Consider this post the latest in a loosely defined series about atomic cooling techniques that I’ve been writing since June 2018. Atoms can’t run a temperature, but things made up of atoms, like a chair or table, can become hotter or colder. This is because what we observe as the temperature of macroscopic objects is … Read more
Note: A condensed version of this post has been published in The Wire. Around this time last week, the world had nine new Nobel Prize winners in the sciences (physics, chemistry and medicine), all but one of whom were white and none were women. Before the announcements began, Göran Hansson, the Swede-in-chief of these prizes, … Read more
There has been considerable speculation if the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for physics, due to be announced at 2.30 pm IST on October 8, will include Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger. They’ve both made significant experimental contributions related to quantum information theory and the fundamental nature of quantum mechanics, including entanglement. Their work, … Read more
Yesterday, I learnt the answer is ‘yes’. Gravitational waves can be gravitationally lensed. It seems obvious once you think about it, but not something that strikes you (assuming you’re not a physicist) right away. When physicists solve problems relating to the spacetime continuum, they imagine it as a four-dimensional manifold: three of space and one … Read more
Humans have known about the force of gravity since ancient times. Yet, we are still exploring its true nature, how it works, and why it works the way it does.
Last week, as the Nobel Prizes were announced and Peter Higgs and Francois Englert won the highly coveted physics prize, dust was kicked up in India – just as it was in July and then in September 2012 – about how Satyendra Nath Bose had been ‘ignored’. S.N. Bose, in the 1920s, was responsible for … Read more