Thursday, December 07, 2006

Our Phavorite Physics Stories of 2006

It's the end of the year, so it's time to reflect on the past twelve months. In case you’re already saturated with 2006 retrospectives, we’ll keep ours brief. These are all our own humble opinions of the special stories, of course.

The Most Scientifically Important Physics story of 2006 . . . NASA's discovery of hard evidence for dark matter.

Runner up to the Most Scientifically Important Physics story of 2006 . . . The (Re)Discovery of Elements 116 and 118.

The Most Fun Physics story of 2006. . .
The Ig Nobel Award for a study of why spaghetti breaks in more than two pieces when it is bent.

Runner up to the Most Fun Physics story of 2006 . . . Bad Basketballs

The Most Over Blown physics story . . . A cloaking device that got the press excited, but will probably never work on anything larger than a dust speck (which is pretty hard to see already).

Runner up to the Most Over Blown physics story . . .
The Eggcentric Universe. (It’s one explanation for measurements of the cosmic microwave background, but nearly nobody thinks it’s the right one.)

Invention Most Likely to Lead to a new Comic Book Superhero (or Supervillian). . . Radioactive scorpion venom for brain cancer therapy.

Invention most likely to become a Comic Book Supervillian Weapon . . .
The Paser

Most Controversial Experiment . . . Sonofusion Bubbles Up and back down.

Worst Physics Miscalculation . . .
Germany to win 2006 World’s Cup of Football. Italy actually took the cup.

Worst Pending Physics Miscalculation . . . Physicists Predict Stock Market Crashes

Biggest Physics Cat Fight of the year . . . String Theorists vs. Loop Quantum Gravity Theorists

Let us know if you have any suggestions for the year's most notable physics stories (even if you have to make up your own categories, like we did). I'll be happy to add it to the list, if you make a good argument. And if you really hate one of our choices, let me know why I should take it down

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