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Posts tagged with "Physics"

  • Through Two Doors at Once: The Elegant Experiment That Captures the Enigma of Our Quantum Reality
    Anil Ananthaswamy

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    Glimpses of quantum truth appear in diverse interpretations of the double-slit experiment

    In his famous Lectures on Physics, Richard Feynman argued that nothing more is needed to get a solid grasp of the behavior of quantum objects than the simple double-slit experiment, in which electrons or photons are fired toward two thin openings cut in a screen. To Feynman, the double-slit experiment encapsulated quantum physics’s one and… Read More
  • When the Uncertainty Principle Goes to 11: Or How to Explain Quantum Physics with Heavy Metal
    Philip Moriarty

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    Science meets metal in a musical introduction to modern physics

    With increasing numbers of students entering tertiary education, maintaining interest in the physical sciences requires new approaches to engagement that marry course content with students’ passions and interests beyond the classroom. In Philip Moriarty’s book, When the Uncertainty Principle Goes to 11: Or How to Explain Quantum Physics with Heavy Metal, introductory physics comes to… Read More
  • Third Thoughts
    Steven Weinberg

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    A physicist muses on science, politics, space, and more

    In his book The Problems of Philosophy, mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell writes, “Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions … but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish… Read More
  • The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution
    Charles S. Cockell

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    An astrobiologist argues that alien life will likely look a lot like life on Earth

    Picture a ladybug in motion. The image that came into your head is probably one of a small, round red-and-black insect crawling up a leaf. After reading Charles Cockell’s The Equations of Life, however, you may be more likely to think of this innocuous organism as a complex biomechanical engine, every detail honed and operating… Read More
  • Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
    Sabine Hossenfelder

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    Lost in Math

    Lost in Math is the debut book by Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist known to many from her blog, “Backreaction,” which is one of the most well-read of its kind by practitioners of theoretical high-energy physics. Hossenfelder has gained some notoriety for her strong opposition to common arguments that physicists make when formulating new theories. Read More
  • The Order of Time
    Carlo Rovelli

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    A quantum physicist reveals why time is not as simple as it seems

    Carlo Rovelli, best-selling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, is back with a new book, The Order of Time. This latest venture offers insight into the notion of time, including narratives on how our understanding of the concept has changed from antiquity to the present, as well as a concise update on how time… Read More
  • Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor
    Brian Keating

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    After dust stymies a quest to confirm cosmic inflation, a physicist questions science’s most prestigious award

    In March 2014, the BICEP2 (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) collaboration, a team of astrophysicists mapping the cosmic background radiation left over from the Big Bang, excitedly announced an unexpectedly strong signal in their data. The researchers reported apparent evidence that primordial gravitational waves from a hypothesized rapid stretching of space, called the infl… Read More
  • What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics
    Adam Becker

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    In a critique of the Copenhagen dogma, a physicist gives voice to “quantum dissidents”

    A century after its inception, quantum mechanics continues to puzzle us with dead-and-alive cats, waves “collapsing” into particles, and “spooky action at a distance.” In his first book, What Is Real?, science writer and astrophysicist Adam Becker sets out to explore why the physics community is still arguing today about quantum mechanics’s true meaning. For… Read More
  • Magnets Push, Magnets Pull
    David A. Adler, Illustrated by Anna Raff

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    Magnets Push, Magnets Pull

    Magnets may seem like little miracles, but as Magnets Push, Magnets Pull shows, there are scientific explanations for all of magnetism’s extraordinary attributes. David Adler walks readers through the basics of magnetism with a set of hands-on experiments easy to do at home with simple magnets and a few household items. The demonstrations are easy… Read More