Recently, the conversation about science’s wrongness has gone mainstream. You can read, in publications like Vox, the New York Times or the Economist, about how the research process is far from perfect — from the inadequacies of peer review to the fact that many published results simply can’t be replicated. The crisis has gotten so bad that the editor of The Lancet medical journal Richard Horton recently lamented, “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.”
Quantum mechanics is often described as “weird” and “strange” because it abandons many of the intuitive traits of classical physics. For example, the ideas that the world is objective, is deterministic, and exists independent of measurement are basic features of classical theory, but do not always hold up in quantum theory. But what if it turns out that these intuitive ideas are not true features of classical physics, either? Would classical theory be just as weird as quantum theory?
“My own personal opinion is that time is a human construct,” says Tom O’Brian. O’Brian has thought a lot about this over the years. He is America’s official timekeeper at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado. To him, days, hours, minutes and seconds are a way for humanity to “put some order in this very fascinating … Read More
In the pursuit of knowledge about the universe, recent discoveries have pushed earlier than the Big Bang, bringing physics to the point when the early universe was doubling in size every hundredth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. Such fine-scale measurement is awe-inspiring. The technicalities of how a Cold Little Swoosh preceded the Hot … Read More
Nanoparticle trapped with laser light temporarily violates the second law of thermodynamics Once again, what you were taught was a law, has proved to be just a theory. An inaccurate theory. How can we be so set in our beliefs that we can’t look for a future with new information? Objects with sizes in the nanometer range, such as the … Read More
SCIENCE is in crisis, just when we need it most. Two years ago, C. Glenn Begley and Lee M. Ellis reported in Nature that they were able to replicate only six out of 53 “landmark” cancer studies. Scientists now worry that many published scientific results are simply not true. The natural sciences often offer themselves as a model to other disciplines. But … Read More