Midnight In The Desert — physics

We Can’t Alter The Flow of Time But, According to Physics, We Can Bend It

Posted by K R on

We Can’t Alter The Flow of Time But, According to Physics, We Can Bend It

Most of us have dreamed of traveling through time, backward or forwards, faster than those around us. And surprisingly, recent work has shown us that time travel is far more than just a dream. In fact, a number of researchers have explored, and are currently exploring, the legitimacy of time travel. While they haven’t quite gotten to the point where they are able to time travel themselves—these researchers have found some concrete science backing it up. This past June, I met with James Beacham, a particle physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), at Brain Bar Budapest, a...

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Religious and supernatural belief linked with poor understanding of the physical world

Posted by K R on

Religious and supernatural belief linked with poor understanding of the physical world

The number of people who claim to have “No religious belief” is fast-growing in America and Europe, but the number expressing religious belief is growing faster. What’s more, the irreligious category includes fans of astrology, tarot reading or the paranormal. The tenacity of supernatural belief has prompted scientists to try understand its basis, and so far their answers have mostly implied a defect in believers: the religious have a bias in their visual attention; people with supernatural belief fall for bullshit statements. Now, in a study in Applied Cognitive Psychology, comes the suggestion that believers struggle to understand the physical...

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Your Cat Can Grasp Some Basic Laws of Physics

Posted by K R on

Your Cat Can Grasp Some Basic Laws of Physics

Every doting cat owner will attest to the innate intelligence of their beloved pet, and now Japanese scientists say they have evidence that felines have a rudimentary grasp of cause and effect. They described their results in a new paper in Animal Cognition. “Cats use a causal-logical understanding of noise or sounds to predict the appearance of invisible objects,” lead author Saho Takagi of Kyoto University said in a statement. Past studies have shown that hearing may dominate vision in cats. Takagi co-authored a study last year demonstrating that cats use their keen sense of hearing to infer the presence...

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The Collider That Could Save Physics

Posted by K R on

The Collider That Could Save Physics

The 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva was a spectacular vindication of the Standard Model—a framework that describes all known particles and forces in physics. The Higgs, whose existence was first predicted in the 1960s, was the final missing piece of the puzzle. Since then, however, physicists have been stuck. The so-called superpartner particles scientists hoped to find at the LHC—particles whose detection would help solve long-standing problems with the Standard Model—never appeared. Physicists have been talking for decades about a collider that could find those missing particles. Three years ago an...

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Flying Saucer Physics Would Work if Aliens Flew B-2 Bombers Like They Should

Posted by K R on

Flying Saucer Physics Would Work if Aliens Flew B-2 Bombers Like They Should

Alien spacecraft are strange. If decades of popular culture, eye-witness reports, and conspiracies are to be believed, most extraterrestrial whips are flying saucers. There is a dome on top and some landing gear below. There are pictures. The most famous may be the one above the words “I Want To Believe.” These traditional UFOs clearly work in different ways than human aircraft. Though mankind has fiddled with saucer-shaped planes and rockets in the past, we’ve never succeeded at making them work. We don’t know how to do that within the bounds of physics. No, this doesn’t mean that flying saucers...

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