New experiment shows that time travel is even less likely than we…

A recent experiment stomps on the dreams of many theoretical physicists, hopeful children, and Star Trek IV fans. After a series of tests that suggested we might discover a theoretical form of time travel, scientists hit a brick wall. Or they had hit a brick wall. Or perhaps they will. Tough to get time travel grammar… » 7/27/11 6:30am 7/27/11 6:30am

Why can we see through glass but not other solids? Let this awesome…

It seems like a simple enough question - why are some materials transparent while others are opaque? But, as this video from the University of Nottingham's Sixty Symbols project explains, a lot of the most common explanations you get are fundamentally wrong. Watch a professional scientist recoil in horror at the… » 2/20/11 7:30pm 2/20/11 7:30pm

With plasmonics, light can penetrate solid sheets of metal

Every day, the world finds another way to show us that, once we work on a level that's small enough, nothing makes sense. Things we take for granted no longer happen. For instance, say you're lying in bed in the early morning sunlight - or, no judgment, the late afternoon sunlight. If all that daytime starts bothering… » 2/14/11 7:30am 2/14/11 7:30am

No one can escape friction, not even in a vacuum.

On earth, we're slowed down by the muck of the everyday world. Matter slows us down, rubbing against us and taking away our speed and power. Gravel, air, even slip-n-slides, exert some friction on us. This frictional force runs counter to our motion, and it can't be escaped anywhere on earth. Eventually, inevitably, it … » 2/13/11 2:00pm 2/13/11 2:00pm