Physics Buzz

Podcast: Which Way to Mercury?
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Mercury has a big month coming up, with the 40th anniversary of Mariner 10's final flyby on March 16th and the planned conclusion of the MESSENGER mission a couple of weeks later.  To date, these are the only two spacecraft to have visited the inne... more

Bill Nye Drops the Ball on DeflateGate
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
The one person who really looks bad in the whole DeflateGate scandal is Bill Nye.  No matter how you feel about Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the Patriots, one good thing that has come out of the DeflateGate scandal has been a national discussion o... more

Inside the Global Effort to Track Mysterious Space Radio Signals
Monday, January 26, 2015
Astronomers are building a global collaboration to identify recently discovered radio blips seemingly originating from deep space. Called "fast radio bursts," or FRBs for short, these enigmatic cosmic signals have so far confounded astronomers, and are t... more

Historic Atom Smasher Felled
Friday, January 23, 2015
Unfortunate news out of Pittsburgh this week. The nearly 80-year-old, long defunct Westinghouse Atom Smasher has been toppled.The felled Atom Smasher in Forest Hills, Penn.Image: WTAE PittsburghThe five-story steel bulb was the first industrial particle ... more

A New Anti-Water Metal: What It Is and What It Is Not
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Scientists at the University of Rochester have created new metal surfaces that are super water repellent, using short intense laser blasts. Because these surfaces don't accumulate water, they are self-cleaning and resistant to both corrosion and ice, mak... more

Your Smartphone Can Do Physics
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
That smartphone you carry around in your pocket all day is a pretty versatile lab assistant. It is packed with internal sensors that measure everything from acceleration to sound volume to magnetic field strength. But I'll wager most people don't realize... more

Abusing Science with Stories of Post-Death Experiences
Friday, January 16, 2015
I love Kojo Nnamdi's show on NPR. He's a smart, tech savvy, engaging host, and I almost always learn something new when I listen in. A few weeks ago, unfortunately, I learned that Kojo is not immune to falling for pseudoscientific nonsense.The topic came... more