Adventures of a Physicist

HOW MY FIRST COFFEE OF THE MORNING FEELS

whatshouldwecallgradschool:

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THE CAMPUS AFTER SUMMER BREAK

whatshouldwecallgradschool:

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credit: Hom#

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bobbycaputo:

Death Defying Walks in China’s Yellow Mountains

Huangshan (literally “Yellow Mountain”) is a mountain range in eastern China and one of the most iconic locations in the country. Even with its famous glacier carved landscape and wildly jutting granite peaks, local variety of pine tree and frequent views of the clouds from above, the most special location is the area’s aptly named Bridge of Immortals.

The frighteningly high bridge’s ornately carved path leads from a cave in a sheer rock wall to another on a nearby wall, traversing the narrow gorge below. If that isn’t enough of a thrill however, there are a number of footpaths anchored right into the cliff walls. In some instances the only thing keeping you from a sudden drop off the side of the very questionable walkway, is a steel chain to hold onto in (most likely) utter terror. Note: this is not the place to get over your fear of heights!

Considering Huangshan’s extreme beauty, it’s not surprising that the area derives much of its significance from Chinese art and literature. It has inspired poets such as Li Bai, many Chinese ink paintings, and more recently, photography. According to Wikipedia, over 20,000 poems were written about the mountains between the Tang Dynasty (618-906) and the end of the Qing Dynasty (1614 to 1911). They’ve also inspired modern works, lending to the fictional world designed for James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar. Learn more about the area here.

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WHEN MY PAPER IS ACCEPTED WITH MINOR REVISIONS NEEDED

whatshouldwecallgradschool:

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credit: Mark

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JUSTIFYING GOING OUT DESPITE AN EARLY DAY TOMORROW

whatshouldwecallgradschool:

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credit: Alan

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REVIEWER #3

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credit: redheadextinction

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How I feel this morning.

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likeafieldmouse:

Henrietta Harris
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spaceplasma:

Solar Storm

On July 14th, 2000, an active region of the sun (called AR9077) produced a massive flare. The event also blasted an enormous cloud of positive-charged particles toward planet Earth, triggering magnetic storms and dramatic auroral displays. This striking close-up of AR9077 was made by the orbiting Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) satellite shortly after the flare erupted. Suspended in an arcade of magnetic loops, the image shows a one million degree hot solar plasma cooling down. Plasma is a gas that has been heated to a state where it contains ions and free-floating electrons. The false-color image covers an expansive 230,000 by 77,000 kilometer area on the Sun’s surface (Earth’s diameter is about 12,800 kilometers) and was recorded in extreme ultraviolet light. Collectively resembling a popular “slinky” toy, the enormous loops are actually magnetic field lines which trap the glowing, cooling plasma above the relatively dark solar surface. After the flare, AR9077’s activity decayed as it was carried farther across the Earth-facing hemisphere of the Sun by solar rotation. Active regions like AR9077 appear as groups of dark sunspots in visible light.

This flare spawned a solar storm that bombarded Earth with a shower of protons, causing scientific and communications satellites to short-circuit. Through a series of chemical reactions in our atmosphere, the protons drastically diminished the upper-most areas of the ozone layer, a protective blanket mostly in the stratosphere that blocks life-threatening ultraviolet radiation from reaching the Earth. This shower of protons, known by solar science insiders as the Bastille Day event, was the third largest of its kind in the last 30 years.

For more information: A Violent Sun Affects Earth’s Ozone

Credit: TRACE/SOHO

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retronewyork:

1960 Time and Life Building from Times Square

retronewyork:

1960 Time and Life Building from Times Square

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