Tag Archives: physics

Ask a Physicist: Why can't we get down to absolute zero?

Greetings, physics junkies. This week, I decided to take a break from particle physics, cosmology and relativity, and do some good old-fashioned thermal physics (though cosmology still manages to sneak in there): Why can’t we get down to Absolute Zero? … Continue reading

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I get email: and then assign it to my students

I’m teaching an advanced undergraduate/graduate course in cosmology this term, and I thought it might be fun to combine the education and outreach sides of my life. I get sent a lot of interesting questions, and answering them have prompted … Continue reading

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Introducing Emmy Noether

Last week, I took a little poll here, on my twitter feed, on facebook, and among my students. I wanted to know if anyone had heard of Emmy Noether or of Noether’s Theorem. I don’t want to put my disappointed … Continue reading

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Ask a Physicist: What happened before the Big Bang?

Credit: J.R. Gott & L.-X. Li Greetings, true believers! My latest column is up at io9: What Happened Before the Big Bang? This one is a) extremely speculative, and b) largely excerpted from the “User’s Guide.” Of course, if you’d … Continue reading

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"What is the Universe Expanding Into?" and other perfectly reasonable questions

Hey folks! A couple of weeks ago I gave a talk at the Princeton Plasma Physics Labs as part of their “Science on Saturday” program. It was a lot of fun and a huge success. They tell me that 523 … Continue reading

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Reverend Bayes helps us understand the Higgs

I was listening to Tim Harford’s More or Less podcast last week in the wake of all of the excitement over the possible detection of the Higgs boson. More or Less is a show all about statistical abuses in the … Continue reading

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Higgs!

I’m sure most of you have already seen the announcement. The LHC announced some preliminary results regarding the Higgs Boson this morning. Here’s the upshot: Both the ATLAS and CMS experiments (which are ostensibly independent) see something consistent with a … Continue reading

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Entropy, Time, and Maxwell's Demon

Credit: Peter MacDonald, Edmonds UK. While I don’t plan on giving a complete rundown of every sentence in my new Symmetry book every now and again, I figured I’d run some ideas by you and see if you have any … Continue reading

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Great Thoughts on Symmetry (not mine)

Greetings True Believers! Work is well underway on “The Universe in the Rearview Mirror,” and I thought it would be fun to do a core dump of some of the more interesting symmetry quotes that I’ve come across. At very … Continue reading

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New Column! Also, a few announcements.

Hi, everybody! I realize that it’s been much a fairly long interruption in your regular “Ask a Physicist” service, and for that, I apologize. I hope we’re back on track now. Today’s column at io9 was all about how neutrino … Continue reading

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