Science progresses through discussions and debates. Sometimes accepted notions are too well-established to be open to questioning. In this personal view, Helmut Tributsch, emeritus professor of physical chemistry, formerly at the Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany, challenges the notion that physics theories, such as quantum scale phenomena, obey counter-intuitive laws. Instead, he claims that introducing a definite and irreversible direction for the passing of time, would make our theoretical interpretation of physical phenomena more logical and resolve many unsolved questions pertaining to our understanding of the world surround us and the universe.
Strong debates arise as scientific certainty is being questioned. Is the theory on the standard solar system undergoing changes as convergent possibilities are being questioned. Now, Pierre-Marie Robitaille, a chemist and professor of radiology from the University of Ohio, claims that the sun is not gaseous but may consist of liquid metallic hydrogen – a paradigm-shattering attack on the standard solar model that has been established for almost a century now. The problem is that evaluating Robitaille’s arguments requires expertise in very different fields – thermodynamics, astrophysics, for the sun, and condensed matter physics, for the liquid metallic hydrogen. Who has such expertise?
Last years’s results of the CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) brought the director general of the European Particle Physics Laboratory, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, to comment that “a Higgs boson” had been discovered. He nuanced his statement by saying it was “not necessarily the standard model Higgs boson”. One might wonder whether such a “non-standard Higgs” is a true triumph of the so-called standard model, or has a “non-standard” standard model still to be developed to make use of such a triumph?
Bright and early on 3 January 2011, 140 physics lecturers, students and other staff at Utrecht University in the Netherlands made their way from the physics department to the offices of the university administration. The purpose of the demonstration was to submit a petition objecting to proposed cutbacks, and to the removal of department head Casper Erkelens after he refused to sign a document agreeing to the reforms.
Peter Tindemans states that before unleashing technology sovereignty initiatives, the EU needs to define what the concept means.
Slovenia joining the Institut Laue-Langevin, a powerful neutron source as a scientific member marks a new era of science for the country.
This podcast explores how frontier research in physics is about questions that tie back into a philosophical discussion on us – one of the great mysteries of the universe.
During the global shutdown, many scientists had to face working in confinement – not only away from the lab and its facilities, but also away from their research teams and colleagues. But what if you were married to your partner? Scientists Viviana and Luigi found themselves flourishing in this new type of scientific environment – combining their expertise from different fields to devise a new methodology that has spurred into an international partnership.
The International Selection Committee for EYRA 2019-2020 has selected Michael Bossetta as the recipient of the EYRAward for PhD students and Valentina Sessini as the recipient of the EYRAward for Postdocs.
Sukarma Rani Thareja writes that before the 2020 lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic, women in science had already experienced other forms of lockdown.
Establishing a presence on the moon and manning a trip to Mars are amazing scientific feats, things every global citizen should be proud of. The tools developed to make these happen will be creative and amazing.
Science is probably the last bastion of true freethinking but is being swallowed by this make-money-get-profit world. Science and scientists are becoming more and more detached from the pure curiosity and they are embracing this notion that an idea must first be sold in order to be explored.