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Parting Shot

Wednesday was my last day in Santiago, and so after the morning Plenary talks I checked out of my hotel, stored my bag, and, boarding the subway, melted into the city for a few hours. I was not on the lookout for anything in particular, besides a sense (even a little) of the city's life and flow. Show More Summary

Math and Physics Summer Camps

With the kids shipped off to NSA summer camp, now is the time for mathematicians and physicists to head off to their own summer camp experiences. Some of these have websites where the rest of us can participate a bit … Continue reading ?

Layer of melting ice helps spheres fall faster through water

Skaters know melting ice cuts friction, it turns out the trick works under water too. Balls coated in ice fell faster in a tank of water as the coating melted

Almost Done

So Tuesday night, I decided that it was imperative that I paid a visit to one really good restaurant (at least) before leaving Santiago. My duties at ICMP2015 were over, and I was tired, so did not want to go too far, but I'd heard there...Show More Summary

One Higgs is the loneliest number

Physicists discovered one type of Higgs boson in 2012. Now they’re looking for more. When physicists discovered the Higgs boson in 2012, they declared the Standard Model of particle physics complete; they had finally found the missing...Show More Summary

Existence Proof

The picture is evidence that bug-free Skype seminars are possible! Well, I suppose it only captured an instant, and not the full hour's worth of two separate bug-free talks each with their own Q&A, but that is what happened. The back...Show More Summary

This Week’s Hype

Symmetry, the FNAL/SLAC run online magazine funded by the DOE, today is running a piece of multiverse mania entitled Is this the only universe?. It’s a rather standard example of the pseudo-scientific hype that has flooded the popular scientific media … Continue reading ?

Iron-age arsonists’ leftovers hint at how Earth’s poles may flip

Magnetic deposits in char from ancient African villages reveal that Earth's magnetic field had weakened before without flipping

Is this the only universe?

Our universe could be just one small piece of a bubbling multiverse. Human history has been a journey toward insignificance. As we’ve gained more knowledge, we’ve had our planet downgraded from the center of the universe to a chunk of...Show More Summary

W bosons remain left-handed

A new result from the LHCb collaboration weakens previous hints at the existence of a new type of W boson. A measurement released today by the LHCb collaboration dumped some cold water on previous results that suggested an expanded cast...Show More Summary

The Standard Model of particle physics

Explore the elementary particles that make up our universe. The Standard Model is a kind of periodic table of the elements for particle physics. But instead of listing the chemical elements, it lists the fundamental particles that make...Show More Summary

Santiago

I'm in Santiago, Chile, for a short stay. My first thought, in a very similar thought process to the one I had over ten years ago in a similar context, is one of surprise as to how wonderfully far south of the equator I now am! Somehow,...Show More Summary

A new first for T2K

The Japan-based neutrino experiment has seen its first three candidate electron antineutrinos. Scientists on the T2K neutrino experiment in Japan announced today that they have spotted their first possible electron antineutrinos. When...Show More Summary

Page Samples…!

There's something really satisfying about getting copies of printed pages back from the publisher. Makes it all seem a bit more real. This is a second batch of samples (first batch had some errors resulting from miscommunication, so don't count), and already I think we are converging. Show More Summary

A Beautiful Question

Frank Wilczek’s new book, A Beautiful Question, is now out and if you’re at all interested in issues about beauty and the deep structure of reality, you should find a copy and spend some time with it. As he explains … Continue readi...

China spends big on nuclear fusion as French plan falls behind

It could be 2030 before the reactor being built in France starts making more energy than it uses. Meanwhile, China is investing heavily in its own project

Introducing some British people to P vs. NP

Here’s a 5-minute interview that I did with The Naked Scientists (a radio show syndicated by the BBC, and no, I’m not sure why it’s called that), explaining the P vs. NP problem.  For readers of this blog, there won’t be anything new here, but, well … you might enjoy the rest of the hour-long programme [sic], which also includes […]

Underground plans

The Super-Kamiokande collaboration has approved a project to improve the sensitivity of the Super-K neutrino detector. Super-Kamiokande, buried under about 1 kilometer of mountain rock in Kamioka, Japan, is one of the largest neutrino detectors on Earth. Show More Summary

Have Laptop, Will Travel

Having mentioned in yesterday’s post that I’ll be on sabbatical for the next academic year, this would probably be a good time to point out that this means I’m somewhat more flexible than usual in terms of going places and giving talks. And I enjoy going places and giving talks. About

Ian McKellen on Fresh Air!

I had a major treat last night! While making myself an evening meal I turned on the radio to find Ian McKellen (whose voice and delivery I love so very much I can listen to him slowly reading an arbitrarily long list of random numbers) being interviewed by Dave Davies on NPR's Fresh Air. Show More Summary

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