How hard is it to violate Pauli’s exclusion principle?

A well-designed auditorium always has all its seats positioned on an inclined plane. ​Otherwise it wouldn't be well-designed, would it? Anyway, this arrangement solves an important problem: It lets people sit anywhere they want to irrespective of their heights. It won't matter if a taller person sits in front of a shorter one - the…

How hard is it to violate Pauli's exclusion principle?

A well-designed auditorium always has all its seats positioned on an inclined plane. ​Otherwise it wouldn't be well-designed, would it? Anyway, this arrangement solves an important problem: It lets people sit anywhere they want to irrespective of their heights. It won't matter if a taller person sits in front of a shorter one - the…

Where does the Higgs boson come from?

When the Chelyabinsk meteor – dubbed Chebarkul – entered Earth’s atmosphere at around 17 km/s, it started to heat up due to friction. After a point, cracks already present on the chunk of rock weighing 9,000-tonnes became licensed to widen and eventually split off Chebarkul into smaller parts. While the internal structure of Chebarkul was responsible for…

Higgs boson closer than ever

The article, as written by me, appeared in The Hindu on March 7, 2013. -- Ever since CERN announced that it had spotted a Higgs boson-like particle on July 4, 2012, their flagship Large Hadron Collider (LHC), apart from similar colliders around the world, has continued running experiments to gather more data on the elusive…

Ironing out an X-ray wrinkle

A version of this post, as written by me, originally appeared in The Copernican science blog on March 1, 2013. -- One of the techniques to look for and measure the properties of a black hole is to spot X-rays of specific energies coming from a seemingly localized source. The radiation emanates from heated objects…