Physics Week in Review: September 15, 2018

FrazzledJen-Luc2Antimatter seen in two places at once, a “lens-less” camera, and a quantum version of Maxwell’s Demon were among this week’s physics highlights. (Note: Our weekly linkfest will be on hiatus for the next couple of weeks due to travel. We’ll be back at the end of September!)

Me at Ars Technica:

Penn State scientists build quantum version of Maxwell’s demon. 3D grids of super-cooled atoms could one day form the basis for a quantum computer. [Image (below): Weiss Laboratory Penn State]

This nifty flying robot can hover, bank, and turn as deftly as a fruit fly. Dutch scientists built the robot to shed light on aerodynamics of insect flight.

Here are your 2018 Ig Nobel Prize winners: The 2018 awards honor research on cursing while driving and cannibalistic calories, among other winners.

R.I.P. Walter Mischel, father of the infamous Marshmallow Test. Columbia University psychologist was best known for his work on delayed gratification.

Iron Fist’s second Netflix season mostly lives up to its promising trailer. A much less whiny Danny Rand grapples with the meaning of power in his second season.

This sneak peek at The Good Place Season 3 is everything we love about the series. The best sitcom on television returns this month with yet another radical reset.

Authors’ viral Twitter thread is now a horror film starring Alyson Hannigan. You Might Be the Killer will premiere at Fantastic Film Fest in Austin September 21.

Other Cool Links:

A New Test for the Leading Big Bang Theory: Cosmologists have predicted the existence of an oscillating signal that could distinguish between cosmic inflation and alternative theories of the universe’s birth.  Related: Pigeon Poop And Strange Static: How We Proved The Big Bang.

Antimatter seen in two places at once thanks to quantum experiment. The double-slit experiment is a classic demonstration that all particles of light and matter are also waves – and now it’s been done with antimatter particles.

Single atoms sit still on a hot plate, may yield new quantum tech. Laser sucks energy out of atoms as fast as nearby surface puts it in.

Has The Large Hadron Collider Accidentally Thrown Away The Evidence For New Physics? The nightmare scenario of no new particles or interactions at the LHC is coming true. And it might be our own fault.  Related: The Large Hadron Collider Turns 10: Here’s What’s Next for Particle Physics.

This Is Why Dark Energy Must Exist, Despite Recent Reports To The Contrary.

Scientists Reveal “Lensless” Camera: “What if a machine could make sense of the garbled mess that is the result of a completely unfocused camera, and then “translate” it into an image that people could actually understand?”

A mathematical model captures the political impact of fake news. The mathematical theory of communication—one of science’s finest achievements—provides an objective way to simulate how deliberately inaccurate reports influence voting behavior.

Why things can look like they’re moving faster than light. “Superluminal” motion is old news to astronomers, but surprised our readers.

A third dimension helps Tokamak fusion reactor avoid wall-destroying instability. Korean Tokamak shows instabilities can be cured via additional magnetic fields.

The ‘Liquidators’ Who Risked It All to Clean Up Chernobyl. Photographer Tom Skipp pays tribute to the 600,000 men and women tasked with the job.

How a day driving high-downforce cars at VIR taught Jonathan Gitlin that he’s OK being slow, with some fascinating information on the history of aerodynamics in cars.

Yes, You Can Boil Water at Room Temperature. Here’s How.

After the cat: Celebrating Schrödinger’s 75-year influence on biology. In 1943, physicist Erwin Schrödinger gave a lecture in Dublin that kick-started modern biology. A star-studded conference last week celebrated his legacy.

How Will Police Solve Murders on Mars? Mars P.D. will have to deal with new blood-spatter patterns, different body decay rates, and space-suit sabotage—and they won’t be able to fire guns indoors.

SETI’s New Neural Network Detects Many More Fast Radio Bursts From a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Patiently, Joyously Explains to Paparazzi What Would Happen if You Smoked Weed in Space.

You Can Drink Champagne in Space—Yes, Really. Champagne maker Mumm is testing a piston-activated bottle on zero-G flights.

Morse Code’s Vanquished Competitor: The Dial Telegraph. In 1842, French watchmaker Louis-François Breguet invented a simpler to use but less efficient alternative.

The Mystery of Alexander Hamilton’s Bank Clock: The origins of an 18th-century timepiece are part of an American institution even older than its financial system: embellishing facts.

Seeker’s Bad Science podcast explores the authentic astrophysics of director Alfonso Cuaron’s film, Gravity.

The Most Addictive Theorem in Applied Mathematics: Erika Camacho discusses how her favorite theorem applies to her research on mathematical modeling of eye diseases and the dynamics of fanaticism.

Kids’ Math Motivation Stems From Proving Something To Themselves. “kids would be more eager to learn math if they knew more about how it connects with their future goals.”

Numbers In the News: The Physics of a Flying Tesla.

The top that (almost) never stops. “Like most tops, Limbo is spun from your fingertips – but the hidden USB recharge-able gyroscope is what keeps it going.” https://boingboing.net/2018/09/12/the-top-that-almost-never-st.html

Non-Newtonian Fluid Shatters into Pieces When Hit with a Baseball Bat.

The Brilliant Complexity Embedded in the Simple I IV V Chord Progression of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect.’

Trippy video explores the optics of CGI-generated crystals. “Maxim Zhestkov created a mesmerizing exercise involving light refracting within computer-generated crystals.”