Sleepless in the Physics Lab by Regis Nicoll

Sleepless in the Physics Lab 7 Cosmic Questions That Induce Insomnia by Regis Nicoll Article originally appeared in Salvo 13

A virulent strain of insomnia has hit a special group of folks: physicists. According to an article in, there are seven conundrums that can keep these crumple-jacketed oracles “tossing and turning in the wee hours.” The article was reporting on a panel discussion held in October 2009 at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Canada. Upon being asked, “What keeps you awake at night?” the group of physicists came up with the following list of vexing questions. Disappointingly, their discussion failed to reveal the depth of these mysteries and why they are so discomforting. To better understand the troubled spirits of scientists, I thought it would be helpful to fill in some detail for each of the seven questions.

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