Wednesday, June 12, 2024

This could test Stephen Hawking’s prediction

Stephen Hawking’s most famous prediction is that black holes decay by emitting radiation. This prediction has never been tested and most physicist, me included, think that it's basically impossible to test. So I was surprised to see that a group of astrophysics recently claimed they can put the prediction to the test because black hole mergers produce morsels. What does that mean? Let’s have a look.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

AI Learned to Lie Deliberately (but it’s kinda funny)

We just saw another open letter about the risks of artificial intelligence, calling for more regulation. Justified or not, AI worry is making some people’s life miserable. Are concerns that AI will lead to humanity’s extinction overblown or not talked about enough? A recent review paper about AI learning to lie has been eye-opening. Let’s have a look.

Sunday, June 09, 2024

The Benefits of Climate Change

Climate change is bad -- we hear this a lot. But this isn't the full story. Climate change also has benefits. And I think we need to talk about those too. Some regions of this planet will see milder climate and better conditions from agriculture. We'll see fewer people freeze to death, and, yes, some plants actually benefit from carbon dioxide.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Why Bitcoin Mining is Good for the Environment -- And why it isn't

I was under the impression that Bitcoin mining was bad for the environment. It turns out that the situation is much more controversial and interesting than I originally thought. So what is it, is bitcoin good? Or is it bad? Let’s have a look.

Thursday, June 06, 2024

“Are we the idiots?” – Bill Gates on Planting Trees

Bill Gates has recently been under fire following an interview in which he said that planting trees won’t save us from climate change. Is he right? Is this just another quote taken out of context? What does the science say? Let’s have a look.

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Musk is Right: Neutrinos Are Evidence for New Physics

Elon Musk made a surprising tweet about neutrinos, writing that “Anything that potentially challenges the Standard Model is a very interesting experiment.” What is he going on about? Is he correct? Let’s have a look.

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

AI’s Dirty Little Secret

here’s a lot of talk about artificial intelligence these days, but what I find most interesting about AI no one ever talks about. It’s that we have no idea why they work as well as they do. I find this a very interesting problem because I think if we figure it out it’ll also tell us something about how the human brain works. Let’s have a look.

Sunday, June 02, 2024

The Hypersonic Arms Race: What You Need to Know

Hypersonic weapons have been in the headlines a lot over the past year as Russia, China, and the US race to develop the next generation of high-tech missiles. But are these supersonic sensations all hype and less hype-r? Let’s have a look.

Saturday, June 01, 2024

Howard's Theory of Everything is Nonsense, but I try to Say it Nicely

Actor Terrence Howard claims that he has invented a theory of everything that improves physics, based on the idea that 1x1=2. After an appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast, his ideas have unfortunately attracted attention.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

How to Detect Quantum Bullshit

Quantum physics could revolutionize everything… at least that’s what some news headlines would have you believing. For those with a few billion dollars to spare to invest in the next big quantum technology, there are a few things you should look out for.

This video comes with a quiz which you can take here:

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Seven Candidates for Dyson Spheres

Dyson Spheres are hypothetical megastructures built by highly advanced civilizations around their stars to harness energy. A group of astrophysicists says they have identified several possible candidates… and I think it's not as crazy as it sounds! Let’s have a look.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

This Huge Cosmology Problem Might Just Have Disappeared

The rate at which the universe is currently expanding is known as the Hubble Rate. In recent years, different measurements have given different results for the Hubble rate, a discrepancy between theory and observation that's been called the “Hubble tension”. Now, a team of astrophysicists claims the Hubble tension is gone and it's the fault of supernovae data. Let’s have a look.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Unapproved Trial for Discredited COVID Cure: Scandal In France

In 2020, French physician Didier Raoult claimed that hydroxychloroquine was a cure for Covid-19. The results could later not be reproduced, but tens of thousands of people died because they did not receive or not seek treatment that might actually have helped them. Unbelievable as it sounds, the story of his unethical practices continues to this day. I have the summary.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

The real problem with AI is us

Major developments have popped up for AI over the past few weeks. From Google’s new text to video tool to Open AI releasing a new GPT to studies finding that AI is really good at understanding humans, more changes to our daily lives are sure to come soon. And yes, this is a crazy fast development that worries me.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

The physics of portals (made with love)

I've spent too much time thinking about how portals could work in the real world and, yes, I guess that is somewhat weird, but well. From energy conservation to momentum conservation to moving portals, I have it all sorted out for you. And the cake is not a lie.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Climate Change Violates Human Rights, Court Finds

An increasing number of people and organizations have sued their governments into acting on climate change, a emerging field of law known as "climate litigation". Are their cases successful? What are the potential consequences? Let’s have a look.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Space-Based Solar Power is Dead

Space-based solar power was an idea to use solar power arrays orbiting Earth to beam down energy 24/7. It would have been a way to have clean, abundant, renewable energy. Some recent reports have basically killed the idea. Let’s have a look.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Universe Was Once Divided into Cells, New Study Says

The idea that the universe is not the same everywhere has been flying under the radar for the last fifty years or so, and a new paper details a fresh perspective on this idea. According to the new paper, the decay of axion domain walls could explain dark matter and some unusual gravitational waves. Let’s have a look.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Einstein's Other Theory of Everything

Einstein completed his theory of general relativity in 1915 when he was 37 years old. What did he do for the remaining 40 years of his life? He continued developing his masterwork of course! Feeling that his theory was incomplete, Einstein pursued a unified field theory. Though he ultimately failed, the ideas he came up with were quite interesting. I have read a lot of old Einstein papers in the past weeks and here is my summary of what I believe he tried to do.

This video comes with a quiz which you can take here:

Thursday, May 16, 2024

A new test for quantum gravity

I suspect that one of Einstein’s nightmares was that his theory of gravity would be turned into a quantum theory. I also suspect that we’re inching closer to that nightmare situation every day -- but not how Einstein might have expected. After countless attempts to develop a theory of quantum gravity, physicists are now trying their hand at measuring it through various experiments. Let’s have a look.