All this time I thought I understood what the most famous equation in physics really meant, and here comes PBS Space Time to give me the real scoop. 

This was a little bit of a mind blow. I need to sit down and think for a while. 

Walter Russell - Periodic Table of the Elementsconsisting of 9 Octaves, showing 2 dimensional representation of a 3 dimensional concept of a 4 dimensional Reality, “The Universal One”, 1927.

In the 1920s, Walter Russell suggested a Periodic Table of Elements - which enhanced and fulfilled the previous Mendeleev Periodic Table of Elements. Walter Russell’s Table consists of Octaves, and, whilst ignored by mainstream science, has proven worthwhile in hindsight, when a “missing” elements had been discovered after several laboratories had isolated the elements which he had foreseen: Deuterium, Tritium, Neptunium and Plutonium, seeing that the Table of Elements of Russell actually already defined them.


A few weeks ago, we reported on the espresso machine NASA and the ESA sent to astronauts aboard ISS. The Capillary Beverage Experiment, known colloquially as the “Space Coffee Cup”, is an accompanying project that aims to use our understanding of fluid behavior in microgravity to design an open cup that simulates earthbound drinking experiences. As you can see above, astronauts are already enjoying drinks with it. The cup’s special shape is optimized so that surface tension can replace the role gravity plays in drinking on Earth. Where we pour drinks on Earth, the cup wicks liquid to the spout using surface-tension-driven capillary action. Right now there are only a handful of 3D printed cups on-orbit and here on Earth, but the company that designed them wants to manufacture glass versions for use here on the ground. So if you’d like your own space coffee cup, be sure to check out their Kickstarter campaign! (Video credit: IRPI LLC; image credit: NASA/IRPI LLC; Kickstarter project link)

  • Junior Physics Major:What do you mean your school lunches weren't nutritional in high school? Mine were.
  • Freshman Engineering Major:There were never any vegetables or fruits. It was usually like milk, a hamburger, or chicken nuggets, or pizza, with fries or tots–sometimes we'd find mold on it.
  • Junior Physics Major:Well you should have had your parents pack you a lunch.

High Definition images of Vertically Aligned NanoTube Arrays, or Vantablack - The Darkest known material since 2014.

info -

“vantablack is a substance made of carbon nanotubes and is the blackest substance known, absorbing a maximum of 99.965% of radiation in the visible spectrum. It comprises a forest of vertical tubes which are “grown”. When light strikes vantablack, instead of bouncing off, it becomes trapped and is continually deflected between the tubes before eventually becoming heat. Early development was carried out at the National Physical Laboratory, UK.” - wikipedia


Saturn’s Spectacular Sights Stun Skywatchers, On Earth, In Orbit And At Saturn Itself

“But if the eyes of our telescopes on Earth were especially keen, the exact moments of opposition — where the Sun is directly opposite to Saturn in the skies — would have brought on a spectacular phenomenon: an intense brightening at one particular point, known as the opposition effect.”

Saturn was just at opposition this past Saturday, appearing bigger, brighter and less shadowed than at any other time of the year. But have you ever heard of the ‘opposition effect’? One of the coolest optical phenomena ever, coming to us courtesy of Cassini!

One of the most important choices any researcher makes is picking a significant topic to study. If you choose the right problem, you get important results that transform our perception of the underlying structure of the universe. If you don’t choose the right problem, you may work very hard but only get an interesting result.

Chen-Ning Yang

Nobel Laureate and Particle Physicist

Freshman year: Premed experiences and tips

Freshman Year as a premed is scary. Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Can I keep up with the other premeds?

You feel as if your decision to pursue being a physician is all reliant on your first year of college.

Breath. The only thing you can prepare yourself for on being a “newbie” on campus is to choose your classes.

Classes: at this time it is recommended that Biology and Chemistry be taken together (though everyone is different and there is no perfect way to have classes to get into medical school… this is under your discretion, this is only what I did AS A BIOLOGY MAJOR).


I believe the best thing you could do in these classes is… DO THE VERY BEST YOU CAN. IMPRESS YOUR PROFESSORS. GET AN A+ IF YOU CAN ON EVERY EXAM. HOWEVER, do not kill yourself… make sure there is balance in your life, but do the very best you can. Why?

This is the time where professors are just getting to know who you are. If you impress them as a freshmen, ideally they will invest more time into seeing that you succeed.

I go to a private college in California. SO, getting to know your professors at my school is much easier than a public university I would say, HOWEVER, it still can be done.

SIT IN THE FRONT OF THE CLASS. Do not be afraid to stand out. This is college, this is your career ahead of you.

When the professor asks a question intended for the students to answer and you know the answer, ANSWER IT. ANSWER AS MANY AS POSSIBLE.

Professors seek premed students to guide that are striving to succeed and have an unquenchable thirst for learning. STAND OUT. I would even introduce yourself to the professor one way or another if you have to. YOU WANT THEM TO KNOW YOU. Why?

After trying my hardest in these classes, my professors sought me out and are now offering me teaching opportunities in the future, as well as recommending me to other professors for research. I am researching right now because of a close relationship I have with one of my professors. I impressed him with my drive in his class as a new premed and he is now offering me opportunities I would not have been able to find on my own.

Whatever effort you put it, it will pay off.


Make sure that the amount of units you are taking are enough to challenge you, but also enough for you to be able to transition to the new challenges you will face in college.

Transitioning into college life can be easy and/or difficult for students. This is the time where you learn how disciplined you are. Friends or Studying? Ect… Give yourself leeway if this may be a problem for you, like taking 15 units instead of all 18 for at least your first semester of freshman year. The worst thing you could do to yourself is disappoint yourself with how you preformed and give up on your dream to be a doctor.

Remember, we are only human.


It is important to medical schools that your GPA is high in college for a variety of reasons, but they are searching for medical school candidates that they know will succeed in their vigorous programs. They are investing in you to succeed.

Thus, get as high of a GPA as you can. Not only this, but freshman year will be one of your easier years and maybe even your EASIEST YEAR. Get A’s in your easy classes, so that when you enter upper level classes that you cannot get A’s in no matter how hard you try, you can feel at ease knowing that you tried your hardest and have a “safety net.



You will find many premeds in beginning biology and chemistry classes this year. Get to know them? Maybe they have information you do not know and vice versa. PREMEDS MUST STICK TOGETHER (to the best of their abilities).

It is nice to be able to discuss courses and maybe even study together if you are compatible with them. Either way, it is nice to feel like you are not the only one struggling at times. Yes, there are other people that have felt the pressure you are feeling and they have survived. You will live past this year.

Another way of doing this is joining biology, chemistry, and/or premed clubs! This way you can also meet juniors and seniors that are premed and you can ask them about their premed journey/receive quality tips on courses, which professors are the best, and even ways to study.

I know a senior who was accepted by a medical school in Wisconsin through premed club and now I can ask him questions to see how he got accepted or what he felt was most crucial to his application (what made him stand out the most).


You can also do this on your own and check with your adviser (this is what I did). There are plenty of templates online/ you can make your own via Microsoft word. This will help you in the long run.

Yes, it will change so do not spend endless hours on it like I did. The availability of courses (EVEN AT A PRIVATE SCHOOL) can be tricky to fit into one schedule. At the very least, map out what major requirements you will be taking every year to meet that major (same with minors and concentrations). Then, you can fill in GE’s but be prepared for THOSE to potentially change.

Have fun with it. It should be exciting to see all the courses you could discover and take. It also takes pressure off of making a brand new schedule in such a short amount of time during the school year, while still taking classes. It will already be set for you via your four year plan and you make changes as you go.


I will be making another post on how to take different types of notes depending on the class, but for the sake of this post, take great notes because of the MCAT.

You will most likely need the notes you took in Biology, Chemistry, etc… when you begin studying for the MCAT so make sure they are organized and stay organized. I organized mine in binders, since much of my notes were PowerPoints from my professor and typed notes/handwritten notes I made.  

Also, I am keeping my textbooks that have information that will be on the MCAT, but selling the others if necessary.


This year will go by so fast that you will feel like you just graduated high school yesterday, but now you are a sophomore in college.

A way to stay balanced is to avoid procrastination. How? This will be another post, but doing this will avoid stress. Stress can affect your health negatively if it is constant so make sure you do whatever you need to in order to avoid unnecessary stress on your assignments.

Lastly, take time for yourself, family, and friends. Seems simple, but it is not. You can lose yourself in the books for classes, but take the time (even if you need to schedule it) to be with the people you love.

Medical schools like seeing that you can handle the school work in college, while finding time to do other things outside of medicine or school. Whether it is playing a sport, painting, or going to the movies with your family. Find a way to de-stress.

KNOW THAT COLLEGE IS ONLY ABOUT 8 MONTHS OF THE YEAR. THE OTHER FOUR ARE SUMMER. Yeah you may have to work… but it is not the same as studying (unless you take summer courses, DUH).

MY POINT BEING, BUST YOUR BUTT FOR 4 MONTHS AT A TIME (SEMESTER SCHEDULES). It makes it seem much less intimidating than thinking of it as a year (helps you not to mentally burn out). You take different classes each semester, so realistically it is only four months at a time. BUST YOUR BUTT, SO THAT YOU CAN RELAX IN SUCCESS THAT WINTER BREAK OR SUMMER.

Find your inspiration TO DO YOUR BEST and go with it.


You are a freshman with little to no expectations by others but much from yourself. Understand this next year will be a learning experience and pose odd problems, but you can do it. You will survive it and most will survive it with flying colors. Do not forget to have fun and learn to love your school (you will be there for the next 3 years of your life, most likely).

These are tips that I would have told myself before my freshman year, but if you decide to use them, I am not responsible for the consequences that follow. I can only see positive consequences coming from them, but life is crazy so I thought I would say this just in case. I hope it helped/poses a realistic view of your freshman year. Again, use my advice under your discretion.


Contrary to everyday experience, our best physics holds that space is not a rigid Euclidian framework, but is warped by objects, may be curved and bounded, is riddled with black holes and possibly worm holes, has eleven or more dimensions, and measures out differently depending on one’s reference frame. Time is not the steady, dynamic flow of our experience but the fourth dimension of a static space-time, or perhaps the solution to a connect-the-dots game in a multi-verse of all possible universes, each linked to the one that ‘succeeds’ it like the next frame in a movie. In all of these cases our best understanding of time and space is wildly out of line with the mind’s inclinations.
—  Steven Pinker, ‘The Stuff of Thought’
Lene Hau: The Speed of Light?

Hau has already shaken scientists’ beliefs about the nature of things. Albert Einstein and just about every other physicist insisted that light travels 186,000 miles a second in free space, and that it can’t be speeded-up or slowed down. 

But in 1998, Hau, for the first time in history, slowed light to 38 miles an hour, about the speed of rush-hour traffic.Two years later, she brought light to a complete halt in a cloud of ultracold atoms. Next, she restarted the stalled light without changing any of its characteristics, and sent it on its way…

Light travels at the “speed of light” - 300 million meters (186,000 miles) per second - only in a vacuum. Whenever light travels through a substance, its speed is slowed. For example, in water, light travels at only 225 million meters (140,000 miles) per second.

When atoms get extremely cold, a few millionths of a degree above absolute zero, they lose their individual identities and blend together. At low enough temperatures, a collection of millions of atoms can behave like a single “superatom.” This collection is known as the “Bose-Einstein Condensate,” after the two physicists whose work predicted its existence in 1924.

After making the condensate, Hau and her co-workers began looking for ways to use it. They realized that if they massaged the condensate just right with laser beams, they could make light pass through the previously opaque condensate. And they found that the massaged condensate could slow light more effectively than any material ever discovered…