Physics envy In science, the term physics envy is used to criticize a tendency (perceived or real) of softer sciences and liberal arts to try to obtain mathematical expressions of their fundamental concepts, as an attempt to move them closer to harder sciences, particularly physics. Evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr discusses the issue of the inability to reduce biology to its mathematical basis in his book What Makes Biology Unique?. Noam Chomsky discusses the ability and desirability of reduction to its mathematical basis in his article "Mysteries of Nature: How Deeply Hidden." See also Erasing history? Temporal cloaks adjust light's throttle to hide an event in time Researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., have demonstrated for the first time that it's possible to cloak a singular event in time, creating what has been described as a "history editor." In a feat of Einstein-inspired physics, Moti Fridman and his colleagues sent a beam of light traveling down an optical fiber and through a pair of so-called "time lenses." Between these two lenses, the researchers were able to briefly create a small bubble, or gap, in the flow of light. During that fleetingly brief moment, lasting only the tiniest fraction of a second, the gap functioned like a temporal hole, concealing the fact that a brief burst of light ever occurred. The team is presenting their findings at the Optical Society's (OSA) Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics (FiO) 2011 ( taking place in San Jose, Calif. next week.
Higgs Running Out Of Hiding Places Even as physicists in Europe close in on their most-wanted quarry — a particle known as the Higgs boson — scientists in Illinois are helping narrow the hunt. New measurements of a different particle, one called the W boson, confirm the Higgs is in the mass range that most physicists had thought. Theory suggests that the Higgs particle must exist in order to imbue many other particles with mass. Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, have shown that the Higgs’ own mass must be less than 127 billion electron volts.
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World's Top Scientists Ponder: What If The Whole Universe Is, Like, One Huge Atom? PALO ALTO, CA—Gathering for what members of the international science community are calling "potentially the most totally out-to-lunch freaky head trip since Einstein postulated that space and time were, like, curved and shit," a consortium of the world's top physicists descended upon Stanford University Monday to discuss some of the difficult questions facing the cutting edge of theoretical thinking. Cal Tech physicist Dr. Jonathan Friedrich postulates a bunch of freaky shit that makes his colleagues' heads spin right the hell off. Among the revolutionary ideas expected to be raised at the historic week-long summit is the possibility that, like, our whole friggin' universe might be just one big atom in, say, some super-duper huge thing out there somewhere, or something.