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Lilting to the LIGO tune, Fukushima five years on and more


By Tushna Commissariat

Looks as if LIGO’s gravitational-wave discovery is still rocking all over the world, as you can now groove to the dulcet tones of singer and physicist Tim Blais, who runs the acapellascience channel on YouTube. With some help from the Perimeter Institute in Canada, the singer has created his latest “nerd-pop” parody, titled “LIGO Feel That Space” (sung to the tune of The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face”). After you listen to the catchy tune above, take a look at this interview with Blais on the Perimeter website to find out just how he creates his songs and how he went from physicist to a viral YouTuber.

Today marks five years since the Tōhoku earthquake that ultimately triggered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster on the 12 March 2011 – it was the worst nuclear accident the world had seen since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Although the Japanese government has allocated more than $15bn and put considerable effort into its clean-up operations – millions of tonnes of radioactive debris have been removed, soil has been scraped away and even entire buildings and pavements have been wiped down – the operation is still several decades away from completion and not all of the efforts are useful in the long run, as this recent article in the New York Times points out.

To read more about the disaster and its effects today, take a look at this interview with Imperial College researcher Bill Lee, who recently visited the site, take a look at this article on nuclear myths debunked and find out why Japan has just shut down one of its two functioning nuclear power plants once more.

In related news, take a look at the winning entry for the Nukebusters Short Film Contest, to find out what “millennials” think about nuclear weapons. The video highlights their reaction to finding out that there are nearly 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world, and how much they cost.

If you would like to get an overview of the current status of dark-matter research, read this interview on the JPhys+ blog with physicist Laura Baudis of the University of Zurich. Baudis works on the XENON experiment, which is currently being upgraded to XENON1T and will  switch on this spring. Take a look at the interview to find out what it would mean if the detector picked up a signal and what is the best thing about being a physicist, according to Baudis.

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One comment to Lilting to the LIGO tune, Fukushima five years on and more

  1. The 0.2 sec long whisper from the cosmic gravitational-wave signal is more moving than any tune set up around.


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