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  • Titus Toledo @10:36PM, 2016-06-23
    Tags: caffeine, , physics, ,   

    Physics and caffeine 

    A collaboration between the French filmmaker Charlotte Arene and the University of Paris-Sud’s Laboratory of Solid State Physics, Physics and Caffeine explores how the best models for understanding the physical world – from electromagnetism to special relativity to quantum mechanics – converge in every cup of coffee.

    Hat tip: aeon

  • Titus Toledo @10:30AM, 2016-01-28
    Tags: , finnegans wake, fractals, james joyce, , physics   

    Literary multifractals 

    James Joyce, Julio Cortazar, Marcel Proust, Henryk Sienkiewicz and Umberto Eco. Regardless of the language they were working in, some of the world’s greatest writers appear to be, in some respects, constructing fractals. Statistical analysis carried out at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, however, revealed something even more intriguing. The composition of works from within a particular genre was characterized by the exceptional dynamics of a cascading (avalanche) narrative structure. This type of narrative turns out to be multifractal. That is, fractals of fractals are created.

    Read the rest from phys.org

  • Spread @1:28AM, 2015-10-26
    Tags: , physics, universe   

    Guide to the Universe’s Most Bizarre Physics 

    It’s hard to wrap our minds around higher-up dimensions. One way to do it is to think about the difference between comics and movies. Let’s get started…

    Be guided at WIRED

  • Spread @12:47AM, 2015-09-18
    Tags: alan lightman, miracles, physics,   

    Splitting the Moon 


    “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.”

    These words from Exodus describe one of the most famous miracles in the Bible. Never before and never since, in any sea or ocean on earth, have winds created a passageway through which people could walk. In scientific terms, such an event would require a sustained and highly directed column of wind blowing at hurricane force, a phenomenon that could be created only on a small scale in a human-made wind tunnel of the twentieth century. But the parting of the Red Sea occurred three thousand years ago. It was ordered up by Moses and delivered by God. It was a “miracle,” at odds with the behavior of nature, beyond nature, a “supernatural” event, inexplicable except by recourse to divine intervention.

    A recent Harris poll found that 74 percent of Americans surveyed believe in God, and 72 percent believe in miracles. Miracles are usually associated with the actions of gods or other divine beings, and they occur not only in Judaism and Christianity but in all of the major religions of the world. In Islam, Muhammad split the moon. In Hinduism, when Saint Jnanadeva was told that he was not qualified to recite the Vedas, he placed his hand on a water buffalo, which proceeded to chant Vedic verses. Most Buddhists believe that all living creatures experience a cycle of deaths and rebirths, appearing in new bodies and passing through various nonphysical realms on the way.

    —Read the rest of Alan Lightman’s essay on Guernica

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