Physical Sciences

Every Branch of the service has ranks and uniforms which reflect their  history, mission, and culture. A potential space force would not be any different in this regard.  Consider the lineage it would have being mainly influenced by the US Air Force, the US Navy, and NASA.   Each has a rank structure of some kind.    It may be wise to establish a “space force” as a corps not within the Air Force... but within NASA, much as NOAA and NPHS have had for a long time.   Here is my take on how this could or should look.    If you question the need for a Space Force watch this 60 minutes video from 2015.

Space contains a wealth of mineral resources so abundant that it would make money as we now think of it obsolete.  We rely on space borne assets for  very ordinary every day things and will come to rely on them even more. The common sense of this, unlike other (separating families) things (G7 Russia) President Trump does (Covfefe) should be self evident.

While preparing for another evening of observation of Jupiter's atmosphere with my faithful 16" dobsonian scope, I found out that the satellite Io will disappear behind the Jovian shadow tonight. This is a quite common phenomenon and not a very spectacular one, but still quite interesting to look forward to during a visual observation - the moon takes some time to fully disappear, so it is fun to follow the event.
This however got me thinking. A fully eclipsed jovian moon should still be able to reflect back some light picked up from the still lit other satellites - so it should not, after all, appear completely dark. Can a calculation be made of the effect ? Of course - and it's not that difficult.
Simulation, noun:
1. Imitation or enactment
2. The act or process of pretending; feigning.
3. An assumption or imitation of a particular appearance or form; counterfeit; sham.

Well, high-energy physics is all about simulations. 

We have a theoretical model that predicts the outcome of the very energetic particle collisions we create in the core of our giant detectors, but we only have approximate descriptions of the inputs to the theoretical model, so we need simulations. 
Building blocks of life are not life or even really close, but they are hopeful signs.  NASA has announced that the Curiosity rover has found signs of the building blocks of life, as we know it, on Mars.   

These building blocks are common throughout the cosmos.  Even in interstellar clouds.  To have life, as we know it, requires liquid water.  Remember the signs of liquid water found on Mars back in 2011? Since then it has been convincingly argued that they may have just be flows of fine sand grains without water being involved at all.  Further study continues.  

Neutrinos, the most mysterious and fascinating of all elementary particles, continue to puzzle physicists. 20 years after the experimental verification of a long-debated effect whereby the three neutrino species can "oscillate", changing their nature by turning one into the other as they propagate in vacuum and in matter, the jury is still out to decide what really is the matter with them. And a new result by the MiniBoone collaboration is stirring waters once more.

Mars is extraordinarily cold and dry, like our most arid deserts. Harsh but possibly not totally lifeless. There is a chance of life there, hidden away perhaps in thin layers of brines just a couple of centimeters below the surface, or as spores within the dust. Our astronauts will be covered in microbes from Earth too and our habitats filled with life. What happens when life mixes together from these two biospheres?

The American Chemical Society is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. That doesn't keep their editors from lobbying against science and common sense, like when a team of authors in Environmental Science&Technology, funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, are allowed to terrify Americans by scaremongering the American barbecue grill the weekend before Memorial Day.
Living in Padova has its merits. I moved here since January 1st and am enjoying every bit of it. I used to live in Venice, my home town, and commute with Padova during weekdays, but a number of factors led me to decide on this move (not last the fact that I could afford to buy a spacious place close to my office in Padova, while in Venice I was confined to a rented apartment).
A paper by B. Fornal and B. Grinstein published last week in Physical Review Letters is drawing a lot of interest to one of the most well-known pieces of subnuclear physics since the days of Enrico Fermi: beta decay.