I wish you all a Happy New Year! To start the year with a bang, check out my digital New Year’s card featuring a scientifically accurate electron explosion!
The simulation (implemented in COMSOL Multiphysics 5.4) involves 2020 electrons that are placed randomly in a “2020”-shaped geometry. Since the electrons repel each other via the electromagnetic force, they fly apart. Their speeds are indicated by the colors (in km/s). The simulation running backwards on the New Year’s card can be seen as (i) a metaphor for 2020 taking shape, (ii) a neat demonstration of T-symmetry of electromagnetism or (iii) a heresy to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Once praised as the carbon-free energy source of the future, now mainly discredited for producing radioactive waste and having rendered entire regions uninhabitable, nuclear power plants have been a topic for discussion for a long time. This post tries to approach the topic soberly, explaining the physical basics of nuclear power.
I am a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, particularly in the form of audiobooks. A special hobby of mine is to listen to the first half of an audiobook, then to pause it and to draw my own conclusions before listening to the rest. Following this habit, I discovered a very interesting peculiarity in The Valley of Fear today.