It sounds like some exotic story that you would find in a National Geographic magazine, but it's actually a story that many physicists are increasingly worried about!
One night, years ago, when I was complaining at dinner, one of my sons wordlessly got up from the table, walked out of the room, and a couple of minutes later returned with a piece of paper with a cartoon on it.
Our lives are shaped by our mortality. Knowing from the beginning that we are going to die brings value to the currency of time. But it also deceives us into thinking that as we go forward, one moment is less valuable than the next.
The other day I had to park my car on Buffalo Street, which runs down one of Ithaca's most treacherous hills. It got me wondering: Could a street be so steep that it'd be impossible to park on it?
University of California, Berkeley, physicists have, for the first time, showed that, in fact, it's possible to follow the metaphorical cat through the whole process, whether he lives or dies in the end.
In a broad sense of that term, reading Max Tegmark'sOur Mathematical Universe is akin to a religious experience. I would not be at all surprised if Tegmark felt a similar sense of excitement in writing this massively learned yet wonderfully accessible book.
Down in Princeton, there is a shop that holds a true gem--the only Einstein museum in America. Einstein at his citizenship ceremony in Trent...
I've been fascinated by quantum physics since I was five. I have even written here about my enchantment with Bell's Theorem (see the article here). My...
So what is the difference between being spiritual and being religious? One includes the other, right? Well, yes and no.
At an international conference in Mexico a few years ago, Richard Dawkins, having expounded at length on how sexual natural selection explains life on Earth without any need for a "creator," went on to say, "And I am sure that something like the principle of natural selection operates in the physical universe as well." Sounds totally silly? Well, there's more to it: a huge irony.
The zippy eight-minute jaunt from the Sun to Earth is the very last part of a much longer journey that started in the dense core of the Sun thousands of years ago!
Let's look at the very vocal minority of theoreticians who, without a shred of experimental evidence to support their claims, are now telling us what, in their view, nature is truly made of. They do it mostly through recent books aimed at the average reader. I will survey the most widely read of these books.
Much of modern physics has been about exploring inherently invisible things, which seem to be far more common than the obvious things we experience with our senses. Yet these invisible things follow rigorous laws that allow us to test their existence in many ways. Here is a very short list of some of the "invisible" things that we routinely work with.
Opening up your life to a camera crew is intrusive, but I did so for Particle Fever, a documentary about particle physics, because I am determined to see one major myth broken: that physics means math.
What does your weight on a bathroom scale, the expansion of our universe today, and the Big Bang have in common? If modern ideas in physics are correct, they are all caused by a new family of particles called "spin-zero bosons." Let's have a look!
As a physicist, I notice that people commonly use terms with physics connotations that just baffle me.