Science in the News

Mike Meetz and Sam Wormley team up to provide a lively
discussion with OLLI members about recent weeks' science in
the news. Here are links to relevant science articles. A
deep understanding in the sciences is not required to share
and discuss each week's science articles.

Feynman on Scientific Method (watch first minute)
  Idea ==> Prediction ==> Compare to Observation (Experiment)

Posted on the internet scores of times over the last 30 years:
  "There has NEVER been an observation that contradicts a
  prediction of General Relativity. General Relativity REMAINS
  a fruitful theory of physics."  ~Sam Wormley

NASA Smashes Into an Asteroid, Completing a Mission to Save a Future Day ____________________ Powerful hurricanes get second wind in Europe ____________________ US particle physicists envision future of the field ____________________ There's Trouble Bubbling Up in Newly Formed Alaskan Lakes, And Scientists Are Worried ____________________ God, Dark Matter and Falling Cats: A Conversation with 2022 Templeton Prize Winner Frank Wilczek. The physics Nobelist and author has not exactly found religion-but that doesn't mean he's stopped looking ____________________ Science in Action -- Human Story The 60-Year-Old Scientific Screwup That Helped Covid Kill ON FRIDAY, APRIL 30, the WHO quietly updated a page on its website. In a section on how the coronavirus gets transmitted, the text now states that the virus can spread via aerosols as well as larger droplets. As Zeynep Tufekci noted in The New York Times, perhaps the biggest news of the pandemic passed with no news conference, no big declaration. If you weren't paying attention, it was easy to miss. But Marr was paying attention. She couldn't help but note the timing. She, Li, and two other aerosol scientists had just published an editorial in The BMJ, a top medical journal, entitled "Covid-19 Has Redefined Airborne Transmission." For once, she hadn't had to beg; the journal's editors came to her. And her team had finally posted their paper on the origins of the 5-micron error to a public preprint server. In early May, the CDC made similar changes to its Covid-19 guidance, now placing the inhalation of aerosols at the top of its list of how the disease spreads. Again though, no news conference, no press release. But Marr, of course, noticed. That evening, she got in her car to pick up her daughter from gymnastics. She was alone with her thoughts for the first time all day. As she waited at a red light, she suddenly burst into tears. Not sobbing, but unable to stop the hot stream of tears pouring down her face. Tears of exhaustion, and relief, but also triumph. Finally, she thought, they're getting it right, because of what we've done. The light turned. She wiped the tears away. Someday it would all sink in, but not today. Now, there were kids to pick up and dinner to eat. Something approaching normal life awaited. ____________________ Physicists Rewrite a Quantum Rule That Clashes With Our Universe. The past and the future are tightly linked in conventional quantum mechanics. Perhaps too tightly. A tweak to the theory could let quantum possibilities increase as space expands.

Popular Topics Tests of Big Bang Cosmology ____________________ David Kaplan is not an Expert (2+ min) ____________________ Alan Lightman On Richard Feynman's Amazing Mind, Or How "Hawking Radiation" Could Well Be "Feynman Radiation" (6+ min) ____________________ Brian Cox Explains Why Time Travels In One Direction (5+ min) ____________________ Visualizing The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (4+ min)