has to fly out of that singularity as straight as an arrow for a medium for everything else to exist in in order to create a successful universe and that’s space-time. Everything else can work itself out over eons, but if space-time completely reverses itself or is otherwise fundamentally unstable in any new universe, that universe will collapse into nothing. If for even a millionth of a second when the universe is only a millionth of a second old, space-time has to be steady as a rock or space time loops back on itself and the baby universe pops out of existence.

Morning science: Create matter from light? Yes you can with science!

Scientists have long theorized that you can create matter from light by colliding photons, but proving that theory has been a different story — you need the right high-energy particles to even think of trying. However, it looks like that once-impossible dream is close to becoming reality. Researchers at Imperial College London have discovered a technique that should produce electrons and positrons by colliding two sets of super-energetic photons.

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Physicists make a quantum teleportation breakthrough with the magic of diamonds

Quantum teleportation via quantum entanglement has been something that a whole lot of the world’s brightest minds have been putting a lot of time and energy into, but so far, manipulating the weird rules of the quantum world to our own uses has been mostly elusive. But scientists at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft say they’ve managed to reliably teleport quantum info stored in one bit of diamond to another sitting three meters away (roughly 10 feet). Now, they want to go much farther.

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Awesome afternoon science: The science of Bruce Lee’s one inch punch

Among the many, many things that made Bruce Lee the most badass mofo in modern history, his signature one-inch punch was one of the most well known and consistently impressive. From just one inch away, he could deliver a blow so powerful it could literally knock a grown man off his feet. So how exactly does a martial artist like that deliver such a jolt of power in such a short distance? It all has to do with the beauty of physics and biomechanics and Bruce Lee’s uncanny muscle control.

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Illustris Simulation is the most detailed, comprehensive animated model of the creation of our universe based on what we know right now

"The calculation tracks the expansion of the universe, the gravitational pull of matter onto itself, the motion of cosmic gas, as well as the formation of stars and black holes. These physical components and processes are all modeled starting from initial conditions resembling the very young universe 300,000 years after the Big Bang and until the present day, spanning over 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution. The simulated volume contains tens of thousands of galaxies captured in high-detail, covering a wide range of masses, rates of star formation, shapes, sizes, and with properties that agree well with the galaxy population observed in the real universe. The simulations were run on supercomputers in France, Germany, and the US. The largest was run on 8,192 compute cores, and took 19 million CPU hours. A single state-of-the-art desktop computer would require more than 2000 years to perform this calculation."

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Submitted by Delsyd

Scientists discover the ancient Egyptian secret for moving massive stones across the desert

For centuries, how exactly ancient Egyptians moved massive stone blocks weighing over 2 tons and massive statues across the desert with fairly primitive technology. As it turns out, the Egyptians didn’t make a secret of their secret— it’s right up there in the painting. See it? 

They moved stones on flat sleds with an upturned front edge, but if you try to drag a heavy sled across sand, the sand will build up in front, Now see the guy standing at the front of the sled? He’s pouring water on the sand. Because as it turns out, just the right amount of water increases the stiffness of the sand and reduces the force needed to pull the thing by half. Or you can just say it was aliens.

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