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Imagine diving into the placid surface of a painting by Vermeer, parsing apart Klimt's bejeweled surfaces, or untangling Jackson Pollock's knots of paint. Art historians, collectors, and restoration scholars have long sought to uncover the methods of great painters. Over the past decade, scientists have peered with light beneath the varnished surface of paintings to discover the chemistry of pigments, to identify the authors of unsigned works, or probe the crack depths from damage or […]
Physics Phun in the Phorthcoming Physical Review What do gabby gazelles, mosh pits and jumping shampoo jets have in common? They're all covered in upcoming Physical Review papers. (This image is a mash up of pictures from Wikimedia Commons. Details and rights info are here, here and here.) Week after week, the American Physical Society journals are chock full of some of the most important physics papers published anywhere. Importance, of course, doesn't necessarily make something […]
Basic Books This week on the Physics Central podcast we're talking about an awesome new book called Red Rover: Robotic Space Exploration from Genesis to the Mars Rover. The book's author Roger Wiens talks with us about his career working on robots that are sent to explore space. Wiens worked on the Genesis space mission, which launched back in 2001, and he is the principle investigator on the ChemCam instrument aboard the Curiosity Rover. In his new book he talks about the ups and downs […]
It took one of the world's most powerful supercomputers five days to model a simple childhood past time: popping bubbles. Image credit: Andreas Bastian Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and at the University of California Berkeley have mathematically described the evolution of a cluster of bubbles. The research was published May 10, 2013 in the journal Science. Bubbles and foams have been notoriously difficult to model mathematically. Whether a bubble pops and how […]
While choreographed dances are bound by the laws of physics, certain tricks can make the seemingly impossible a reality. In the video below, you can see two dancers walking on walls, dancing on ceilings, and adapting to changes in the direction of gravity. Or so it seems. Choreographer and dancer Derek Hough performed those feats about a week ago on the popular Dancing with the Stars TV show. Although Derek added modern flair to this trick, the method to his dance has been used in performances […]
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