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Archive for the "Science" Category

Fisheye Gamma Ray Photo

  A neat image came up on the fantastic Astronomy Picture of the Day that caught my eye. Here is a picture of the Milky Way as seen from Earth orbit… in gamma ray light! The image from the Fermi Space Telescope is of course in false-color, but is nonetheless striking!   What is so […]

Comet ISON in the Sky

There is a new object in the sky. Comet ISON is an icy wanderer making its first and probably last last trip into the solar system from its previous home in the Oort cloud. It will graze by the Sun brilliantly and then depart. As it approaches the inner solar system, it is now inside […]

What is Life?

I ran across this interesting little “book” a few weeks ago. Based on a series of lectures by Erwin Schrödinger in the 1940’s, What is Life? is a multi-disciplinary look at the physical underpinnings of what it means to be alive.   The book is a curious read, filled with musings on introductory physics and biology […]

Pale Blue Dot

Carl Sagan penned these words while pondering over a photograph of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft when it was 6 billion kilometers from Earth. Out of context these words take on strange meaning, From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again […]

Dark Matter Eludes

Dark matter continues to be in good form and elusive as ever. Dark matter is the stuff that makes up most of the mass of the universe, but it doesn’t interact much with regular matter, if at all. Earlier this week the LUX experiment posted a paper showing their first results – the strongest constraints […]

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data

Big data sets are changing the way we approach the world around us and the culture of inquiry itself say Jacob Vanderplas, but even more problematic may be the unintended consequence that some of the most promising researchers find no place for themselves in the academic community: In 1960, the physicist Eugene Wigner published his […]