Can gravitational waves be waylaid by gravity?

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 oneContinue reading “Can gravitational waves be waylaid by gravity?”

A shorter article about short gamma ray bursts lights up little

Identify a simple and well-defined question Describe the question and answer it Get the fuck out Writing with these three rules in mind makes for a good science article. You stick to the point, you know what details to include and what to leave out and, most importantly, you set straightforward expectations and meet them.Continue reading “A shorter article about short gamma ray bursts lights up little”

Onto drafting the gravitational history of the universe

It’s finally happening. As the world turns, as our little lives wear on, gravitational wave detectors quietly eavesdrop on secrets whispered by colliding blackholes and neutron stars in distant reaches of the cosmos, no big deal. It’s going to be just another day. On November 15, the LIGO scientific collaboration confirmed the detection of theContinue reading “Onto drafting the gravitational history of the universe”

On that ‘Last Word on Nothing’ post

A post published on the Last Word On Nothing blog yesterday has been creating quite the stir on Twitter. Excerpt: While I can appreciate that this is an important scientific discovery, I still have a hard time mustering excitement over gravitational waves. I would not have read these articles had I not embarked on thisContinue reading “On that ‘Last Word on Nothing’ post”

On that 'Last Word on Nothing' post

A post published on the Last Word On Nothing blog yesterday has been creating quite the stir on Twitter. Excerpt: While I can appreciate that this is an important scientific discovery, I still have a hard time mustering excitement over gravitational waves. I would not have read these articles had I not embarked on thisContinue reading “On that 'Last Word on Nothing' post”

Neutron stars

When the hype for the announcement of the previous GW detection was ramping up, I had a feeling LIGO was about to announce the detection of a neutron-star collision. It wasn’t to be – but in my excitement, I’d written a small part of the article. I’m sharing it below. I’d also recommend reading thisContinue reading “Neutron stars”

Are the papers behind this year’s Nobel Prizes in the public domain?

Note: One of my editors thought this post would work for The Wire as well, so it’s been republished there. “… for the greatest benefit of mankind” – these words are scrawled across a banner that adorns the Nobel Prize’s homepage. They are the words of Alfred Nobel, who instituted the prizes and bequeathed hisContinue reading “Are the papers behind this year’s Nobel Prizes in the public domain?”

Are the papers behind this year's Nobel Prizes in the public domain?

Note: One of my editors thought this post would work for The Wire as well, so it’s been republished there. “… for the greatest benefit of mankind” – these words are scrawled across a banner that adorns the Nobel Prize’s homepage. They are the words of Alfred Nobel, who instituted the prizes and bequeathed hisContinue reading “Are the papers behind this year's Nobel Prizes in the public domain?”

The nomenclature of uncertainty

Many science articles in the past year dealt with observations falling short of the evidence threshold but which have been worth writing about simply because of the desperation behind them. Has this prompted science writers to think about the language they use?