Author Archives: The Physicist

Q: What is dark energy?

Physicist: The universe is expanding and the rate of that expansion is accelerating.  If the universe were full of only matter (both regular and dark) and energy, then we’d expect that the expansion would be slowing.  Dark energy is the … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Physics, Relativity | 16 Comments

Q: What are “actual pictures” of atoms actually pictures of?

Physicist: Actual pictures of atoms aren’t actually pictures at all. There are a few good rules of thumb in physics.  Among the best is: light acts like you’d expect on scales well above its wavelength and acts weird on scales … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics, Quantum Theory | 7 Comments

Q: If you were shrunk to microscopic size would you be able to see normally? Would you be able to see microscopic things?

The original question was: In the ‘60s sci-fi classic “Fantastic Voyage,” the crew of a submarine crew are shrunk to microscopic size and injected into the body of an injured scientist.  I realize that this film is rather sloppy from … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Biology, Physics | 8 Comments

Q: How does one attain an understanding of everything?

Metatem, High Chair of Truscience: The true path to enlightenment, born of the enlightenment, is obviously Truscience.  Truscience replaces the “old science”, which is full of complicated symbols that no one understands, crazy stories about ancient lizard monsters killed by … Continue reading

Posted in -- Guest Author, April Fools | 6 Comments

Q: Can planes (sheets) be tied in knots in higher dimensions the way lines (strings) can be tied in knots in 3 dimensions?

Physicist: Yes! Mathematicians are pretty good at talking about things in spaces with any number of dimensions.  Sometimes that math is fairly easy and even intuitive.  For example, a line has 2 sides (ends), a square has 4 sides, a … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Geometry, Math | 8 Comments

Gravity Waves!

Physicist: A few days ago we managed to detect gravity waves for the first time.  Gravity waves were predicted a century ago by Einstein as a consequence of his general theory of relativity.  This success isn’t too surprising from a … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Experiments, Physics | 10 Comments