Category Archives: Physics

“Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.”

NPR Science: 50 Years Ago, Americans Made The 2nd Moon Landing… Why Doesn’t Anyone Remember?

“Fifty years ago, astronaut Pete Conrad stepped out of the lunar module onto the surface of the moon.

His first words were: “Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.”

Conrad, who stood at just 5 feet 6 inches tall, was only the third human to set foot on the lunar surface. He did it on November 19, 1969, just four months after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first lunar landing. However, unlike Armstrong and Aldrin, Conrad and fellow astronaut Alan Bean are not household names.”

I have just one piece of advice: Don’t!

NASA Goddard: NASA’s Guide To Black Hole Safety. (YouTube, 2:39min) “Have you ever thought about visiting a black hole? We sure hope not. However, if you’re absolutely convinced that a black hole is your ideal vacation spot, watch this video before you blast off to learn more about them and (more importantly) how to stay safe.”

Link via Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Uranium from a footnote in the history books

NPR Science: Have You Seen Any Nazi Uranium? These Researchers Want To Know.

“Timothy Koeth’s office is crammed with radioactive relics — old watches with glowing radium dials, pieces of melted glass from beneath the test of the world’s first nuclear weapon.

But there is one artifact that stands apart from the rest: a dense, charcoal-black cube, 2 inches on a side. The cube is made of pure uranium metal. It was forged more than 70 years ago by the Nazis, and it tells the little-known story of Germany’s nuclear efforts during World War II.”

See also:

Physics Today: Tracking the journey of a uranium cube. (01 May, 2019)

“In the summer of 2013, a cube of uranium two inches on a side and weighing about five pounds found its way to us at the University of Maryland. If the sudden appearance of the unusual metal cube wasn’t intriguing enough, it came with a note that read, “Taken from the reactor that Hitler tried to build. Gift of Ninninger.””