Among this week's physics highlights: what daffodils can tell us about vortex shedding, new evidence for the pilot wave alternative in quantum theory, and the physics of Ant Man's transformation in Captain America: Civil War.
Me at Gizmodo:
How Daffodils Help Us Understand Why Bridges Collapse. "The catastrophic collapse of Washington State’s Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940 launched intensive research into the aerodynamics of bridge design. Now a team of South Korean scientists have identified a geometric structure that can better withstand the complicated aerodynamic forces at play—and they found their inspiration in the shape of a daffodil stem."
Posthumous Paper Resolves Century-Old Mystery of How Stars Evolve. "Chances are you’ve never heard of Allan Sandage, but the late astronomer was a major figure in 20th century astronomy, particularly known for his work on how stars evolve. Late in life, he discovered two other scientists had beaten him to that breakthrough, but Sandage died before he could finish investigating. His posthumous paper correcting the historical record has just appeared in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific."
What Happens if You Swallow Your Cell Phone? Nothing Good. "Don’t you just hate it when you accidentally swallow your cell phone right when you need to make a call? Yeah, me too. That really happened to an unfortunate Irishman, according to a new report in the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports. And the challenges doctors faced removing the mobile device might be cause to rethink the conventional strategies for dealing with similar cases in the future."
Watch Musical Tesla Coils Electrify an Audience in Glorious 360 Video. "Anyone who attended this year’s Maker Faire Austin had the joy of catching electrifying live performances by Arc Attack, a team that makes music with two gigantic transformer coils (a.k.a., “Tesla coils”). They’re a popular staple of the festival circuit. Now Caleb Kraft, senior editor for Make, has captured one of those live performances in full 360 degree video, letting you watch from any direction—up, down, behind you at the crowd, or smack between those massive coils. It’s like being plopped down right in the middle of all the action."
Other Cool Links:
To Understand Your Past, Look to Your Future: Alternative to the Newtonian worldview may explain quantum weirdness.
New Experimental Support for Alternative Quantum View: Pilot Waves.
The New Independence Day Spaceship Has Its Own Gravity, doesn’t give a hoot about the laws of physics.
The physics of Ant Man's tremendous transformation in Captain America: Civil War. "Turning into a massive, AT-AT-like enemy is pretty complicated."
It's possible to charge electrical devices without wires. Soon, it may even be practical.
Vanadium: the 'beautiful metal' that stores energy.
Vortex rings appear throughout nature from dolphins to volcanoes and from splashes to falling drops.
Google Patented a Sticky Car Hood That Traps Pedestrians Like Flies.
The Man Who Put the Pee in Phosphorus: German alchemist Hennig Brand.
Black hole outburst may starve it of matter in the future. Two-week outburst event from black hole sheds light on its feeding habits.
A black hole interior produces computational complexity at fastest rate possible.
A New Way to Stop and Store X-rays.
Strange Supernovae are driven by magnetic fields: Three animations model how strongly magnetized stars produce oddball stellar explosions.
Scientists Discover a Weird New Type of Light.
Three Ways Small Modular Reactors Overcome Existing Barriers to Nuclear Power.
Make Time For Spacetime: A best-selling French physicist, Christophe Galfard, explains space in (English) terms you can understand.
‘It’s Your Generation of Experimenters That Makes Me Look Good!’ – An Interview with Kip Thorne.
A Life Inspired by an Unexpected Genius: profile of mathematician Ken Ono.
The life-changing love of Paul Dirac, one of the 20th century’s greatest physicists.
The Planck scale sets the universe’s minimum limit, beyond which the laws of physics break.
DARPA Has a Simple Plan to Clean Up the World's Deadliest Weapons.
When Did Isaac Newton Finally Fail? The problem with Mercury's peculiar orbit.
Antarctic IceCube Experiment Comes Up Empty on Neutrino Ghost Hunt.
Your Cell Phone Absolutely Will Not Give You Brain Cancer.
How to develop a picture from a corpse's eye.
Photographer Captures the Fiery Beauty of the Classic "Whoosh Bottle" Experiment.
Stunning Photo Series by Paolo Pettigiani Highlights Central Park Through an Infrared lens. Per Laughing Squid: "Paolo Pettigiani, a talented Italian photographer and graphic designer who recently moved to New York City, sought to find a different perspective of his newly adopted home. So he created “INFRARED NYC“, an absolutely stunning series that views Central Park through an infrared lens. To achieve this specific effect, Pettigiani used Kodak Aerochrome, false-color reversal film, to highlight the lush greenery of the park against the cold steel of the iconic surrounding skyscrapers." [Image: Paolo Pattigiani]
The Father of Modern Metal: The creation of stainless steel took equal parts metallurgy and perseverance.
How a Freaky WWI Camouflage Trick Could Be Reworked For the 21st Century.
The Biggest Hopes Of What A New Particle At The Large Hadron Collider Might Reveal.
Before He Was an Astronaut, David Saint-Jacques Was a Doctor in an Inuit Village.
An Unbeatable Game From the 1960s That Uses Physical Computing to Win.
Hear the Sea Organ: The Massive Experimental Musical Instrument in Croatia That Makes Music with the Sea.
Inside EurekAlert, the News Hub That Shapes the Science You Read.
The “Bubble Circus” is a delightful outreach device equipped for all manner of physics demos.
View Thomas Edison’s Silent Film of the “Fartiste” Who Delighted Crowds at Le Moulin Rouge (1900).
The funniest jokes scientists secretly slip into their papers.
A Solution to the Grandfather Paradox? You Can Travel Back in Time to Kill Your Granddad if You Think Non-Linearly.