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Cocktail Party Physics

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Updated 2018-02-25 09:31
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...
Physics Week in Review: February 25, 2017
Physics lost one of its brightest lights this week: R.I.P. Mildred Dresselhaus: In five decades at MIT, the “Queen of Carbon Science” was a tireless champion of gender equity in science and engineering. Physicists Uncover Geometric ‘Theory Space’: A decades-old...
Physics Week in Review: February 18, 2017
Jen-Luc Piquant was in Boston much of this week, partly for the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting. But the physics round-up is still here. First, in honor of Valentine's day, here are some Physics Love Poems from...
Physics Week in Review: February 11, 2017
This week's physics highlights: AI can help solve the many-body quantum systems puzzle; a starlight experiment reaffirms quantum weirdness; and the curious case of cockroach magnetization. I wrote about a super-cool new paper for New Scientist. AI learns to solve...
Physics Week in Review: February 4, 2017
This week's physics highlights: we aren't living in a hologram, the physics of dinosaurs, and a new explosive method for making buckets of graphene. I wrote another article for New Scientist this week: World’s first time crystals cooked up using...
Physics Week in Review [Defending Science Edition]: January 28, 2017
It's been a long, sad week for those who care about science, truth, and common decency. Leaders of science organizations say they're being shunned by the Trump administration. “I’ve never seen the scientific community so concerned,” said [physicist and former...
Physics Week in Review: January 21, 2017
We're deluged with much-needed rain here in Los Angeles, but Jen-Luc Piquant nonetheless managed to collect her usual collection of nifty physics stuff on the Web this week. First, as a palate cleanser, check out this transfixing audiovisual dive into...
Physics Week in Review: January 14, 2017
This week, I wrote about the latest results from the XENON100 experiment for New Scientist, and it's not promising news for the DAMA collaboration. No sign of seasonal dark matter after four years of searching. Scientists Have Twisted Molecules Into...
Physics Week in Review: January 7, 2016
It's a brand new year, and back to business after the holiday season. So Jen-Luc Piquant has a fresh batch of physics goodness around the Interwebs for you to savor. 3-D Fractals Offer Clues to Complex Systems. By folding fractals...
Physics Week in Review: December 24, 2016
It's Christmas Eve and Jen-Luc Piquant needs to be out celebrating with friends and family, so we'll keep this week's physics links round-up short and sweet. And Happy Holidays to all, whether you celebrate Christmas or another holiday this time...
Physics Week in Review: December 17, 2016
Just a quick and dirty roundup of physics links today, as we head into the Christmas holiday.... Grand Unification Dream Kept at Bay. Physicists have failed to find disintegrating protons, throwing into limbo the beloved theory that the forces of...
Physics Week in Review: December 10, 2016
Jen-Luc Piquant is catching up on links after another week of travel. (It's just that time of year....) This week was the awarding of the $25 Million in Breakthrough Prizes Given in Science and Math at a star-studded gala event...
Physics Week in Review: November 26, 2016
Hope everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving holiday. There was still plenty of good physics about. For instance, I had fun writing about the fluid dynamics of the 1919 Boston Molasses Flood for New Scientist, featuring new work by Nicole Sharp,...
Physics Week in Review: November 19, 2016
Jen-Luc Piquant is back with her usual round of physics links. First off: a reminder that the world needs scientific values more than ever. Related: Dan Rather: Now, More Than Ever, We Must Stand Up for Science. Also: Who will...
Physics Week in Review: November 5, 2016
The cocktail party is back after a much-needed vacation, with your weekly physics highlights round up. First and foremost, I'm delighted to be back writing for Quanta with this feature on a fascinating new hypothesis by physicist Matthew Fisher. A...
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