hypothesis, theory, and law

What is a Higgs boson, and why should I care?

The Higgs boson is one of the particles that have been predicted, but has only recently been detected. It was predicted by several physicists, including theoretical physicist Peter Higgs. That is where the first part of the name came from.

OK, so what is a boson? That huge number of elementary particles is divided into two major groups: fermions and bosons. Fermions are sometimes called matter particles because they are the particles that take up space. Two fermions cannot be in the same spot at the same time.

Who Evolved on First?

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello

While I was writing this post, I heard that Bill Nye and Ken Ham are planning to have a debate about evolution and creation. While it could be an interesting conversation, I suspect that it will suffer from the same communication problems that afflict most of these debates.

Bernoulli in the Shower?

This experiment came as an accidental discovery while working on a different experiment idea. I was playing with ideas for showing how inertia helps remove water from your clothes in the spin cycle of the washing machine. In the process, I saw something interesting, and made a wrong guess about the cause. That led to even more interesting discoveries. There are times when it is more fun to be wrong, because it lets you learn new things.

A Compass at the South Pole

This experiment comes from a question sent to me by a subscriber. His question was, "If I were standing directly on the South Pole and I was holding a compass, where would the needle be pointing?"

Lets do this scientifically. Before you read on or try the experiment, think about it. Think about what you know about magnets. Think about how a compass works. Once you have come up with an idea of what you think would happen, then you will be ready to try this.