# Posts

### August 21, 2014

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Researchers at the University of Arizona have created a column of plasma in the air between two electrodes using a femtosecond laser.
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“You suddenly realize that you and your colleagues know something that no one else does… and that it is important. You’re lucky if it happens once in a lifetime. I’ve been super-lucky.” -Leon Lederman It’s the holy grail of modern particle physics: discovering the first smoking-gun, direct evidence for physics beyond the Standard Model. Sure, there…

### August 20, 2014

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A new analysis combining climate modeling with glacier dynamics has given us the first estimation of the percent of glacier loss directly due to anthropogenic climate change.  This is strong evidence and important data to understand to educate the general … Continue reading →

Marzeion, B., Cogley, J., Richter, K. & Parkes, D. (2014). Attribution of global glacier mass loss to anthropogenic and natural causes, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1254702

Citation
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Particle Clicker is a simple and addictive click-based game developed by undergrads at CERN Webfest. You are cast as the head of a particle accelerator lab striving to make breakthroughs in physics, without all the grant writing and begging governments … Continue reading →
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“Physics may aim for simplicity, yet the world it  describes is a mess.” That’s the start of John Cartwright’s article, “Roll Over, Bolzmann,” in the magazine Physics World. It tells the story of Tsallis entropy: Our definition of entropy is expressed by one of the most famous formulae in physics, and dates back over a century […]
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Earth's magnetic field, a familiar directional indicator over long distances, is routinely probed in applications ranging from geology to archeology, and now it has provided the basis for a technique which could characterize the chemical composition of fluid mixtures in their native environments. Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducted a proof-of-concept nuclear magnetic resonance experiment in which a mixture of hydrocarbons and water was analyzed using a […]
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My post of July 22 « BICEP2 Data, CMB B-modes, Inflation, Alternative Cosmologies... (II) » already discussed the situation after the publication (19 June 2014) of the Physical Review Letters 112, 241101 version of the BICEP2 article « Detection of B-Mode Polarization at Degree Angular Scales by BICEP2 ». read more
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Summary:  The bias on the PMT was turned to its maximum safe value of 1500 V for maximum gain.  There is a bit of a voltage drop in the PMT base between supply voltage and the anode voltage, so at 1500 V supply voltage, we’re still not running at the maximum rated cathode to anode voltage of 1500 V.  Using peaks from several sources, a channel vs. energy graph was constructed.  Although some of the peaks have small counts and need to be measured more accurately, the […]

### August 19, 2014

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Researchers discover that for snakes climbing trees, it's all about safety first.
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A beautiful animated video explaining the beauty of physics in everyday life. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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by @ulaulaman http://t.co/WGbVdfv0nk about #Superman #physics and #solar #energy In the last saga of the JLA by Grant Morrison, World War III, Superman, leaping against the bomb inside Mageddon says: The way in which Superman gets the powers, or the way in which them is explained, however, is changed over time. Following Action Comics #1, the debut of the character, Jerry Siegel, combining genetics and evolution, says that on his planet of origin the physical structure of the inhabitants had […]
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Want to get a beer on a Tuesday? Now you can blame your need to do a scientific experiment. First, though, you need to go to a bar and get a Guinness and some peanuts. And, what the hell, another Guinness. Read more...
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Did you know that you can charge up a piece of ice like a battery? How about making tiny electric storms when a drop of water turns into a puff of steam? We'll tell you about the little-known Thermodielectric Effect, and why it's present everywhere, including your body.Read more...
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Click here if video does not appear on screen.By Carol ClarkFor thousands of years, the massive glaciers of Earth’s polar regions have remained relatively stable, the ice locked into mountainous shapes that ebbed in warmer months but gained back their bulk in winter. In recent decades, however, warmer temperatures have started rapidly thawing these frozen giants. It’s becoming more common for sheets of ice, one kilometer tall, to shift, crack and tumble into the sea, splitting from […]
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Can math be evidence? Not ordinarily, but recent calculations are compelling because they show that particles predicted by the theory of quark-gluon interactions but never observed are being produced in heavy-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), located at Brookhaven National Laboratory. They just need to be detected. These heavy strange baryons, containing at least one strange quark, still cannot be observed directly, but instead are making their presence known by […]
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Structural colours are more visible and vivid than those that use pigments as many examples from the natural world demonstrate. But sometimes pure white is what is requiredIn the South American rainforests, a blue flash of colour visible from hundreds of metres away is likely to signify the presence of one of the Morpho genus of butterflies. Although the colours of many animals arise from pigmentation, for Morpho and a range of other insects (including iridescent beetles) the origin of their […]
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This video, 3:24 in duration*, shows a struggle to insert one object into another. It’s a struggle against some known, but perhaps not fully understood, laws of Newtonian physics. It is also perhaps an illustration of the Dunning-Kruger effect. * give or take a second BONUS: The 2000 Ig Nobel Prize for psychology was awarded to David Dunning of […]
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the medical application of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and a powerful diagnostic tool. It works by resonantly exciting hydrogen atoms and measuring the relaxation time -- different materials return to equilibrium at different rates; this is how contrast develops (i.e. between soft and hard tissue). By comparing the measurements to a known spectrum of relaxation times, medical professionals can determine whether the imaged tissue is muscle, bone, […]
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Summary:  Having worked through the examples that looked the most difficult, today's notes contain examples that are pick-up work from the easy problems.  These are simple-ish tensor index identities, including the divergence of the position vector, the cross product of the position vector, the Laplacian of one over the displacement squared, and the curl of a gradient.$\nabla \cdot \vec{r} = 3$$= \dfrac{\partial}{\partial x_i} r_i$Keep in mind that $r_1 = x$, $r_2 = y$, and $r_3 = z$. […]
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I’m working on attaching the cooling hoses to the iron yoke magnet today.  I attached the outlet hoses and ran a quick test to make sure that I did indeed have the outlet hose connections.  I attached a water bottle on a hose to the open connection pointed at in the picture below and forced water through.  The water exited at the labeled water out connection.  The exit connection will ultimately have a green hose on it like the manifold on the left.  Do not […]

### August 18, 2014

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Understanding how an element is made rewrites the pre-history of our Solar System.
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A Review of the iPhone Infrared Camera: The FLIR One The FLIR One is an infrared camera attachment for the iPhone (5 and 5s). It comes with a case so you can snap it on your phone. Once it’s on your phone, you can take awesome IR pictures My FLIR One has arrived, and I [...]
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Although now widely accepted as the most natural explanation of the observed features of the universe around us, dark matter remains a highly mysterious entity to this day. There are literally dozens of possible candidates to explain its nature, wide-ranging in size from subnuclear particles all the way to primordial black holes and beyond. To particle physicists, it is of course natural to assume that dark matter IS a particle, which we have not detected yet. We have a hammer, and that looks […]
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The prolific British science writer Philip Ball discusses his latest book Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen Continue reading...
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The residents of the Los Alamos base camp receive a special visitor in this week’s episode of Manh(a)ttan — none other than Niels Bohr, he of the infamous model of the atom and one of the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

### August 17, 2014

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You may be familiar with how lenses bend light to create images, such as the biconvex lens shown below. The lens is made of a material such as glass or plastic that is denser than air, so light will bend at the interface between the air and the lens. But did you know that any […]
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Categories: Meta StuffTags: artback-to-schoolbook reviewscollegedoctor-patient relationshipEscepticafood allergiesgrounded parentsHIVhospitalsLGBTMad Art Labmale circumcisionMaria AgnesimathParentingphysicspseudoscienceQueerekaquillingReligionRobin Williamssafe sexschool of doubtSciencesex educationsexismSkeptabilitysuicideteachingTeen Skepchickthe moonSunday Funny: The Science Channel (via SMBC) Teen Skepchick The Physics Philes, lesson 110: Ring My Decibel Mindy is all about wave intensity. 5 […]

### August 16, 2014

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Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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This week on Virtually Speaking Science, I chatted with astrophysicist Katie Freese, author of a new book, The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter. Also, regular readers may have noticed... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com