Black Hole Firewalls Could Be Too Tepid to Burn
Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine‘s Abstractions blog. String theorists elide a paradox about black holes by extinguishing the walls of fire feared to surround them.NASA Despite its ability to bend both minds and space, an Einsteinian black hole looks so simple a child could draw it. There’s a point in the center, a perfectly spherical boundary […]
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My Mom, the Missile Computress
History:What it was like being among the first women in the US missile program.
The Euclidean Metrics of Trump’s Twitter Account
Sociology:How online personalities are quantified and compared.
Forget Everything You Think You Know About Time
Studying time “is like holding a snowflake in your hands: gradually, as you study it, it melts between your fingers and vanishes.”Image by Mobilos / Wikicommons In April, in the famous Faraday Theatre at the Royal Institution in London, Carlo Rovelli gave an hour-long lecture on the nature of time. A red thread spanned the […]
Why Lunar Ice Caps Don’t Change My Moon Base Design
The author of The Martian and Artemis argues that the moon’s ice caps (blue) don’t change how he would design his fictional moon bases.NASA / JPL When I wrote The Martian, the general belief was that Mars had very little water, and what supply it did have would be at the poles. After the book came out, Curiosity […]
How Insulin Helped Create Ant Societies
Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine‘s Abstractions blog. Ants, wasps, bees, and other social insects live in highly organized “eusocial” colonies where throngs of females forgo reproduction—usually viewed as the cornerstone of evolutionary fitness—to serve the needs of a few egg-laying queens and their offspring. How they got that way has been hard to explain despite more than 150 […]
Thomas Kuhn Threw an Ashtray at Me
Science Practice:Why Errol Morris is still outraged by the famous philosopher of science.
The Self-made Beauty of the Centriole
This story was originally published by Knowable Magazine. You don’t often see the word beautiful in scientific articles. Yet it’s easy to see why cell biologists Niccolò Banterle and Pierre Gönczy used the word when describing a crucial cell structure called the centriole in a recent review. The scientists, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, are helping to […]
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