Tuesday, April 30, 2024

New Experiment Could Settle 100 Years-Old Debate about Quantum Tunnelling

Quantum Tunnelling is a fascinating process in which a particle goes through a barrier faster than the speed of light. At least that’s what some physicists think. Others say this is just a wrong interpretation of what is really going on. This debate has been going on for a century, but a new experiment could finally end the debate once and for all. Let’s have a look.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

7 Strange Coincidences in the Laws of Nature

The universe seems to be ruled by equations and numbers. But why just these equations and why just those numbers? Is it just coincidence? In this video I have collected seven of the weirdest coincidences in physics.

This video comes with a quiz:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Scandal over Nuclear Phase-Out in Germany: What We Know

A recent investigation has revealed that the final steps in phasing out nuclear power in Germany was partly based on false information. And doesn’t look like it was a mistake, but a deliberate rewriting of what was originally accurate information. The ministry denies everything. A quick summary of what we know.

Friday, April 26, 2024

I thought Electric Cars Were the Future. I Changed my Mind.

I thought electric vehicles were the future of transportation. Not so much because they're clean, but because many car enthusiasts love them for their powerful acceleration. However, it's becoming increasingly clear that the necessary upgrades to the electric grid aren't going anywhere near fast enough to get the transition done according to plan. This is why I believe now we'll likely see a shift to hybrids in the near future.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Breakthrough Tech Makes Energy from Air – Really?

Australian television outlets were recently raving over a supposed “world-first breakthrough converting carbon dioxide into electricity”. It's a device that takes carbon dioxide from the air and turns it into power. The TV people say the technology is “not just carbon neutral but one step better, consuming CO2 and creating power”. Can this possibly be correct? Let’s have a look.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Are we surrounded by dark energy? A spacecraft tetrad will look for it

Most astrophysicists believe that 95% of the universe is dark stuff - dark matter and dark energy. We can’t see, feel, or hear it, but it’s supposedly all around us. NASA scientists recently proposed a new experiment to test what is going on with the dark stuff in our universe. The want to use four small spacecraft flying around the solar system in a tetrahedron formation to look for variations from Einstein’s theory of gravity. Let’s have a look.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Institute for Extinction Risk Shuts Down: What We Know

The Future of Humanity Institute announced last week that they have shut down. Located at the University of Oxford in the UK prior to its demise, the institute was one of the few places worldwide studying the risk of human extinction and a few other controversial research areas. Let’s have a look at the events leading to the institute’s closure.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Does time stop for light?

You might have heard that according to Einstein's theories of special and general relativity time doesn't pass for light, or that time actually stops for light. Can this possibly be correct? In this video, I will look at what the maths says and discuss what it means.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

The Prof who Looked for Love and Ended up in Prison: The Supermodel Scam

This is the story of how particle physicist Paul Frampton ended up in prison for smuggling drugs after being scammed by someone who pretended to be a bikini model, and what happened next.

Friday, April 19, 2024

AI More Energy Efficient than Humans, New Study Finds

I recently read that using artificial intelligence creates fewer carbon emissions than human labour. Really? The human brain doesn't have much going for it, but we know that it is much more energy efficient than computers. What's going on here? Let’s have a look.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Modified Gravity Strikes Back

Most astrophysics are pretty convinced that 80% of the matter in the universe is some invisible stuff that they can’t detect - dark matter. The idea has become more popular recently modified gravity ran into trouble by making a wrong prediction about wide binaries. However, in a new paper, John Moffat showed that at least one version of modified gravity -- called MOG -- fits the data just fine. Let’s have a look

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

This Fusion Startup is a Strong Newcomer

A new nuclear fusion startup in German is working on a "quasi-isodynamic stellerator". I had a look at what that means and think it's a pretty cool approach that is among the most solid, low-risk ideas in nuclear fusion at the moment. Doesn't mean it will work, but definitely one to have an eye on!

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The "Worst Prediction" Was Never Made

If you google the “worst prediction ever”, you will get hundreds of results that tell you it was the prediction of the cosmological constant that was infamously 120 orders of magnitude wrong. But there has never been any such prediction. Just where does this story come from and what is really the worst prediction ever?

Monday, April 15, 2024

Gravitational Waves Necessary for Human Existence, New Study Finds

A group of physicist has proclaimed that we owe our existence to gravitational waves. Really? What sense does that make. Aren't gravitational waves far too weak to have any effect on life on earth? Indeed, they do. This argument is a new application of the anthropic principle. Let’s have a look.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Warp Drives: New Simulations

Hyperjumps, wormholes, and warp drives sound like science fiction, but they’re actually based on real science! Though I believe out of the three, warp drives are the most plausible. The math seems to agree. Today I want to tell you about a new way of analysing and visualizing warp drives.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Randomness Improves Computation, No Really

It sounds weird, but randomness can actually improve computer calculations, in certain circumstances. After some digging into the reasons why, I’ve uncovered three different ways this can happen. The first one is noisy computation, then there’s stochastic computation, and then there’s probabilistic computation. What exactly are the differences and how do they help computation? Let’s have a look.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Electric Highways: A good idea?

Several European countries have done trials for electric highways , some of which have now been concluded. The results have been unexpectedly controversial. What are electric highways? Why are the results controversial? Could this be the answer to transitioning away from fossil fuels? Let’s have a look.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Musk: Are Quantum Computers even good for Something?

Elon Musk launched an XPRIZE for Quantum Applications! It’s a 3-year, 5 million dollar global contest that’s looking for ways to use quantum computers to solve real-world challenges that benefit society. Doesn't this basically mean quantum computers don’t currently have any good use cases? And what do you need to do to win? Let’s have a look.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Climate Change Slows Rotation of Earth, New Study Finds

Climate change has had some pretty weird consequences - beers are tasting worse, goats are shrinking, and flights are bumpier. Another unexpected outcome is that the rotation of the earth has slowed, making days longer. How does that work? Let’s have a look.

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

New Superconductor Scandal: What We Know So Far

Last year, Ranga Dias from the University of Rochester in New York claimed he had found a material that was superconducting at room temperature. He has now been accused of research misconduct. This is a summary of what we know so far.

Monday, April 08, 2024

Are wildfires good?

Wildfires have made a lot of headlines recently. Climate change, they say, has made them worse. But some ecologists now say that suppressing wildfires is a bad idea and will just make things worse. You read that right, they say we should just let it burn -- so long as no people are in danger. Does that mean small wildfires are actually good? Let’s have a look.

Sunday, April 07, 2024

My first total eclipse: What I am looking forward to

On April 8th, a total solar eclipse will cast its shadow across Mexico, the United States and Canada. This solar eclipse is quite special for a number of reasons. Let’s have a look at why this solar eclipse is so special and some things you should be on the lookout for.

Saturday, April 06, 2024

This Self-Heating Concrete Melts Snow – No Power Needed

Material scientists at Drexel University in Philadelphia have developed a self-heating concrete that warms up on its own when temperatures drop below zero. No power needed. How does this new “smart material” work? Will we see it on our streets soon? Let’s have a look.

Friday, April 05, 2024

How I fell out of love with academia

How AI could kill us -- or save us

Artificial intelligence will likely eventually exceed human intelligence, which could turn out to be very dangerous. In this video I have collected how things could go wrong and what the terms that you should know when discussing this topic. And because that got rather depressing, I have added my most optimistic forecast, too. Let’s have a look.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Search for Quantum Foam Begins at South Pole

Physicists will soon begin an experiment at the South Pole to test if space has quantum fluctuations. Their new approach looks for decoherence in neutrinos oscillations that are sensitive to what has been dubbed "quantum foam" that could even contain tiny black holes. If successful, this experiment could uncover something that will combine Einstein’s theory of gravity and quantum physics? Let’s have a look.

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

CERN's new Ghost experiment could find "hidden" particles

New articles have been popping up about CERN’s new experiment looking for so-called “ghost particles.” What are ghost particles? Is CERN haunted? What is this new experiment? Let’s have a look.

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

The Hype you Didn’t Notice: The Quantum Internet

Quantum effects could lead to faster computers, more precise measurements, custom-designed materials, and much more. But the quantum internet is a solution in search of a problem. What is Quantum Internet? Can it really go faster than the speed of light? Do we need it to keep data safe? Let’s have a look.

Monday, April 01, 2024

Sulphur as Energy Storage -- Gamechanger?

For decades we have seen scientists and engineers trying to outdo each other in finding more efficient and cheaper ways of storing energy. A group from the German Aerospace Center now says that sulphur is the way forward. Let’s have a look