November 7th, 2007


The Frontiers of Physics


Things get weird-spectacularly so-at the borderlands of physics. The rarefied realms described mathematically and sometimes glimpsed in experiments are all the more extraordinary for not being the mere products of someone's hyperactive imagination.


For instance, string theory's equations imply that the universe contains six extra dimensions, which are too tiny to have yet been detected. Some physicists also see innumerable theoretical universes in their equations. 

And although we perceive space and time as being continuous, quantum principles imply that, in fact, at the very smallest scales they actually come in pieces.


The effects of this discrete structure could be revealed in experiments in the near future. Intellectual enrichment aside, it might be tempting to think that none of what scientists are learning by probing the frontiers of physics truly matters in our everyday lives. Not so. As just one example, consider general relativity, which explains how gravity results from bends in the fabric of spacetime itself.


To be accurate, commonplace GPS receivers-which calculate location using a constellation of orbiting satellites-must take the effects of general relativity into account.

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)


  • Current Mood: curious curious

55 Cancri

The Fifth Planet


Scientists announced today the discovery of a fifth planet in a distant star system that that now looks like a "cousin" to our own. Known as 55 Cancri, the sun-like star harbors the most number of planets ever discovered outside our solar system.  


Four of the planets had been previously detected, but the existence of the fifth planet took 18 years to confirm. It is about 45 times more massive than Earth and might be similar to Saturn in its composition and appearance. 


  • Current Mood: good good
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The Mystery of Sphinx

Who Built the Sphinx?


New information casts doubt on one of alternative Egyptology's boldest claims: that the Sphinx had nothing to do with Khafre.


When Pharoah Thutmosis IV fell asleep before the head of the Great Sphinx at Giza, he recorded that the statue had spoken to him in a dream. 

He said the Sphinx had told him to clear away the centuries of sand that choked its body and hid all but its head from view. 

The Sphinx then promised the young Thutmosis (also spelled Tutmosis) the throne of
for doing this work.
And so he cleared the Sphinx of its sand and set up between the massive lion's paws a stela on which he recorded his dream and promised to restore the statue of the Pharoah Khafre. Or did he?


  • Current Mood: impressed impressed

Quote of the Day

"Natural ability without education has more often attained to glory and virtue than education without natural ability."


Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)

  • Current Mood: good good

Image of the Day

The Sun Temple of Ramesses II


The main temple was dedicated to Ramesses II and to the four universal gods Ptah, Re-Harakhte, Amun-Re, and to Ramesses II himself. Of the seven temples he built, Abu Simbel is considered to be the most impressive.

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)

  • Current Mood: impressed impressed