Postcard from Spitzer: weather on 2M2228 is hot and cloudy

Long distance weather reports are now a commonality. The report for 2MASSJ22282889-431026 is somewhat unusual. It forecasts wind-driven, planet-sized clouds, with the light varying in time, brightening and dimming about every 90 minutes. The clouds on 2MASSJ22282889-431026 are composed of hot grains of sand, liquid drops of iron, and other exotic compounds. Definitely not the first …

Science Weekly Picks

Being responsible for picking the week’s most interesting science stories is a fun and fascinating challenge. It pushes to me to look beyond my own interests and explore what others find compelling. So I trust you find my ‘science making news’ selection of interest and delight; explore the quantum, human, off-world and mathematical highs of …

Connecting the Quantum Dots

Last week, after I spent a couple of days  in Brest, Brittany at a ESF, EU workshop/seminar brainstorming with other internet and scientific researchers on interesting topics related to  internet science and innovation,  I got myself back to Paris. I visited a French national institute with an international reputation for  scientific excellence – ESPCI (École supérieure de …

The Higgs: An Unexpected Boson

The interesting thing about research is that the most interesting results are always the ones which are unexpected. This is particularly true out in the frontiers of physics where, frequently, no one really knows quite what to expect. While news reporters were swift to leap to the conclusion that the Higgs boson had been discovered …

Turn Back Time

Recall the outrageously cool movie from the 1980s, Back to the Future? Marty McFly and Doc Brown were stretching scientific boundaries, righting the future, all while making sure not to meet their future selves. Fast-forward and time travel may be closer than we think. (Close, relatively speaking of course.) If you like exceptions to the …