Top physics news stories of the day

House approves string theory bailout

The $14-billion measure faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, where standard model opposition remains strong.

Washington D.C.
April 1st, 2009

The House approved a $14-billion bailout for U.S. string theorists Wednesday after White House and lawmakers finalized a deal empowering a government “theory czar” to force the universe into bankruptcy by next spring if they don’t restructure.

But the fate of the plan — and of some of the nation’s most storied physicists and institutions — remained uncertain because of deep-seated standard model opposition in the Senate, where theorists cannot pass the bill without the experimentalists help.

Many experimentalists are weary of government bailouts and worry that providing money to string theorists will lead other researchers to seek aid. Many on Capitol Hill also are convinced they should have attached more strings to the $700-billion Wall Street bailout.

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Black Hole Creates LHC

Tucson, AZ

April 1st, 2009

Astronomers from Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona report today that they have observed a Large Hadron Collider forming on the accretion disc of a distant black hole. While this is a triumphant discovery for the scientific community, it is certain to spell doom for the black hole.

Physicist rejects PRL article

Ridge, NY

April 1st, 2009

Editors of the prestigious scientific journal, Physical Review Letters, received a surprising package today. The package contained the latest issue of the journal with a handwritten message that was scribbled: “Return to Sender!” Long time physicist and loyal subscriber to the PRL objected to one or more the articles published in the journal saying: “it was chalk full of notions about atoms and other small things which I found personally offensive”. While it is not uncommon for physicists to have their papers rejected by PRL, this is the first time in history that a physicist has rejected a paper from PRL.

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