Category Archives: Physics

Q: If light is a wave, then what’s doing the waving?

Physicist: In short: nothing.  Light acts like a wave, but unlike sound waves, light isn’t a material that’s moving back-and-forth. Waves are a coordinated movement of atoms.  A wave itself isn’t made of anything, it’s just a propagating motion through … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Experiments, Physics | 31 Comments

Q: Why haven’t we been able to see the spectra of anti-hydrogen until recently? Why is it so hard to study anti-matter?

Physicist: Although anti-matter was first experimentally confirmed in 1932, no one has been able to see the atomic spectrum of any anti-elements until December 2016. The problem with anti-matter is that you can’t let it touch anything.  If you do: … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Particle Physics, Physics | 7 Comments

Q: Does quantum mechanics really say there are other “mes”? Where are they?

Physicist: As much of a trope as “Other Quantum Worlds” has become in sci-fi, there are reasons to think that they may be a real thing; including “other yous”.  Here’s the idea. Superposition is a real thing One of the … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Philosophical, Physics, Quantum Theory, Skepticism | 33 Comments

Q: Does anti-matter really move backward through time?

Physicist: The very short answer is: yes, but not in time-traveler-kind-of-way. There is a “symmetry” in physics implied by our most fundamental understanding of physical law, and is never violated by any known process, that’s called the “CPT symmetry“.  It … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Particle Physics, Physics, Skepticism | 3 Comments

Q: Are some colors of light impossible? Can any color of light be made?

Physicist: Just so we can talk about this using physics rather than poetry, for the sake of this article “color” really means “frequency”.  Light frequency is a bit more objective than color and includes things we can’t see (like ultraviolet). … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics, Quantum Theory, Relativity | 9 Comments

Proxima B!

Physicist: Good news!  There’s an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, a star so named because it’s the closest star to Earth and it’s in the constellation Centarus.  This isn’t a question anyone asked, but I thought … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Physics | 13 Comments