Archive for Physics

Where to Look for Dark Matter? Part 1


What’s the Universe made of? At first glance, at the night sky, you’d see stars and planets and you might say “It’s made up of stars and planets and hydrogen and helium and other normal stuff.” Congrats. you just named less than 5% of the Universe. So where’s everything else?

2nd Law of Thermodynamics Permits Evolution


Creationists repeatedly claim that the Second Law of Thermodynamics prohibits evolution. Buzz. Wrong. False. Incorrect. This claim has been around at least back to when I was in college, back when disco was popular. It was wrong then and it’s still wrong.

Weather Wars

NASA Hangout: Ask a Climatologist

There’s an interesting exchange beginning at 41:08 on the YouTube video of the recording of the NASA Hangout: Ask A Climate Scientist on 30 September 2013. The video starts a few seconds before the 41:08 mark:

Water, Martian Dirt and Life

The water molecules absorbed by a hygroscopic salt are not called "The Solvation Army" They should be.

In a paper just released, “Mars soil contains a huge amount of water, reports NASA’s Curiosity rover.” (1) If you’re interested in making drinking water, check out this video: So Mars Has Water. Could We Drink It? Unfortunately, getting potable water out of the soil will be difficult, especially with…

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Replacing the Space Shuttle

Space Shuttle Patch

On April 12, 1981, astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen took off in the Columbia space shuttle. Their flight was the first launch of the Space Transportation System (STS). Once in orbit, a look back at the Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) (the two lumps below the fin on the back…

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Forbes’ Embarrassing Op-Ed on Climate Change

I wasn’t looking to pick a fight. A link on Facebook pointed out the very good Forbes article on how “US Scientists Are Leaving The Country And Taking The Innovation Economy With Them”. But there was an advertisement for an opinion/editorial (op-ed) by Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson titled “The Palpable…

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No Methane on Mars

No Methane Detected on Mars

The Curiosity Rover did not detect any methane on Mars during multiple tests. Previously, methane was detected by earthbound telescopes and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and should have been detected by Curiosity (which can detect down to 1.6 parts per billion).

The Problems with Computer Models (Part 1)

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (@KHayhoe on Twitter) repeatedly pointed out in a recent excellent Infrastructure and Climate Network webinar (1), that climate models can’t predict what will happen on a particular day in the future. Well, living here in Pittsburgh, where the weather forecast for much of this summer was “Possibility…

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