Deux Ex Machina…

Topics: Condensed Matter Physics, Modern Physics, Quantum Mechanics The existence of ghost hyperbolic surface polaritons has been demonstrated by an international collaboration including researchers in China and the US. Based at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), National University of Singapore (NUS), National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST), and the City University ofContinue reading “Deux Ex Machina…”

Double Slit…

Topics: Modern Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Theoretical Physics One of the most counterintuitive concepts in physics – the idea that quantum objects are complementary, behaving like waves in some situations and like particles in others – just got a new and more quantitative foundation. In a twist on the classic double-slit experiment, scientists at Korea’s InstituteContinue reading “Double Slit…”

Dielectric Laser Accelerators…

Topics: Applied Physics, Modern Physics, Particle Physics Physics Today 74, 8, 42 (2021); https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.4815 Particle accelerators are among the most important scientific tools of the modern age. Major accelerator facilities, such as the 27-km-circumference Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, where the Higgs boson was recently discovered, allow scientists to uncover fundamental properties of matter and energy. ButContinue reading “Dielectric Laser Accelerators…”

Interstellar Cellular Membranes…

Topics: Astrobiology, Biology, Chemistry, Cosmology The origin of life is one of the great unanswered questions in science. One piece of this puzzle is that life started on Earth 4.5 billion years ago, just a few hundred million years after the formation of the Solar System, and involved numerous critical molecular components. How did allContinue reading “Interstellar Cellular Membranes…”

Reality TV, Infotainment, and Apocalypse…

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Fascism, Human Rights, Politics, Star Trek What happens when media and politics become forms of entertainment? As our world begins to look more and more like Orwell’s 1984, Neil’s Postman’s essential guide to the modern media is more relevant than ever. “It’s unlikely that Trump has ever read Amusing Ourselves to Death, butContinue reading “Reality TV, Infotainment, and Apocalypse…”

Gene Centennial…

Topics: Planetary Science, Space Exploration, Spaceflight, Star Trek NASA is helping the legacy of inspiration, hope, and diversity fostered by the creator of Star Trek to live long and prosper. The agency will observe the late Gene Roddenberry’s 100th birthday with a special program called, Celebrating Gene Roddenberry: Star Trek’s Bridge and NASA – aContinue reading “Gene Centennial…”

Nearing Ignition…

Topics: Energy, Environment, Modern Physics, Nuclear Fusion, Nuclear Power More than a decade ago, the world’s most energetic laser started to unleash its blasts on tiny capsules of hydrogen isotopes, with managers promising it would soon demonstrate a route to limitless fusion energy. Now, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) has taken a major leap toward thatContinue reading “Nearing Ignition…”

Roaming Goldilocks…

Topics: Astrophysics, Planetary Science, SETI, Space Exploration Even as a child, before he devoted his life to the search for extraterrestrial life, Frank Drake wondered whether Earth was alone in its ability to harbor life. He wasn’t the first or the only one to wonder. There’s a reason so many are fascinated by the question:Continue reading “Roaming Goldilocks…”

ISAAC…

Topics: International Space Station, NASA, Space Exploration, Spaceflight In April 2021, Bumble, one of the free-flying Astrobee robots aboard the International Space Station, was put to the test to investigate a simulated anomaly. In the simulation, the station’s life support systems detected a high concentration of carbon dioxide. A similar situation, in reality, could be very dangerousContinue reading “ISAAC…”

Critical Thinking…

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, COVID-19, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights A statement by Michael Scriven & Richard Paul, presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform, Summer 1987. Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation,Continue reading “Critical Thinking…”