Can you tell what a black hole has been eating?

Black holes have a justifiably terrifying reputation. If you drop your keys in there, forget them, because they are gone. But are matters really so bad? Can a black hole "remember" what it's eaten? In this week's "Ask a Physicist" we'll find out. » 7/12/13 1:00pm 7/12/13 1:00pm

How Skynet Might Emerge From Simple Physics

A provocative new paper is proposing that complex intelligent behavior may emerge from a fundamentally simple physical process. The theory offers novel prescriptions for how to build an AI — but it also explains how a world-dominating superintelligence might come about. We spoke to the lead author to learn more. » 4/26/13 9:00am 4/26/13 9:00am

This video reveals how entropy sometimes creates order out of chaos

You would think that shaking up a box with a couple of chains inside would end in sadness and a bunch of knotted chains, but as you can see in this video, it doesn't always work out like that. These two chains - both made of plain metal beads - coil and uncoil around each other until they are completely separated.… » 2/27/13 8:20am 2/27/13 8:20am

Quantum entanglement helps computers defy the laws of thermodynamics

The longer you use a computer, the hotter it will get. That seems like just an everyday fact of life, but it might actually be its own law of physics. And, like all phyiscal laws, quantum mechanics apparently violates it. » 6/02/11 9:56am 6/02/11 9:56am

Holographic Dark Information Energy: It's a real thing. Maybe.

There's a theory that involves every cool buzzword in physics. This theory links the dark energy in the universe with the way photocopies degrade over time. Find out how a loss of information may drive energy creation. » 5/31/11 7:00am 5/31/11 7:00am

Does entropy increase with time or does it make time?

In this week's Ask a Physicist, we're going to go old school and do some thermodynamics. I'll explore why disorder is such a big deal and whether it might explain the mysteries of how time works. » 10/21/10 9:00am 10/21/10 9:00am

Nobel-Winning Physicist Says Time Can't Run Backward


In Hyderabad this week, Anthony James Leggett delivered some unwelcome news: The earth is warming. Good science teachers are increasingly rare. Oh, and we can't manipulate the flow of time. » 2/06/10 1:00pm 2/06/10 1:00pm

Universal Heat Death Could Happen Sooner Than We Realized

According to researchers at Australian National University, the end of the universe will happen earlier than anyone previously thought. The mother of all deadlines is coming up! » 1/30/10 1:00pm 1/30/10 1:00pm

The Unseen Truth About Black Holes

Are supermassive black holes bringing about the end of existence? It's a surprising claim, but one being made after scientists have discovered that the black holes are the largest contributors of entropy in the known universe. » 10/06/09 1:08pm 10/06/09 1:08pm