Twitter Icon
Follow Me on Twitter

Quantumaniac is where it’s at - and by ‘it’ I mean awesome.

Over here, I post a ton of astronomy / math / general science in an attempt to make your brain feel good. My aim is to be as informative as possible, while posting fascinating things that hopefully enlighten us both a little to the mysteries of our truly wondrous universe(s?). Plus, how would you know if the blog exists or not unless you observe it?

Boom, just pulled the Schrödinger’s cat card. Now you have to check it out - trust me, it said so in an equation somewhere.

Also, please check out my web design company - O8 Labs

Follow Tyler Simko on Quora

 

E42 - Potential Young Twin of Our Sun

"Pillars of Creation," the picture shown above, is possibly one of the most popular space photographs ever taken. The Hubble Telescope took the image in 1995 of M16, the Eagle Nebula (shown below). 

E42, a dense ball of interstellar gas, is jutting out the leftmost pillar. E42 is a stellar embryo that could develop into a star very similar to our Sun. E42 is in the “earliest stages of development ever detected for this type of object,” according to Space.com

E42 is a an evaporating gas globule (EGG), an “egg” of gas from which a star eventually emerges. More from Space.com:

this particular EGG has the same mass as the Sun and appears to be maturing in a violent environment matching the one thought to have produced Earth’s life-giving star.

You can read more about E42 here

Follow Quantumaniac on Twitter

Best View Yet of Merging Galaxies in Distant Universe
Check out this awesome article from Astronomy.com:
An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), among other telescopes, has obtained the best view yet of a collision between two galaxies when the universe was only half its current age.
Check out the article to learn more about how what one scientist called “natural lenses created by the universe” helped to see this.
Unfortunately, a galactic collision is projected to happen between the Milky Way and Andromeda - but don’t worry, not for another 4 billion years. Check out a simulation video here

TONIGHT (2/4/14): Bill Nye Debates Creationist Ken Ham

Be sure to watch Bill Nye debate Ken Ham tonight (7PM EST). Here’s the livestream

Hawking’s Revolutionary New Proposal on Black Holes

In a calculation-free, very short new paper posted on the arXiv preprint server last week, Stephen Hawking made some big claims. Hawking effectively dismisses the notion of an event horizon, the invisible boundary beyond which nothing, even light, can escape. This event horizon is what most people really think of as a black hole - a funnel-like boundary that once you’re in, you’re in. 

Event horizons have been a practical staple of black-hole ideology for decades, and a dismissal of their existence would elicit groans and labels of “crank” if coming from nearly any other physicist, but Hawking’s status as perhaps the most respected scientist in the world ensures respect for his proposal. In their stead, Hawking has proposed a much friendlier “apparent horizon,” which could release matter and energy moving at around the speed of light after holding them inside for a brief period - although in a more “garbled form,” as Nature writes. 

Hawking’s new work is an attempt to solve a paradox that has been confounding physicists for nearly two years, known as the black-hole firewall paradox. A team from the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California, believed that when adding quantum theory to black holes, the event horizon must be transformed into a highly energetic “firewall” that would consume anything falling in. Unfortunately for the team, this firewall would break pace with general relativity, which says that crossing the event horizon should be generally uneventful. 

Since the introduction of the firewall paradox, physicists have been wondering if relativity or quantum theory would be correct. However, Hawking says that both theories can remain perfectly intact, and black holes simply do not have an event horizon to produce a firewall. As Nature writes, “The key to his claim is that quantum effects around the black hole cause space-time to fluctuate too wildly for a sharp boundary surface to exist.”

Although the paper has yet to be peer reviewed, it is being examined critically and will spark a flurry of new research. Surely more exciting work will be published in the near future - stay tuned! 

More: Nature, New Scientist

Image Sources: Huff Post, Wiki

Follow Quantumaniac on Twitter

gunsandposes-history:

The planet Earth observed through a long lens as the Apollo 11 mission headed toward the Moon, July 1969. (NASA)

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the Macintosh computer.

On January 24th, 1984 - “Steve Jobs,” the LATimes writes, “sporting a goofy bow tie — stepped onto a stage in Cupertino, Calif., and unveiled the Macintosh. However deeply cynical we have grown about product launches, there is no doubt about how genuine the enthusiasm was in the auditorium that day.”

Read the rest of the LATimes article here

Follow Quantumaniac on Twitter

The Man Who Fed the World
Norman E. Borlaug (1914-2009), was one of the greatest men of our time; and by far the greatest that you’ve never heard of - yet. According to the Nobel Committee, the Iowa-born plant scientist “has helped provide bread for a hungry world…more than any other single person of this age.” 
Raised during the Great Depression, Borlaug was no stranger to hunger. Now known as the “Father of the Green Revolution,” during the 1940s Borlaug developed a number of high-yield, disease resistant wheat varieties via experiments in Mexico. By developing genetically unique strains of “semidwarf” wheat and rice - he raised food yields in underdeveloped countries by as much as sixfold. A country such as India, which experienced an exponential population growth during the past forty years - was able to feed its rapidly growing population because of Borlaug’s work. 
Borlaug is often credited with saving more than a billion people worldwide from hunger, and the number increases each and every minute. He was hardworking, honest and humble - when he was notified of his Nobel Prize, he continued his work for the day - saying that he “would celebrate later.” 
Follow Quantumaniac on Twitter

The Man Who Fed the World

Norman E. Borlaug (1914-2009), was one of the greatest men of our time; and by far the greatest that you’ve never heard of - yet. According to the Nobel Committee, the Iowa-born plant scientist “has helped provide bread for a hungry world…more than any other single person of this age.” 

Raised during the Great Depression, Borlaug was no stranger to hunger. Now known as the “Father of the Green Revolution,” during the 1940s Borlaug developed a number of high-yield, disease resistant wheat varieties via experiments in Mexico. By developing genetically unique strains of “semidwarf” wheat and rice - he raised food yields in underdeveloped countries by as much as sixfold. A country such as India, which experienced an exponential population growth during the past forty years - was able to feed its rapidly growing population because of Borlaug’s work. 

Borlaug is often credited with saving more than a billion people worldwide from hunger, and the number increases each and every minute. He was hardworking, honest and humble - when he was notified of his Nobel Prize, he continued his work for the day - saying that he “would celebrate later.” 

Follow Quantumaniac on Twitter

quantumaniac:

Bill Nye Slated to Debate Creationist Ken Ham

This is going to be good. The upcoming debate has already garnered a good deal of media attention, with some secularists criticizing Nye for debating Ham at all, speculating that the debate will give Ham’s ideas a sense of legitimacy that he doesn’t deserve. 

What do you guys think? Let me know! 

Follow Quantumaniac on Twitter

Just in case any of y’all missed this (sorry for posting at 1 a.m. - I was too excited to wait)!

Bill Nye Slated to Debate Creationist Ken Ham

This is going to be good. The upcoming debate has already garnered a good deal of media attention, with some secularists criticizing Nye for debating Ham at all, speculating that the debate will give Ham’s ideas a sense of legitimacy that he doesn’t deserve. 

What do you guys think? Let me know! 

Follow Quantumaniac on Twitter