R. Stephen Berry— Thermodynamics is a beautiful illustration of how needs of very practical applications can lead to very basic, general concepts and relations, very much in contrast to the view that the practical and applied facets of a science are consequences of prior basic studies. Thermodynamics teaches us that
Emily Coates and Sarah Demers — Physics and dance share the singular problem of our universe: time moves in one direction. Events that occur can never be repeated exactly. A detector captures the collision of two black holes as an abnormal frequency—a cosmic blip, like the notation for a billion-year-old
Marcia Bartusiak- Walk into an open field on a clear, moonless night. Overhead, sparkling stars are sprinkled across the sky. All of them seem equidistant from you—and no one else—and you are lulled into imagining yourself at the center of the universe. For nearly five hundred years, astronomers have struggled to
James Owen Weatherall— Imagine a house with no furniture. Is it empty? Presumably I haven’t given enough information to answer the question. There may be other stuff in the house: people, clothes, food, pets. Take all of this away, too. Indeed, take out all of the “stuff,” big and small.
Marcia Bartusiak— To the practiced eye, Einstein’s equations stand as the quintessence of mathematical beauty. When it was introduced in 1915, general relativity was hailed as a momentous conceptual achievement. But for a long time the theory had little practical importance. Although the scientific community embraced general relativity—and recognized Einstein
Steven Gimbel— We stand on the edge of the centenary of Albert Einstein’s greatest achievement, his general theory of relativity. It was a work that not only changed science, it changed how we think of science and the relationship between society and science. In 1905, eleven years earlier, Einstein had
Follow @yaleSCIbooks Last week, an announcement was made by CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) that has set the scientific community buzzing. It confirmed that two separate teams working with the Large Hadron Collider – a machine that collides atomic particles at incredible speeds in the hopes of detecting
For most of us, life in three dimensions is difficult enough. But not for Tony Robbin. For Robbin, an acclaimed artist and geometry enthusiast, the real challenge comes in visualizing the fourth dimension. Ever since his debut at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1974, Robbin has been bent