Daily Archives: May 3, 2012

Why Physicists Need Philosophers

There’s a spat brewing between some theoretical physicists and philosophers of science recently, and NPR’s Adam Frank has all the details. It started when one philosopher of science, David Albert, questioned the notion that the universe came “from nothing,” as the title of Laurence Krauss’ new book claims. This quickly escalated into a debate over whether philosophy of science was even a worthwhile endeavor, or just a distraction from the hard, nuts-and-bolts work of figuring out the nature of the … Continue reading

Posted in Metaphysics, Physics | 2 Comments

Surprising ecological effects of earthquake and tsunami revealed

The reappearance of long-forgotten habitats and the resurgence of species unseen for years may not be among the expected effects of a natural disaster. Yet that’s exactly what researchers have found on the sandy beaches of south central Chile, after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami in 2010. Their study also revealed a preview of the problems wrought by sea level rise — a major symptom of climate change. In a scientific first, researchers from Universidad Austral de Chile and … Continue reading

Posted in Earth Sciences, Ecology | Leave a comment

Lasers Create Heads-up Display for Cars

Head-up displays — like the ones in fighter jets — are appearing in cars, and lasers may make them more common and useful. Microvision, a Redmond, Wash.-based company, is building a laser-based display that uses a red, green and blue laser as well as a mirror, which tilts to direct the beams. By adjusting the intensity of the lasers, the display produces differently colored pixels. The mirror scans horizontally and vertically, producing an image on the windshield made of lit … Continue reading

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Cairo Calendar shows Egyptians discovered binary Algol first

Algol, aka the Demon Star, is actually a binary star in the Perseus constellation, and has been the subject of speculation for hundreds of years. Now a group of Finnish researchers propose that the peculiar behavior of Algol was first noted by the Egyptians some 3200 years ago. They suggest, as they describe in their paper uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, that a document known as the Cairo Calendar, shows that not only did the Egyptians know about Algol, … Continue reading

Posted in Cosmology, History | Leave a comment