In 1737-8, Johann Sebastian Bach composed and performed a cantata, "O Jesu Christ, meins lebens licht" ("O Jesus Christ, light of my life"). Among the instruments called for in the score are "two Litui." However, the Lituus is a forgotten instrument. No one has played or heard the instrument in mod...
June 03, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
You may have heard the phrase "Schrödinger's cat," but like me, you may not have entirely understood what it meant. But I get it now, having watched the video below. It's from scientists at the University of Nottingham in England, and in their Sixty Symbols project (a companion to the Periodic Tabl...
June 02, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Princeton University held an “Art of Science” competition, challenging students, staff and alumni to submit “found art,” that is, extraordinary images produced in the course of scientific research. Three winners were announced last week, and voting is now underway for a People’s Choice award. And t...
May 22, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
After mentioning the Six Flags America Roller Coaster Design Contest earlier this month, I received an invitation to Physics Day at the amusement park. I had to convince my boss I didn’t intend to ride roller coasters all day (unlikely, since I get queasy riding backwards on the Metro), but then I ...
April 27, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Physicists in Massachusetts come to grips with the lowest possible temperature: absolute zero
January 2008 | By Tom Shachtman
Why Is A Negative Number Called Absolute Zero?
January 01, 2008 | By Sarah Zielinski
Astrophysicist Lisa Kaltenegger analyzes light from distant stars for evidence we're not alone
October 2007 | By Charles Seife
One professor's mission to revise the calendar
January 01, 2007 | By Chai Woodham
In a new book written with his wife, Nancy Abrams, cosmologist Joel Primack argues that the universe, far from being a meaningless void, was meant for us. Sort of.
July 2006 | By Jerry Adler
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory probes the universe for the unimaginable
July 2003 | By Lawrence M. Small
Snow, sleet, hail or volcanic eruption cloud physicist Peter Hobbs will find a way to fly into it
October 2002 | By David Laskin
Light travels 186,000 miles per second in a vacuum; in Lene Hau's lab, it ambles at 38 miles an hour
June 1999 | By John P. Wiley, Jr.
Today's physics appears to allow outrageous possibilities: faster-than-light travel across the galaxy, for example, or even our learning to make new universes to specification
December 1995 | By John P. Wiley jr