Physics

One Near-Light-Speed Pitch Would Liven Up a Baseball Game—And Destroy It | Discoblog

The last thing you’ll ever see?
Baseball is a leisurely game—some would say achingly boring—with no ticking clock forcing the players to hurry. But what if you could speed baseball up? Way, way up, up to a relativistic pace: What would happen if the pitcher wound up and released a baseball at 90 percent the speed of light?

This is the First Photo Ever Uploaded to the Web | Discoblog

Long, long ago, and far, far away—specifically, in the early 90s in Switzerland—computer scientists at CERN were test-driving a little something called the World Wide Web. And when the time came to test the thing’s capabilities with photographs, guess what happened to be on hand?
A Photoshop job of a group of CERN administrative assistants and significant others who sang physics-themed doo-wop. Sample lyric:

You never spend your nights with me
You don’t go out with other girls either
You only love your collider
(dip da-oo-yeah)

Graphene, Heal Thyself: Carbon Molecule Can Rebuild Holes | 80beats

The graphene filled in the smaller hole with fresh
carbon atoms

ICHEP 2012 – Higgs Session | Cosmic Variance

As you may have seen from our live-blogging of the CERN seminars on Wednesday morning, after having told Sean and John I would be asleep, I woke up anyway and watched the announcement live at 3am my time. I don’t regret it for a moment – you don’t get to watch historic events like that every day! But the reason I’d originally intended to stay asleep was that I had a very long day ahead of me, since Wednesday evening I flew out to Melbourne to take part in the 36th International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP).

Postcard from Geneva | Cosmic Variance

Here’s a short video, courtesy of NOVA, that we made on our trip to Geneva. Hopefully the excitement of the moment comes through… (Note: might be hard/impossible to view the video outside the US, sorry.)

Time Travel via YouTube | Cosmic Variance

Via everywhere on the internet, here’s Jeremiah McDonald, who used a 20-year-old videotape of his younger self to carry on a conversation across time. (Seems legit at a casual glance, but I suppose it could be faked.)

Sadly we can’t actually transfer information into the past. If we could, I would have started writing this book a bit earlier.

Science Friday | Cosmic Variance

Back in Los Angeles, after my brief action-packed jaunt to Geneva. Higgsteria continues, and I’ll be on NPR’s Science Friday later today to talk about it. That’s 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific time. Hope to do justice to the palpable air of excitement at CERN and around the world.

Look at This: Atom Casts a Tiny Shadow | 80beats

In the right light, everything casts a shadow—even an atom. A large object creates a shadow by physically blocking the light flying past it, and even a miniscule atom or ion can prevent photons with specific wavelengths from reaching their destinations.

The Contrarian: Why I’d Be the First to Return to the Fukushima Evacuation Zone

The Claim  Fukushima evacuees should not go home and risk health problems due to radiation exposure.
The Contrary View  Veteran journalist Jeff Wheelwright, who covers health and genetics, says the evidence linking small radiation doses to cancer is flimsy.

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