We say a river flows because it moves through space with respect to time. But time can’t move with respect to time—time is time.Image by violscraper / Flickr
Paul Davies has a lot on his mind—or perhaps more accurate to say in his mind. A physicist at Arizona State University, he does research on a wide range of topics, from the abstract fields of theoretical physics and cosmology to the more concrete realm of astrobiology, the study of life in places beyond Earth. Nautilus sat down for a chat with Davies, and the discussion naturally drifted to the subject of time, a long-standing research interest of his. Here is a partial transcript of the interview, edited lightly for length and clarity.
This spring, astronomers at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico were sorting through data from recent observations when they found something strange. The radio telescope had detected what they describe as “some very peculiar signals” coming from a nearby star, unlike anything they had ever observed before.
The star in question is Ross 128, a red dwarf located about 11 light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo. Red dwarfs are the smallest and most common types of stars in the universe. They’re far dimmer than stars like our sun, and can’t be seen with the naked eye. For about 10 minutes on May 12, a radio transmission came from the direction of Ross 128. Stars can emit various wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, including radio waves. But … Read the rest
The Spanish region of Catalonia is proud of its traditions. The official language, Catalan, has thrived for centuries, despite the establishment of Spanish as the rest of the country’s official language in the 1700s. Castells, or adults and children climbing on each other’s shoulders to form human towers, continues to be a popular activity at festivals. And in Vilafranca del Penedès, an hour outside of Barcelona, the local winery Bodegas Torres is researching and rediscovering wine varieties long thought to be extinct.
It just so happens that many of these revived regional varieties thrive in hotter, drier climates. So Bodegas Torres is regrowing these ancestral vines to assuage the wine industry’s looming climate-change crisis.
Growers in Mediterranean-climate regions in Western Europe, California, and Australia report … Read the rest
Ukraine is still healing. Following the shocking deaths of over 100 protesters in the Euromaidan uprising – a wave of protests triggered by frustrated citizens calling for European integration and an end to political corruption – Ukrainians are still processing the violence that ensued. After the bloodless Orange Revolution in 2005, many thought these protests would be similar. Now, stuck between warring neighbours – Russia pulling in one direction, Europe in the other – many of Ukraine’s youth feel torn between their Russian roots and potential European Union future.
The Euromaidan protests are credited with not only removing President Viktor Yanakovich, but uniting an apathetic disjointed youth. In a country like Ukraine where corruption ran unchecked for years, few citizens were interested in politics. But when
Calculated humility in a physician may be the difference between life and death.Photograph by Tonhom1009 / Shutterstock
Although I have lived the majority of my life in New Jersey, Utah has always felt like home. Three of my grandparents were multigenerational Utahns, of pioneer stock, and the other grandparent grew up in nearby Idaho. Our family disrupted this pattern when my father pursued a position as a materials science professor that eventually led him to Rutgers University. I had only two sisters, but our extended family, like most Mormon families, is substantial. I have 32 first cousins, and my wife (also from Idaho) has more than 50. Being the only oncologist our family knows, I have become aware of most relatives, relatives of relatives, or … Read the rest
As complicated as life gets, there are always a few things that are relaxing: sitting under the shade of a tree during summer, for example, or reading a book by the pool with a cold beer. At times, we city dwellers might even dare to dream of spending hours in the ocean, surfing in one of the most beautiful landscapes the world has to offer – which unfortunately is a little harder to achieve. For world champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore and image-maker Morgan Maassen, however, that daydream is everyday life.
In his latest short film, Morgan takes us to Hawaii, capturing the carefree way that Stephanie glides through the transparent water, surfing with her uniquely relaxed style. In the background, a dreamy track by Brazilian band … Read the rest
Among the first things you notice when driving eastward into Baltimore are the blocks of decrepit row houses. The city claims that only 16,000 row houses in Baltimore are vacant. Skeptics say the real number is closer to 46,000, or 16 percent of the city’s housing stock.