The sound an atom makes

The ancients believed that the planets and stars were on crystalline spheres, whose turning created harmonics equivalent to our musical notes.  Hence, “the music of the spheres,” signifying the aesthetic order of the cosmos.   We don’t have that cosmology anymore, but we do have quantum physics.  Scientists have isolated the vibration and thus sound of a single atom.  It is the musical note, D. [Read more...]

What a comet looks like, up close

The European Space Agency spacecraft Rosetta has rendezvoused with Comet 67P, with plans to send a smaller craft to land on it November 11.  The project was launched back in 2004.  The comet is about 3×5 kilometers across (1.86×3 miles).  Go here for more information.  After the jump, photographs from the probe, showing what a comet looks like up close. [Read more...]

Has DNA evidence identified Jack the Ripper?

DNA evidence may have solved the mystery of Jack the Ripper, the serial killer who brutally murdered 11 prostitutes in Victorian England.  A shawl that was reportedly found on the body of one of his victims had blood that has been identified as having come from one of women he killed and semen that has a DNA match with a descendant of one of the original suspects, Aaron Kosminki.  But the findings are being challenged. [Read more...]

The potato chip bag as microphone

Sounds are vibrations of the air that are picked up by vibrations of the eardrum.  Those vibrations of the air can cause other objects to vibrate.  Scientists at MIT have found a way to reconstruct what people have said from a video of the vibrations of a potato chip bag. [Read more...]

Dodging a solar bullet

Two years ago, the sun blasted out two clouds of plasma.  If this had happened one week earlier, they would have hit the earth, knocking out our power grid and doing so much damage that we would still be trying to repair it. [Read more...]

The missing light crisis

We blogged about how new evidence is casting doubt on the existence of the universe.  Scientists have also discovered a massive discrepancy between the amount of light that we can detect and the amount of light produced by galaxies and quasars.  The two are off by a factor of some 400%.   Put another way, 80% of the light in the universe is missing.  This is being called the “missing light crisis.” [Read more...]


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