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. The … » 2/27/13 8:20am 2/27/13 8:20am

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