Physics Buzz

Moonshine and Lunacy
Friday, October 02, 2015
I got an email from a reader yesterday asking for help in understanding a video that she’d seen, in which a citizen-scientist performs an experiment with a very surprising result: moonlight makes things colder! How could this be? To find out, I took a di... more

A Rough Neighborhood
Thursday, October 01, 2015
Once every century or so, a supernova occurs somewhere in the Milky Way, blasting out as much energy in one event as a sun-like star emits over billions of years. According to a paper recently accepted for publication in Physical Review Letters, the leve... more

The Math Of Brewing Coffee Can Model Anesthesia
Friday, September 25, 2015
Mathematics that can describe coffeepots, forest fires and flu outbreaks may also underpin the brain’s response to anesthesia, a new study suggests.The mathematical model of the brain, published in Physical Review Letters, marks the latest attempt to sim... more

Ask a Physicist: Cold Light and Negative Work
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
It's been a while since we got around to opening up the "Ask a Physicist" inbox, but we've had some great questions recently, and you can look forward to Ask a Physicist being a more regular feature on the Buzz Blog. Let's get to it!Grunka, from Scotland... more

Papers in the Pipeline: Simulating New Materials
Friday, September 18, 2015
Designing things like LEDs and transistors has, for a long time, been an arduous process of trial and error, but that could be changing soon, thanks in part to a technique developed by physicists at SUNY-Buffalo.In a paper that’s just been accepted ... more

The Science of Star Trek: Accidental Prophecies
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Last night, I sat down to dinner and an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. (I prefer the original series, but there’s only so many times you can watch Kirk & Co. fight the space-nazis before it starts to get old.) I picked one in the first se... more

Podcast: A Time Capsule of the Universe
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics hosts the world’s largest collection of glass photographic plates, and thanks to the efforts of DASCH — which stands for Digital Access to a Sky Century @ Harvard — all of the information they contain will soon be at you... more