Tag Archive: Physics

Researchers Capture First Ever Image Of Light As Wave And Particle





” Quantum mechanics tells us that light can behave simultaneously as a particle or a wave. However, there has never been an experiment able to capture both natures of light at the same time; the closest we have come is seeing either wave or particle, but always at different times. Taking a radically different experimental approach, EPFL scientists have now been able to take the first ever snapshot of light behaving both as a wave and as a particle. The breakthrough work is published in Nature Communications.”




© Fabrizio Carbone/EPFL




” When UV light hits a metal surface, it causes an emission of electrons. Albert Einstein explained this “photoelectric” effect by proposing that light – thought to only be a wave – is also a stream of particles. Even though a variety of experiments have successfully observed both the particle- and wave-like behaviors of light, they have never been able to observe both at the same time.

  A research team led by Fabrizio Carbone at EPFL has now carried out an experiment with a clever twist: using electrons to image light. The researchers have captured, for the first time ever, a single snapshot of light behaving simultaneously as both a wave and a stream of particles particle.”



Read more on this amazing accomplishment at Red Orbit














A Feather And A Bowling Ball Dropped Together Inside The World’s Largest Vacuum Chamber




” Physicist Brian Cox of the BBC Two program Human Universe recently visited NASA’s Space Power Facility outside of Sandusky, Ohio, the world’s largest vacuum chamber, to demonstrate the effects of air on falling objects. In the video, a feather and bowling ball are dropped at the same time in normal Earth conditions and after the air has been removed from the room. “

Thanks to Laughing Squid

Physicist Shows Why Your WiFi Sucks In That One Room





” If WiFi can track a heartbeat through walls, why can’t I get internet in my corner bathroom? Jason Cole was trying to figure that out too, but unlike me, he’s a PhD student in physics. So he mapped his own apartment and assigned refraction values to the walls (shown above), then applied so-called Helmholtz equations to model the electromagnetic waves. As detailed in his (math-drenched) blog, the best spot for his router was where you’d expect: directly in the center. Since that was out of the question, he was still able to get “tendrils” of internet by placing it in the corner of the apartment. His experiment implies that even in a distant room you could eke some connectivity by judiciously shifting around your laptop. Some commenters want him to turn his equations into a WiFi mapping web service — unfortunately, he thinks the idea is “unfeasible” due to the processing time and assumptions made.”



Engadget has more , including a video 










Lawrence Livermore Is Building The Most Powerful Super-Laser Ever




” Sometimes a laser’s quality and usefulness is measured in pure watts. In that respect, a new laser in production at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL) can certainly hold its own: at a full petawatt, otherwise known as one quadrillion watts, it’s powerful enough to drive the world’s most demanding experiments.

  Sometimes, though, you need a laser to be able to produce incredibly short bursts of light, and here it shines as well: each pulse from the laser lasts just 30 femtoseconds. At 10 Hz, it can fire these quadrillion watt bursts of light faster than an AK47.”





” The High Repetition Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS) will be a major step forward for high-energy laser science, primarily because of that firing rate. A petawatt laser is not unheard of, since a watt is a measure of power over time — joules per second, to be precise. Thus, delivering more than 600 joules over a 450 femtoseconds (as LLNL’s previous petawatt laser can) is not all that different from delivering 30 joules over 30 femtoseconds. They’re both around a petawatt. However, with a firing rate of 10 per second, the overall output can be hundreds of times greater over longer periods (like a long, sluggish microsecond).”


Story continues







Gone In 2013: A Tribute To 10 Remarkable Women In Science


Yvonne Brill


” Pioneering scientists and engineers are often overlooked in popular retrospectives commemorating the year’s departed. In particular, women in such fields tend to be given short shrift. To counter this regrettable circumstance, I present here a selection of 10 notable women in science who left us in 2013. Each of these individuals contributed greatly to her field and should be remembered for her exceptional accomplishments. This, of course, is not a comprehensive list; I’d welcome your thoughts, in the comments below, on any others who may also be deserving of recognition.”









“God Particle” Scientists Win Nobel Prize





” Peter W Higgs and François Englert have been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prizefor Physics for the discovery of the ‘God particle’.

The scientists were jointly awarded the prize for the theory of how particles acquire mass.

They first proposed the theory independently of one another in 1964. Their ideas were then confirmed with the discovery of the Higgs particle at the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.

A statement said the award was for: “The theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by Atlas and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.” “










May The Force Be With US




” The report published by Nature magazine details how scientist has discovered a new way of binding photons together in order to form a new molecule which replicates almost exactly the nature of the iconic weapons favoured by both Jedi Knights and Sith Lords 

“Most of the properties of light we know about originate from the fact that photons are massless and do not interact,” said Harvard physics professor Mikhail Lukin. “What we have done is create a special type of medium in which photons interact with each other so strongly that they act as though they have mass, and bind together to form molecules.”

While this may not sound much like George Lucas’ vision of a galaxy far, far away, Lukin himself makes a Star Wars analogy:

“It’s not an in-apt analogy to compare this to lightsabers. When these photons interact with each other, they’re pushing against and deflect each other. The physics of what’s happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies.” “











How Interstellar Space Travel Works (Infographic)


Here's what we would have to do to reach a star in less than a hundred years.








Jetpack Rocket Science

” Jetpacking was awesome fun! Despite the fat lip I had a great time. I think knowing a bit about physics actually helps fly the jetpack. It works on the same principle as a rocket (Newton’s 3rd law) but unlike the shuttle, you don’t carry your own propellant with you. Instead, water is pumped out of the lake by the jetski at up to 60 litres a second. It is then fired out of the nozzles at around 15 m/s creating 1800 N of force, the equivalent of about 150 fire extinguishers. On me this can produce acceleration of about 1.5g’s “

CERN Super Collider To Have Twice The Power

” As two yellow-helmeted electricians rise slowly on a hoist from the cavern floor to check cabling on a huge red magnet, CERN scientist Marc Goulette makes clear he sees cosmic significance in their task.

“When this refit is completed,” he says, gesturing across the gigantic Large Hadron Collider, “we shall be ready to explore an entirely new realm of physics.” “





” The collider is only 5 years old but, after swiftly finding a crucial missing link to support mankind’s main concept of the universe, is now entering a two-year revamp to double its power in the hope of making breathtaking new discoveries.

Some scientists predict it will help identify the nature of strange dark matter that lurks around planets, stars and galaxies; others that it might find a zoo of new particles or even catch hints that space has more than three dimensions.”

Study: Sex In Space Could Be Deadly




” Sex in in outer space could be deadly, according to a new study from the University of Montreal.

Researchers studying the reproductive processes of plant cells found that gravitational changes could compromise the development of human offspring conceived during space travel , The Daily Mail reported. Scientists believe that cell behavior evolved under the force of Earth’s gravity. ”






CERN Says Data ‘Strongly Indicates’ Higgs Boson Found


Real CMS proton-proton collision events in which 4 high energy electrons (green lines and red towers) are observed. The event shows characteristics expected from the decay of a Higgs boson but is also consistent with background Standard Model physics processes. (Image from cds.cern.ch)

Real CMS proton-proton collision events in which 4 high energy electrons (green lines and red
towers) are observed. The event shows characteristics expected from the decay of a Higgs boson but is also consistent with background Standard Modelphysics processes.(Image from cds.cern.ch)





” It is now almost certain the subatomic particle that brings together everything in the universe has been found, CERN scientists announced on Thursday. Latest analysis of data from the Large Hadron Collider proves that the Higgs boson actually exists.

The search for the missing particle dubbed as ‘the holy grail of physics,’ which has been going on for almost half a century and has brought the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider (LHC) into existence, has finally resulted in some strong experimental evidence.

The question which has eluded countless physicists for decades, and the missing link explaining how the universe works at the very basic level, is what gives mass to matter. In other words, what has brings all the flying particles together to form stars, planets and humans ever since the Big Bang.”





Mini Black Holes Easier To Make Than Thought





” Creating microscopic black holes using particle accelerators requires less energy than previously thought, researchers say.

If physicists do succeed in creating black holes with such energies on Earth, the achievement could prove the existence of extra dimensions in the universe, physicists noted.

Any such black holes would pose no risk to Earth, however, scientists added.

Black holes possess gravitational fields so powerful that nothing can escape, not even light. The holes normally form when the remains of a dead star collapse under their own gravity, squeezing their mass together.”



Daily Video 2.13.13

Fun With Potatoes & Physics!

Daily Video 1.27.13

Sodium v Water In Slow Motion


Daily Video 12/31

A Brief History Of Quantum Mechanics

Scientific Genius And An Atmosphere That Facilitates Innovation


Einstein's Famous Tongue

Rare and Iconic Photos of Einstein



” Ask anyone to name an iconic scientist and most people will say Albert Einstein. He was his generation’s greatest physicist as well as an international celebrity and humanitarian. Many people can tell you at least something about his renowned Theory of Relativity, though the details probably elude them right now.

Einstein’s fame extends to pop culture, where photos of the eminent scientist can be seen plastered on mugs, t-shirts, postcards, and internet memes. Though many images are well known — Einstein framed by his wild hair sticking his tongue out at the camera — there are still a good number that rarely see the light of day.

In honor of the 90th anniversary of Albert Einstein winning the Nobel Prize in physics, we are presenting a collection of photographs — some famous, some rare — that exemplify this singular man. The images come from the Bettmann Archive, a collection of more than 11 million historical photographs owned by Corbis Images. “

Daily Video 11/03