physics

Flavio Gasperini / unsplash

Over the past few years, breakthroughs in quantum physics and astrophysics have been making international headlines. (Think Higgs boson and gravitational waves.)

But many of us struggle to understand what these advances mean or why we should even care.

A new book attempts to explain elements of quantum physics with the help of heavy metal.

NASA / go.nasa.gov/2uqb0ga

In September of last year, an observatory at the South Pole detected a tiny streak of blue light deep within the ice below. That observatory is known as Ice Cube. Yes, like the rapper. It’s a coincidence that Dawn Williams of the Ice Cube Collaboration says sometimes confuses people on the internet.

The Nobel Prizes in science were awarded this past week, and Massachusetts was well-represented. 

Agence de presse Meurisse / bit.ly/2gCH6zx

When Marie Curie discovered radioactivity, she kick-started the field of atomic physics and inspired two other female physicists whose work gave rise to the atomic age. Her daughter, Irene (and son-in-law, Frederic) Joliot-Curie, discovered a method of inducing artificial radioactivity. And Austrian-born Lise Meitner figured out nuclear fission.

Enrico Fermi is a household name in Italy, revered as the greatest Italian scientist of the modern age. But on this side of the Atlantic, he’s less well-known despite having changed the course of history with his work on the Manhattan Project and other atomic-age advances.

Kip Thorne to Speak at Umass Dartmouth Today

Mar 29, 2016

Theoretical physicist Kip Thorne is the executive producer and science advisor for the 2014 film Interstellar. Black holes and gravity anomalies feature prominently in that film, and have been the subject of Kip Thorne’s research career.  He subsequently wrote a book about the science of Interstellar.