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Cocktail Party Physics

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Updated 2018-06-21 15:18
Physics Week in Review: June 16, 2018
Brains may function best near, but not precisely at, the critical point between two phases; the math of how order falls into chaos; and shape-shifting antimatter neutrinos are among this week's physics highlights. Brains May Teeter Near Their Tipping Point:...
Physics Week in Review: June 9, 2018
Top quarks and Higgs in the same collisions, a superfluid time quasicrystal, and using atomic clocks to test relativity are among this week's physics highlights. One Quadrillion LHC Collisions Lead to a Rare Discovery. Related: The perfect couple: Physicists see...
Physics Week in Review: June 2, 2018
Among this week's physics highlights: There are two types of water that behave differently, dynamical dark matter, and just when you think the sterile neutrino is dead, new evidence comes in for its possible existence. New Skeptics Guide to the...
Physics Week in Review: May 26, 2018
A quantum stopwatch, quantum effects in photosynthesis, 231 new solutions to the infamous three-body problem, and another blow for NASA's controversial EM-drive are among this week's physics highlights. Storing time from a quantum stopwatch with qubits – instead of losing...
Physics Week in Review: May 19, 2018
We are spending the weekend in Vegas, partly to celebrate my birthday and partly to accept the 2018 Humanist of the Year award from the American Humanist Association -- a tremendous honor to be sure! But Jen-Luc Piquant still managed...
Physics Week in Review: May 12, 2018
The thermodynamics of why birds migrate, theoretical "fractions" could be made in a crystal, and the physics of why water is slippery are among this week's physics highlights. Play a Video Game to Help Solve an 80-Year-Old Physics Debate About...
Physics Week in Review: May 5, 2018
We skipped a week due to my nephew's college graduation, but we're back for Cinqo De Mayo! Time crystals have been created in two new types of materials, a super light aerogel inspired by dragonfly wings, and a peek behind...
Physics Week in Review: April 21, 2018
"Electric blood" could enable soft robots, collective behavior in the NBA, and analyzing the mechanical behavior of rope in action films are among this week's physics highlights. Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos: In new computer experiments, artificial-intelligence algorithms...
Physics Week in Review: April 14, 2018
The ADMX experiment is all set to hunt for dark matter particles called axions; the physics of diving peregrine falcons; and why fastballs are unlikely to get any faster in baseball. Read about all that and more in this week's...
Physics Week in Review: April 7, 2018
We're back from our travels and yes, Japan was a glorious experience. But we're thrilled to be home and getting back into groove of things. Among this week's physics highlights: measuring the color of antimatter, financial brownian motion, and the...
Physics Week in Review: March 24, 2018
We're off to Japan for ten days, so there will be no link-fest next Saturday. We'll resume our regular linkages in April. In the meantime, here's this week's physics highlights, including graphene hair dye, what physics has to say about...
Physics Week in Review: March 17, 2018
Among this week's physics highlights: physics loses one of its brightest stars; DARPA is interested in time crystals; and "black stars" or "gravastars" might totally be a thing that exists. It's been a year marked by loss thus far for...
Physics Week in Review: March 10, 2018
The APS March meeting took place in Los Angeles this week and Jen-Luc Piquant was thrilled to be able to see all her old pals and hear about tons of exciting new physics on her home turf. Among this week's...
Physics Week in Review: March 3, 2018
There was tons of exciting physics stories this week. Among the highlights: long-sought evidence of first stars forming may have implications for dark matter research; physicists created a giant mega-atom stuffed with other atoms; and scientists verified the quantum Zeno...
Physics Week in Review: February 24, 2018
Jen-Luc Piquant is in Boston today learning all about Big Physics and Big Questions at New Scientist magazine's Instant Expert event. But we still have links for you. Highlights for this week include etching graphene into everyday materials, the latest...
Physics Week in Review: February 17, 2018
Among this week's physics highlights: using a quantum computer to improve election forecasting; physicists create a new form of light; and a hotly debated new paper claiming scaling laws aren't universal to complex networks. I wrote an article for New...
Physics Week in Review: February 10, 2018
There was a lot of cool physics-y news this week: the physics of swarming midges and of curling (as in, the Olympic sport), the successful SpaceX rocket launch that put a Tesla into space, and proving the existence of superionic...
Physics Week in Review: February 3, 2018
An alternate cosmos might not need the weak force, merging black holes might have gamma ray bursts, and how the best Olympic snowboards use physics to win are among this week's physics highlights. January 30 was National Croissant Day. And...
Physics Week in Review: January 27, 2018
Among this week's physics highlights: 3D holograms made with lasers, a possible tractor beam for human levitation, and why bigger drones can fly longer. The Era of Quantum Computing Is Here. Outlook: Cloudy. Quantum computers should soon be able to...
Physics Week in Review: January 20, 2018
The atomic theory of origami, mini gamma ray bursts to study black holes, and the story of the Star Trek inspired 3D hyperchess are among this week's physics highlights. New Research Could Help Bring Secure Quantum Communication to Everyone. A...
Physics Week in Review: January 13, 2018
Mysterious fast radio bursts could come from magnetars, birds of paradise have the ultimate black feathers, and there's more weird results regarding the mass of the proton. Plus much more in this week's physics highlights. New Nature paper strengthens the...
Physics Week in Review: January 6, 2018
It's a brand new year with a bunch of shiny new physics links. Among this week's highlights: an effort to classify all phases of matter, metalens-shaped light for cloaking devices, and the mysterious Tabby star isn't aliens after all--just dust....
Happy New Year From the Cocktail Party Kitties
There's no physics linkfest this week, if only because so little happens (apart from year-end lists) in science news in the interval between Christmas and New Year's. But we'll be back next week. Meanwhile, here are Caliban (tuxedo) and Ariel...
Physics Week in Review: December 23, 2017
A new proposed solution to the black hole firewall paradox, a new twist in the most famous fluid equations, and why bridges ice over before roads are among this week's physics highlights. The black hole firewall paradox has been vexing...
Physics Week in Review: December 16, 2017
Among this week's physics highlights: the discovery of a new material called excitonium, we've found another star system with eight planets, and why you really don't want to suffer death by light saber. First up, however, is an issue facing...
Physics Week in Review: December 9, 2017
Among the many highlights this week: This year's Breakthrough Prizes were awarded, scientists found the oldest known black hole, and why your microwaved eggs tend to explode. Cutting-Edge Science Honored by Star-Studded Breakthrough Prize Awards. "Maps of the infant universe...
Physics Week in Review: December 2, 2017
This week's physics highlights: does hot water really freeze faster than cold, and could cold water heat up faster than hot; scientists reverse the arrow of time; and a new quantum simulator holds experimental promise. When Cold Warms Faster Than...
Physics Week in Review: November 25, 2017
Like most Americans, Jen-Luc Piquant is still recovering from the Thanksgiving festivities. But please enjoy this roundup of physics links in the interim, including stories on the physics of dandelion fluff, why some black holes might be superfast spinning pulsars,...
Physics Week in Review: November 18, 2017
There's been a flood of cool physics news heading into the Thanksgiving holiday. Some highlights: theory of dark matter disks is toast; LIGO detects yet another binary black hole merger; and the physics of whammy bar resonance. Snap, Crackle, Whop--Explore...
Physics Week in Review: November 11, 2017
Jen-Luc Piquant only has time for a super short and sharp physics roundup this week, but it should still give you all lots of cool stuff to read. "Crazy" Supernova Looks Like a New Kind of Star Death. Astronomers are...
The Return of Physics Week in Review! November 4, 2017
I know, I know, it's been a few months since the last physics links roundup. Chalk it up to burnout. We needed a break. And then another break. And then another. Also, we have two adorable new kittens named Ariel...
Physics Week in Review: July 8, 2017
Jen-Luc Piquant and the Time Lord are off for a physics workshop in Trieste, followed by some vacation time in Buenos Aires, so the weekly roundups will be on hiatus for a couple of weeks. We'll be back July 29,...
Physics Week in Review: July 1, 2017
Among this week's physics highlights: the physics of acrobatics, studying the propagation of shock waves while running, and could "qudits" capable of assuming 10 or more states be the future of quantum computing? It's Independence Day weekend in the US,...
Physics Week in Review: June 24, 2017
This week's physics highlights: LIGO's successor is approved, the physics of a wobbling suitcase as you're running to catch your flight, and scientists create "liquid light." My latest article for Quanta: Dark Matter Recipe Calls for One Part Superfluid. A...
Physics Week in Review: June 17, 2017
This week's physics highlights: Spooky action in spaaaace, superfluid dark matter, and could the LIGO detections just be due to noise? I had a great time Tuesday night doing a live KPCC podcast event. Chatted with Christina Wallace and Cate...
Physics Week in Review: June 10, 2017
Among this week's physics highlights: Einstein's "impossible" experiment has finally been performed, and he's still irritatingly right; the physics of what happens when lightning strikes a building; and sometimes light moves around objects like a frictionless liquid which is-- kinda...
Physics Week in Review: June 3, 2017
LIGO pulls a hat trick with third gravitational wave detection, scientists are back to arguing about glass, and using beer years to make composite graphene foams were among this week's physics highlights. LIGO is back, baby, as it detects gravitational...
Physics Week in Review: May 27, 2017
The big news this week: two new adorable foster kittens in the house! Oh, I guess you were thinking of physics news. Well, there was plenty of that, too: the Large Hadron Collider is back in action, the first bunch...
Physics Week in Review: May 20, 2017
Could dark matter be a self-annihilating WIMP? Might a newly discovered "cold spot" be evidence for a multiverse? And could Scrooge McDuck really swim in a pool of gold coins? These and other nifty stories are among this week's physics...
Physics Week in Review: May 13, 2017
Among this week's cornucopia of physics news: a nanofridge to help qubits keep their cool; WiFi can be used to create holograms; and CERN's new particle accelerator could help spot art forgeries. My latest news story for New Scientist: Nanofridge...
Physics Week in Review: May 6, 2017
Swirling bacteria are linked to phase transitions, the first "sounds" from the void in Saturn's rings, and using cosmic rays to search for hidden tombs in Turkey are among this week's physics highlights. But first! May the Fourth be with...
Physics Week in Review: April 29, 2017
This week's physics highlights include hints of the quark-gluon plasma at the LHC; "spectral fingerprinting" that can see through concrete; and the physics of cracking an egg. A Tiny Droplet of the Early Universe: Particles seen by ALICE experiment hint...
Physics Week in Review: April 22, 2017
Scientists are marching on behalf of science all over the country today, in case you haven't heard--despite the controversy about what one might call the diversity question. Per The Atlantic, Marching scientists will have a lot in common with angry...
Physics Week in Review: April 15, 2017
This week's highlights: new evidence for hydrothermal havens in Saturn's moon, Enceladus; the physics of why your shoelaces come untied all by themselves; and the mathematics of the probability of Red Shirts dying in Star Trek, compared to other cast...
Physics Week in Review: April 8, 2017
This week's physics highlights include new quantitative tools to combat gerrymandering; graphene helps make sea water potable; and the full performance of the Star Trek inspired Caltech musical To Boldly Go is now on YouTube. Horseshoe Bats Wiggle Their Way...
Physics Week in Review (No Fooling Edition): April 1, 2017
Yes, we know it's technically April Fool's Day, but Jen-Luc Piquant has never been a fan of this tradition, especially in the Internet era. So consider this week's roundup of links an April Fool's Day Free Zone--okay, except for The...
Physics Week in Review: March 25, 2017
Among this week's physics highlights: five new subatomic particles turn up at the LHC, solving the mystery of why drops splash, and whether quantum mechanics can help psychologists understand humor. My latest short news story for New Scientist: Math explains...
Physics Week in Review (Pi Day Edition): March 18, 2017
This week's physics highlights include solving the riddle of cosmic dust, absolute zero is now a mathematical outlaw, and the discovery of five new charmed baryons by the LHCb experiment at CERN. But first: there was a lot of online...
Physics Week in Review: March 11, 2017
This week's physics highlights: time crystals are back in the news, the physics of Saint Laurent's "no-heel" shoe, and physicists mourn the passing of LIGO pioneer Ron Drever. Check out my latest feature for Quanta: Why Did Life Move to...
Physics Week in Review: March 4, 2017
This week's physics highlights include more doubts cast on claims of metallic hydrogen; superfluids have quantum storms; and researchers grow an electronic rose. Hey, I wrote a short news article for New Scientist on Why the dark net is more...
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