Tag Archives: quantum mechanics

A Cosmic Puzzle Provides Insights into New Physics

A new cosmic contradiction is begging for an explanation. We’ve known for years that space is expanding. Now new measurements of the rate at which it is expanding seem to differ from previous ones based on the standard cosmological model. New physics often comes from measurements that don’t fit theory. Here is my take on […]

The Mystery of Motion

How do things move? At first glance this may not seem to be a problem. We tend to take motion for granted. But a long-standing mystery lies behind it. Now new answers are becoming clear, with cutting-edge insights into the nature of space and time and matter. Philosophy and physics have long studied motion (aka […]

Hawking’s Missing Black-Hole Radiation

There are billions of black holes in our universe. Maybe gazillions. Stephen Hawking says they give off a strange kind of radiation. So we should see them, right? Here’s a cosmological Catch-22. To set the scene, the Albert Einstein Institute says: ‘If, in our universe’s fiery youth, “mini black holes” of very little mass had […]

I’m from Missouri…Show Me!

Finding new drugs these days is largely done with quantum mechanics. Fifty years ago it was more like what the Brits (and the indie rock band Arctic Monkeys) call suck-it-and-see. So thousands of Americans don’t know that they have arms and legs and normal lives thanks to the courage of a Canadian—and American—physician. She says […]

A Particular Success

— For Bill Rachinger, sine quo nihil . . .  CERN’s Large Hadron Collider or LHC is back in the news. And behind the scenes there is fine physics that is little-known. It is the world’s biggest machine. Liquid-helium-cooled magnets bend twin beams of hydrogen nuclei (aka protons) in a circle. They collide at up […]

The DIY Invisibility Cloak

Harry Potter brings cutting-edge ideas from quantum physics into the imaginations of a generation of young fiction readers. In previous posts we’ve looked at teleportation, levitation, and solids that can pass through other solids unimpeded (though not yet through brick walls). All three are examples of how quantum mechanics (QM) can make seeming-magic in the […]