"Galileo's Pendulum" is a blog covering physics, astronomy, math, and related topics - all for a non-specialist audience. I am especially interested in showing how science actually works, and how the various conceptual pieces fit together to make the theoretical framework that provides the best description of the natural world.
Galileo's Pendulum's Latest Posts
Black holes are gravity at the extreme. As such, many of their properties lie at the edge of our knowledge of physics. At the event horizon — the boundary beyond which nothing can return to the outside Universe — we must grapple with the combination of gravity and quantum physics, a problem we have yet […]
Black holes sing in harmony with themselves. The “notes” are flashes of light rather than sound, but black holes born from the death of very massive stars emit bursts as hot matter orbits close to the event horizon. That’s a natural consequence of the in-and-out motion of high-energy particle motion as strong gravity whips them […]
Roughly 85% of the mass in the Universe isn’t made of electrons, atoms, and so forth: it’s not the stuff familiar from daily life. The name we give our ignorance is dark matter, which we suspect is made of a particle of some type. We see its effects in the motion of stars and gas […]
Titan’s seasons change slowly: each year lasts 29.5 Earth years, so each season is more than 7 Earth years long. The moon is tidally-locked, presenting the same face to Saturn all the time, just like Earth’s Moon does, and it orbits very close to Saturn’s equator. That ties its seasons to Saturn’s: when the planet […]
(Title shamelessly cribbed from Rose Eveleth.) Perhaps more than any other artist, M.C. Escher used negative space explicitly as part of the artwork. The spaces between fantastic creatures become other fantastic creatures in complementary hues, the background of a weird impossible building becomes an incredible geometric landscape. The Universe likewise has its negative spaces. While […]
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