background preloader

One-Minute Physics archive

One-Minute Physics archive
Sandrine Ceurstemont, editor, New Scientist TV What's part of the universe? You may think of it as incorporating everything that exists - both on Earth and in space - but could it also include the unknown? In this One-Minute Physics episode, film-maker Henry Reich delves into the notion of the universe as described by physics, distinguishing between the whole universe and what's observable. If you enjoyed this post, check out our previous animations, to find out, for example, if space is infinite or why mass has a split personality. Ever been mesmerised by patterns of light at the bottom of a swimming pool? Time travel in the real world isn't yet possible. Developed by Wolfgang Schleich and colleagues at the University of Ulm in Germany, these first time-travel videos mathematically recreate the weird world of Gödel's universe. MacGregor Campbell, contributor We interact with the concept of mass every day. MacGregor Campbell, consultant Does objective reality exist? Jacob Aron, reporter Related:  Quantum Reality

Heads Up, Hoverboarders: Here Comes Quantum Levitation Few motifs of science fiction cinema have been more appealing to us than the subtle defiance of gravity offered by futuristic hovercraft. So every once in a while we check in to see how humanity is progressing on that front, and whether the promise of hoverboards will be delivered by 2015 as evidenced in Back to the Future Part 2. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re definitely getting off the ground, so to speak. Get ready to hover your brain around the art of quantum levitation. That’s right, quantum. Because of its chemical properties, a superconductor (when brought to low enough temperatures using, say, liquid nitrogen) exhibits this effect, causing the energy from the magnet below to warp around the superconductive object in a way which “locks” it in space. Even more impressive and ripe for practical transportation use: When the superconducting object is placed along a magnetic rail, it exhibits frictionless momentum. Connections:

Time Time is a measured or measurable period, a continuum that lacks spatial dimensions. Time is of philosophical interest and is also the subject of mathematical and scientific investigation. It is a component of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify the motions of objects. Time has been a major subject of religion, philosophy, and science, but defining it in a non-controversial manner applicable to all fields of study has consistently eluded the greatest scholars. In physics as well as in other sciences, time is considered one of the few fundamental quantities. Time is used to define other quantities – such as velocity – so defining time in terms of such quantities would result in circularity of definition. Among prominent philosophers, there are two distinct viewpoints on time. Temporal measurement has occupied scientists and technologists, and was a prime motivation in navigation and astronomy.

MIT Creates New Energy Source This is some pretty exciting news. It seems that researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the most prestigious science and engineering schools in the United States, has created a new energy source -- and it's clean and renewable. The odd thing is that the only way you can see this energy source is with a very powerful microscope, because it is created by using nanotechnology. For a few years now, we have been hearing about the possibilities offered by the new field of nanotechnology. The researchers built tiny wires out of carbon nanotubes. The nanotechnology batteries will have a couple of other advantages over current batteries. Second, these batteries are non-toxic since they are made of carbon. Computers, cell phones and other electronic devices will be the first to benefit from the nanotechnology batteries. (The picture above is an artist's rendition of a carbon nanotube.) Link to original post

Alcubierre Warp Drive Time Travel An Alcubierre Warp Drive stretches spacetime in a wave causing the fabric of space ahead of a spacecraft to contract and the space behind it to expand. The ship can ride the wave to accelerate to high speeds and time travel. The Alcubierre drive, also known as the Alcubierre metric or Warp Drive, is a mathematical model of a spacetime exhibiting features reminiscent of the fictional "warp drive" from Star Trek, which can travel "faster than light" (although not in a local sense - see below). The key characteristics of the application of Alcubierre warp drives for time control and time travel are presented in the picture below. Alcubierre Warp Drive Description In 1994, the Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a method of stretching space in a wave which would in theory cause the fabric of space ahead of a spacecraft to contract and the space behind it to expand. Alcubierre Metric The Alcubierre Metric defines the so-called warp drive spacetime. Mathematics of the Alcubierre drive

Antimatter belt around Earth discovered by Pamela craft 7 August 2011Last updated at 10:54 The antiprotons lie sandwiched between the inner and outer Van Allen belts (in red) around the Earth A thin band of antimatter particles called antiprotons enveloping the Earth has been spotted for the first time. The find, described in Astrophysical Journal Letters, confirms theoretical work that predicted the Earth's magnetic field could trap antimatter. The team says a small number of antiprotons lie between the Van Allen belts of trapped "normal" matter. The researchers say there may be enough to implement a scheme using antimatter to fuel future spacecraft. The antiprotons were spotted by the Pamela satellite (an acronym for Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics) - launched in 2006 to study the nature of high-energy particles from the Sun and from beyond our Solar System - so-called cosmic rays. These cosmic ray particles can slam into molecules that make up the Earth's atmosphere, creating showers of particles.

Scientists probe the idea of chronesthesia Yes... much of remembering the past means reconstructing it, not just re-experiencing it, and contemplating the future requires similar "construction." It's why people can easily confabulate details in their memory—"remembering" things differently to how they actually happened, particularly when they're asked leading questions. It's a potent tool, this ability to remember the past and the future; but prone to error. Not to mention, thinking of the past and the future often distracts us from the present in potentially destructive ways. When your mind is someplace else, you're missing what's really going on right now. It's worse if the past or the future becomes an obsession. ORBIT: WORK COMPLETE What would happen if I drilled a tunnel through the center of th" Want to really get away from it all? The farthest you can travel from home (and still remain on Earth) is about 7,900 miles (12,700 kilometers) straight down, but you'll have to journey the long way round to get there: 12,450 miles (20,036 kilometers) over land and sea. Why not take a shortcut, straight down? You can get there in about 42 minutes -- that's short enough for a long lunch, assuming you can avoid Mole Men, prehistoric reptiles and underworld denizens en route. Granted, most Americans would end up in the Indian Ocean, but Chileans could dine out on authentic Chinese, and Kiwis could tuck into Spanish tapas for tea [sources: NOVA; Shegelski]. Of course, you'd be in for a rough ride. For sake of argument (and survival) let's pretend the Earth is a cold, uniform, inert ball of rock. At the Earth's surface, gravity pulls on us at 32 feet (9.8 meters) per second squared. You're still moving at a heck of a clip, though, so don't expect to stop there.

Kabbalah and String Theory Ten Dimensions According to string theory, all of reality exists in (exactly) ten dimensions. There are four revealed dimensions (the three dimensions of space together with the fourth dimension of time) and an additional six concealed (spatial) dimensions. In Kabbalah we are taught that God emanated from His infinite light (through the process of tzimtzum–the “contraction” of infinity) ten Divine lights or powers (sefirot) through which He created the universe. All ten dimensions are seen to be contained within the “point-string” (in the idiom of Chassidut, “a formed point” [in contrast to "an unformed point"], whose form resembles a tiny “string”) of the letter yud = 10. The full spelling of the letter yud is: yud (10), vav (6), dalet (4). In Kabbalah, the vav (6) is considered the “male” element of reality whereas the dalet (4) is considered the “female” element. The 6 (which “precede” the four) are in fact: 1 plus 2 plus 3. The String 6 minus 4 = 2 6 plus 4 = 10 6 times 4 = 24

Related: