Big Think Contributor
Tom Hartsfield is a PhD physicist. He lives in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
George Orwell got it right: "Never use a long word where a short one will do."
Wind farms seem less productive when scientists incorporate more realistic atmospheric models into their output predictions.
Laser-guided lightning isn't the only manmade way to create lightning.
The biggest lingering question about GPT-4 isn't if it's going to destroy jobs or take over the world. Instead, it is this: Do we trust AI programmers to tell society what is true?
Not everything that claims to be "scientific" actually is. There are five features of scientifically rigorous studies.
It’s far less likely to wander into bizarre lies, emotional rants, and manipulative tangents.
So far, two papers have been retracted, and a third is under investigation. Accusations of plagiarism appear convincing.
The Fermi paradox (along with the subsequent Drake equation) is so difficult that even brilliant thinkers can make little dent in it.
ChatGPT doesn’t understand physics, but it memorizes very well and puts in extra effort.
You can't throw a DART at everything in space.
The solution involves the infamous Navier-Stokes equations, which are so difficult, there is a $1-million prize for solving them.
Air currents in our atmosphere limit the resolving power of giant telescopes, but computers and artificial stars can sharpen the blur.
Without this genius optical trick, those gigantic telescopes aren’t any better than the one in your backyard
Size matters, but it's not the only thing.
Each year, several trillion pounds of microscopic silicon-based skeletons fall down the water column to pile up into siliceous ooze.
Laser-guided lightning systems could someday offer much greater protection than lightning rods.
He was also a eugenicist — but at least he could draw pretty pictures.
If you gave me $400 and I gave you $3.15, would you consider yourself wealthier? That's a financial analogy for the supposed fusion power "breakthrough."
The insanity of the academic job market laid out in numbers.
Find your wallet or keys — or a nuclear submarine.
Vanadium dioxide is a strange material that "remembers" information and when it was stored. This is akin to biological memory.
There are at least 15 different types of solid water (ice). Now, scientists believe that there might be a second type of liquid water.
Does it have a deeper significance — or is it just a number?
Unfortunately, the Lunar Ark project is an idea more at home in science fiction than science fact.
Over the past 50 years, 27 leap seconds have been added to our time.
One of the winners. Dr. K. Barry Sharpless, is now the fifth person in history to win two Nobels.
Meaningful pictures are assembled from meaningless noise.
An average undergraduate student in physics is better than the AI.
Elon Musk suggested remote-controlled, vibrating anal beads. Thankfully, there are more mundane explanations.
The war in Ukraine is unlikely to trigger a catastrophic nuclear meltdown. Physics and smart engineering are the reasons why.
Quantum mechanics forces us to toss out the old, reliable ways in which we make sense of our everyday reality.