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Monday, July 16, 2018

"Sonic black holes" simulate the real thing, possible Hawking radiation confirmation

A fascinating attempt of simulating black holes in the laboratory has taken place. Using lasers and Bose-Einstein condensates, there may be some initial confirmation of Hawking radiation in the form of sonic energy. The mathematics of this laboratory system is equivalent to the math used in Einstein's field equations when working on stellar black holes. Any evidence of Hawking radiation, which is a prediction by Stephen Hawking over 40 years ago, could be the first direct evidence of the influence of quantum mechanics on black holes, where particles appear spontaneously at event horizons, with one going into the universe and the other into the black hole - the net effect makes it appear the black hole is evaporating.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Another test of Einstein's GR, and another confirmation

A good example of how science works - as a physicist, Albert Einstein has always been my, and just about all other physicists I know, hero as a scientist, but despite something personal like this, it is a necessary step in science to constantly test predictions, theories and ideas. Another precision test of general relativity, Einstein's masterpiece, has led to more confirmation of the theory. This is how it is supposed to work, even though there have been hundreds of tests of GR, all verifying the theory, but that doesn't mean we suddenly stop testing.

Friday, June 29, 2018

One of our seniors has an experiment on the Space Station!!

Congratulations to senior Sarah Bloom, who now has an experiment she helped design on the International Space Station (ISS)!! As part of a summer program she participated in last summer, an experiment designed to study the behaviors of bees and their vital role in pollination was part of the cargo on a SpaceX supply launch to the ISS this morning.

Sarah is at Cape Canaveral to watch the launch live, and also made and presented a poster prior to the launch! Way to go, Sarah!!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Good motivation for real applications of elastic/spring behaviors: Small organisms

So, it is the right question to ask when we cover something like springs in class: Why should we care? Besides being able to solve some physics problems, what's the point?

A cool application has to do with the size of organisms. Small critters like insects are too small to have muscles the way we do. Instead, they've evolved effectively springs in their legs, which are more linear than muscles, which are multidimensional and, therefore, take up too much space for their body to fit or support. Awesome!

Keep in mind that biomechanical studies are something we can try to do in our research center!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Congratulations Class of 2018!!

This weekend we will see the final event for the Class of 2018, as they walk the stage and get their well-deserved diplomas! I am proud of you, a job well done, and enjoy the summer before starting the net phase of life. Try to make the world just a bit better, follow your interests and passions, and enjoy the ride!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Maxwell's equations: Summary of EM, EM waves

For a summary of E&M, check out Maxwell's equations in this classic Mechanical Universe video. The key piece to Maxwell connecting all the dots to create a singular theory of electromagnetism was his displacement current, which really explains how a capacitor circuit can work. Check out a video specifically on the 'displacement current.'

Monday, May 7, 2018

Coding Instructions for Robot Activity

Check out the Google Slides Presentation for our robot activity! You will need an App on your phone to code and control the robot, and the links are:

Android -
iPhone -

If possible, please try to do this tonight, and Wednesday we will have a chance to apply these to the actual robots!!

Some examples of the potential of robots in our lives is the TED talk below; go here for examples and thoughts about present-day Artificial Intelligence: