The Standard Model of particle physics is the most successful scientific theory of all time. It describes how everything in the universe is made of 12 different types of matter particles, interacting with 3 forces, all bound together by a rather special particle called the Higgs boson. It’s the pinnacle of 400 years of science, and gives the correct answer to hundreds of thousands of experiments. In this explainer, Cambridge physicist David Tong creates the model, piece by piece, to provide some intuition for how all of the parts fit together to create the fundamental building blocks of our universe. At the end of the video, he also points out what’s missing from the model, and what work is left to do in order to complete the Theory of Everything.
Some birds can sense Earth’s magnetic field, using it to navigate. But precisely how they do this has long remained a mystery. Now, researchers have confirmed that a protein found in bird eyes displays a quantum mechanical phenomenon which makes it sensitive to magnetic fields. The researchers suggest this mechanism could be behind birds’ magnetoreception abilities.
Read the paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s4158…
“Declaring something impossible leads to more things being possible,” writes the physicist Chiara Marletto. “Bizarre as it may seem, it is commonplace in quantum physics.”
Chiara Marletto is trying to build a master theory — a set of ideas so fundamental that all other theories would spring from it. Her first step: Invoke the impossible.
Constructor Theory is a new approach to formulating fundamental laws in physics. Instead of describing the world in terms of trajectories, initial conditions and dynamical laws, in constructor theory laws are about which physical transformations are possible and which are impossible, and why. This powerful switch has the potential to bring all sorts of interesting fields, currently regarded as inherently approximative, into fundamental physics. These include the theories of information, knowledge, thermodynamics, and life.
Read more about Marletto and David Deutsch’s constructor theory at Quanta Magazine: https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-to…