This week, I settled down to watch the first episode of The 100. If you haven’t seen the show, I’ll just point out that it takes place in the near future (though it ran, on the CW, in the near past). For reasons that I won’t get into, there is a spacecraft with a bunch of teenagers that is traveling from a space station down to the surface of the Earth. During the reentry process, one kid wants to show that he is the master of space travel and that he’s awesome. So what does he do? He gets out of his seat and floats around as a demonstration of his mastery of weightlessness. Another teenager points out that he’s being pretty dumb—and that he’s going to get hurt very soon.
GRAVITY. YOU MIGHT know it as the force that explains how all clumps of matter came to be. You might know it as John Mayer’s nemesis. You might know it as the thing that causes Earth’s oceans to slosh back and forth twice daily.
Watch as these diabolos get spun and twirled in the air like they’re being controlled by some sort of sorcery and not at the mercy of gravity. That’s how good ChihHan Chao, 2015 Red Bull PAO champion, is at using the hand sticks to juggle these crazy yo-yos. He’s making the discs dance and tossing them back and forth with such flair that it’s like they’re floating orbs moving around him.
It’s long been accepted by physics that nature has supplied us with four fundamental forces. Gravity holds the planets and galaxies together, and the electromagnetic force holds us and our molecules together. At the smallest level are the two other forces: the strong nuclear force is the glue for atomic nuclei, and the weak nuclear force helps some atoms go through radioactive decay. These forces seemed to explain the physics we can observe, more or less.
David Reitze, executive director of the LIGO Laboratory, took the podium at the National Press Building in Washington, DC, this morning, and said the words we’ve all been waiting on tenterhooks to hear: “We have discovered gravitational waves.” And a packed auditorium in Caltech’s Cahill building in Pasadena—where people had gathered to watch the live feed—erupted into wild applause.
Hey, remember when we told you about those rumors that physicists may have finally found gravitational waves? It’s been pretty quiet since then, but yesterday fresh rumors surfaced that yes, the discovery is real. And we could have an official announcement by February 11.
Well, this looks fun! The cage stands at about 40 foot tall and is the biggest of its kind in the world and yet the crazy car inside just drives in a vertical loop over and over again like it’s on a normal road that doesn’t go freaking upside down. It’s got to get a little dizzying in there.