“Dark matter?” You cannot see it. But there is something there. As for what it is, it’s anybody’s guess! Dark matter does not interact with light. At all. Which makes it difficult to detect. “But if you cannot see it? How do you know it is in fact there?” Well, it does interact with gravity, and as it does so it bends the path of any light ray passing nearby... “And did it really kill the dinosaurs…?” Continue reading That Mysterious Missing Matter – Cocktail Party Physics
That’s how this TED video on the Higgs boson begins. I say two guys… It’s more like one physicist working on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN – the European laboratory for Particle Physics – aka Dave Barney, and a Blues singer, aka Steve Goldfarb, in the guise of a pink slug… Continue reading The Basics of the Higgs Boson Explained
Four states of matter can be seen in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and – somewhat more exotically – plasma. As a tightly bound combination of oxygen and hydrogen atoms, a water molecule is nothing out of the ordinary. Liquid water, steam or ice are still just water. Yet, it is intriguing to see how the very same building blocks of matter are capable of producing such broadly distinct states. Continue reading Changing States – Fundamental Phases of Matter
Ever since Francis Crick and James Watson brought Physics and Biology together in 1953 to unveil the molecular structure of DNA, the boundary between the two disciplines has continued to become increasingly blurred. In this genomic new era, ever more principles from Physics are being applied to living systems in an attempt to understand complexity at all levels. Although sometimes the best solution to a Physics problem lies in the macroscopic world of Biology… Continue reading When Biology Met Physics…
What happened at time T = 0? is still anybody’s guess. At least, earlier observations of Planck’s radiation had suggested the first generation of stars were bursting into life by about 420 million years after the Big Bang. However, scientists from Europe’s Planck satellite mission now say the first stars lit up the Universe later than was previously thought… Continue reading Planck’s Time and the “Oldest Light” in the Cosmos
Our planet has existed for 4.5 billion years, and it has been a busy lifetime. From amazing leaps and bounds forward into evolution to devastating asteroid impacts and other episodic extinctions, here are the biggest milestones in Earth’s history – the eventful journey that shaped our World today. Continue reading Earth Creation – The Story So Far…
Ever since French physicist Louis de Broglie first described the wave-particle duality in 1926, scientists have struggled to come to terms with this strange particularity of our natural World when observed at the quantum level. Waves can be particles, and particles can be waves. But are entities waves AND particles all at the same time?