Category : Physics

14 Jan 2018

Why Only Intelligent Life is Doomed.

We live with a hectic news-cycle where the threat of natural and human-made catastrophe seems to ratchet up all the time. Tech and scientific giants Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking warn that soon artificial intelligence can pose an existential threat. Other issues continue to rumble ominously in the background of our minds, and of current events. Even in academia, institutions like the Centre for Existential Risk in Cambridge and the Future of Humanity Institute in Oxford project dire warnings about […]

27 Oct 2017

Should the Moon Supply Earth With Electricity?

The global headcount is always increasing and we might crack the 8 billion mark as we speak. So the need for electricity is growing with it. Smaller nations like Costa Rica show us what can be done to transition from fossil fuels and go for renewables instead. Scaling up the combination of wind, solar or geothermal energy to satisfy the massive demand of electricity is hard, though, as recent history has shown us. Maybe it’s time to tap into more […]

10 Oct 2017

Is This the EM Drive Missing Link?

Ever since the EM drive first made headlines, science lovers have puzzled over how the propulsion system seems to produce thrust, despite the fact it’s ‘impossible’ according to one of the most fundamental laws of physics – Newton’s third law of motion. Now a team of physicists have put forward an alternative explanation – it turns out the EM drive could actually work without breaking any scientific laws, if we factor in a weird and often overlooked idea in quantum […]

19 Sep 2017

Light Captured As Sound Makes Laptops 20 Times Faster

Light-based or photonic computers have the potential to run at least 20 times faster than your laptop, not to mention the fact that they won’t produce heat or suck up energy like existing devices. This is because they, in theory, would process data in the form of photons instead of electrons. For the first time ever, scientists have stored light-based information as sound waves on a computer chip – something the researchers compare to capturing lightning as thunder. While that […]

06 Sep 2017

Why is the Fermi Paradox Paradoxical?

With at least a quarter trillion stars in Earth’s galaxy alone, which itself is one of hundreds of billions of other galaxies, the statistical probability of there being alien life somewhere is overwhelming. Yet, humanity’s best attempts to detect such life have been fruitless, giving rise to the Fermi Paradox: If statistically, life should be so common throughout the universe, how is it that not a trace of it has been detected? The question whether the human race is alone […]

17 Aug 2017

Is Life After Death Stored in Quantum Information?

While scientists debate what consciousness is, the University of Arizona’s Stuart Hameroff and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose conclude that it is information stored at a quantum level. Penrose agrees –he and his team have found evidence that “protein-based microtubules—a structural component of human cells—carry quantum information— information stored at a sub-atomic level” Penrose argues that if a person dies temporarily, this quantum information is released from the microtubules and into the universe. However, if the person is resuscitated the […]

07 Aug 2017

Is the “Old Me” Destroyed When I Teleport From Mars?

I am stranded on Mars. The fuel tanks on my return vessel ruptured, and no rescue team can possibly reach me before I run out of food. (And, unlike Matt Damon, I have no potatoes.) Luckily, my ship features a teleporter. It is an advanced bit of gadgetry, to be sure, but the underlying idea is simplicity itself: the machine scans my body and produces an amazingly detailed blueprint, a clear picture of each cell and neuron. That blueprint file […]

19 Jul 2017

The Perseid Meteor Shower

The Perseid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on 13 August 2017. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from 23 Jul to 20 Aug.

23 Jun 2017

Has a 100 Year Old Physics Problem Been Solved?

Researchers recently challenged a fundamental law and discovered that more electromagnetic energy can be stored in wave-guiding systems than previously thought. The potential solution to a 100 year old physics problem has implications in telecommunications. Working around the fundamental law, they conceived resonant and wave-guiding systems capable of storing energy over a prolonged period while keeping a broad bandwidth. Their trick was to create asymmetric resonant or wave-guiding systems using magnetic fields. The study, which has just been published in […]

21 Jun 2017

Is Creating a New Universe in a Laboratory a Joke?

There’s an established principle in quantum theory, that pairs of particles can spontaneously, momentarily pop out of empty space. Theoretical physicists have grappled for years with related questions as part of their considerations of how our own Universe began. In the 1980s, the cosmologist Alex Vilenkin at Tufts University in Massachusetts came up with a mechanism through which the laws of quantum mechanics could have generated an inflating universe from a state in which there was no time, no space […]