Did Einstein know he left a key to one of the greatest puzzles inflicting physics today encoded in his equations? It has now come to light thanks to advances in two fields—gravity-wave detection and computing. A recent paper in leading journal Science by German physicist Bernd Brügmann looks technical, but has deep implications so straightforward […]
Tag Archives: ideas
The Sundance Story: The greatest (also the smallest) discovery of the science era
Strange all this Difference should be ’Twixt Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee! — John Byrom (1692 – 1763) Twist and shout … Come on and work it on out — Phil Medley & Bert Berns (1961) Australian physicist Sundance Bilson-Thompson made a stunning discovery. He starts with a simple entity—a tiny twist. With the quirky humor that […]
At last an answer: What happened at the Big Bang
What exactly happened when the universe was born? What happened at the Big Bang? is the title of last summer’s popular science exhibition sponsored by six leading British universities and the Royal Society in London. Amid much fascinating information, the exhibition’s answer was: We don’t know. Yet, as Science Seen’s readers will recall, that answer […]
An amazing birthday present: a universe that allows time travel and helps us understand our existence
In 1949 Austrian-American logician Kurt Gödel gave a friend a strange birthday present: a rotating universe. Gödel is widely regarded as the world’s greatest logician. Albert Einstein, the greatest physicist, was his best friend. For years they walked home from the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study almost every day. The present—for Einstein’s 70th birthday—dealt with […]
Out of this world: Are the laws of physics different in other parts of the universe?
Inflationary theories say the laws of physics should be different in other parts of the universe. Some have claimed to have observed evidence of variation. Now, in a high-precision study using a giant telescope (Arecibo; it’s the one James Bond and Natalya Simonova discover in GoldenEye), scientists observed no variation. But the universe may be […]
Genius, Einstein and much ado about nothing: Let’s fix the fallacy of empty space
We think of space as empty. It’s not. Quite aside from stray hydrogen atoms and fleeting quantum particles in the vacuum, space is substantial. It has mass. Indeed Planck-satellite measurements now show space is three times denser than the average of the universe’s matter. Yet like the rest of us most physicists still treat space […]
A new look at the tiny photon answers some vexing questions and offers a big opportunity.
Albert Einstein introduced the photon to the world more than 100 years ago. Though physicists doubted—even ridiculed—his idea for years, it set off a scientific revolution. The photon now underpins foundations of the world economy. Yet to this day it is a mystery. Even when we know a photon has gone from A to B […]
Are we alone? Winston Churchill penned a scientific answer almost 80 years ago. New discoveries show he was right.
Is there life out there? has long been an issue. Recently the issue has been shifting to: How many planets harbour life? Winston Churchill (with whom I’m proud to share a publisher) was among the first to ask this question. In 1939—shortly before he became Prime Minister of Britain—he penned an unpublished work of careful […]
New physics comes from what is wrong with old physics. Here’s a famous physicist who is coming up with big (very small) ideas.
These days the halls of physics are so vast the first problem for those who seek new physics is: Where is one to begin? History shows physics offers signposts of a sort: The path to new physics starts with what is wrong with old physics. At the beginning of the twentieth century only a few […]