Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The Cosmos In A Coffee Cup

Instinctively, we always knew the key to the universe was coffee, and now physicists at Duke University have handily proved it for us. 

A professor and his graduate student have discovered a universal principle that unites the curious interplay of light and shadow on the surface of your morning coffee with the way gravity magnifies and distorts light from distant galaxies.

Science Daily reports that, "Light rays naturally reflect off a curve like the inside surface of a coffee cup in a curving, ivy leaf pattern that comes to a point in the center and is brightest along its edge. Mathematicians and physicists call that shape a "cusp curve," and they call the bright edge a "caustic," based on an alternative dictionary definition meaning 'burning bright'..."

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