Posts by Dr. Y

Solar Storms

Over the weekend Earth was slammed by the biggest solar storm in about a decade. Days earlier a huge x-class solar flare (the most powerful category) had blasted millions of tons of hydrogen into space, with Earth in the cross-hairs. The eruption – called a coronal mass ejection – blasted through space at more than […]

Existential threats

Recent discussions in the media about various “existential threats” have got me to wondering exactly what this term means – and as what you might call a “recovering professor” I’m also wondering whether or not this term is being used correctly or consistently by all of those bandying it about. And for those of you […]

Who gives a fig for the Higgs?

A few months ago the Center for European Nuclear Research (which goes by the acronym CERN) reported it had found evidence of the most-wanted subatomic particle – the Higgs Boson (aka the God particle). If this finding is confirmed it will wrap up one of the longest-standing loose ends in our current model (the Standard […]

The radium age

My Great-Uncle Harvey was the only physician I knew as a kid. He delivered my father, my aunt, me, and my sister; he visited me in the hospital when I had my tonsils out; gave us our shots; and attended to all of the other minutiae of keeping us all healthy. In fact, it wasn’t […]