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Physics Madness: The Elemental Eight

Half the field, twice the fun. Which physics machine will win it all? The first round of Physics Madness is over and the field has narrowed to eight amazing physics machines. The second round of voting is now open, so pick your favorites and send them on to the Fundamental Four. You have until midnight PDT on Monday, March 30, to vote in this round. Show More Summary

“Talking Dogs and Galileian Blogs: Social Media for Communicating Science”

That’s the title of the talk I gave yesterday at Vanderbilt, and here are the slides: Talking Dogs and Galileian Blogs: Social Media for Communicating Science from Chad Orzel The central idea is the same as in past versions of the talk– stealing Robert Krulwich’s joke contrasting the publication styles of Newton and Galileo to…

What If Papers Had APIs?

API is an abbreviation that stands for “Application Program Interface.” Roughly speaking an API is a specification of a software component in terms of the operations one can perform with that component. For example, a common kind of an API … Continue reading ?

QIP 2015 Talks Available

Talks from QIP 2015 are now available on this YouTube channel. Great to see! I’m still amazed by the wondrous technology that allows me to watch talks given on the other side of the world, at my own leisure, on … Continue reading ?

QIP 2015 business meeting

A QIP 2015 epilogue: our notes from the business meeting. See also this post by Kaushik Seshadreesan. Business Meeting Report local organizing committee report Finance: $193,545 – $191,467 = $2,478 profit! registration income: $185,340 refunds, about $3,000 external sponsorships: $30,450, … Continue reading ?

Better ‘cosmic candles’ to illuminate dark energy

Using a newly identified set of supernovae, researchers have found a way to measure distances in space twice as precisely as before. Researchers have more than doubled the precision of a method they use to measure long distances in space—the...Show More Summary

Framed Graphite

It took a while, but I got this task done. (Click for a slightly larger view.) Things take a lot longer these days, because...newborn. You'll recall that I did a little drawing of the youngster very soon after his arrival in December. Show More Summary

The dawn of DUNE

This article appeared in symmetry on March 25, 2015. The neutrino experiment formerly known as LBNE has transformed. Since January, its collaboration has gained about 50 new member institutions, elected two new spokespersons and chosen a new name: Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, or DUNE. The proposed experiment will be the most powerful tool in the Read the full article

The dawn of DUNE

A powerful planned neutrino experiment gains new members, new leaders and a new name. The neutrino experiment formerly known as LBNE has transformed. Since January, its collaboration has gained about 50 new member institutions, elected...Show More Summary

“Talking Dogs and Galileian Blogs” at Vanderbilt, Thursday 3/26/15

I mentioned last week that I’m giving a talk at Vanderbilt tomorrow, but as they went to the trouble of writing a press release, the least I can do is share it: It’s clear that this year’s Forman lecturer at Vanderbilt University, Chad Orzel, will talk about physics to almost anyone. After all, two of…

Vote LUX, and give an underdog a chance

I’ve had a busy few weeks after getting back from America, so apologies for the lack of blogging! Some things I’ve been up to: – Presenting my work on LUX to MPs at the Houses of Parliament for the SET for Britain competition. No prizes, but lots of interesting questions from MPs, for example: “and Read the full article

Back from Break

Clouds cleared about 15 minutes too late at Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, so totality was behind a cloud, but still an impressive sight. And the Faroe Islands are quite a remarkable place to visit. Some recent news: The plan … Continue reading ?

LHC will not restart this week

Engineers and technicians may need to warm up and recool a section of the accelerator before they can introduce particles. The Large Hadron Collider will not restart this week, according to a statement from CERN. Engineers and technicians are investigating an intermittent short circuit to ground in one of the machine’s magnet circuits. Show More Summary

Physics Madness: The Supersymmetric Sixteen

Which physics machine will reign supreme? Your vote decides. March is here, and that means one thing: brackets. We’ve matched up 16 of the coolest pieces of particle physics equipment that help scientists answer big questions about our universe. Show More Summary

How Does Angular Momentum Emerge?

Yesterday’s post about VPython simulation of the famous bicycle wheel demo showed that you can get the precession and nutation from a simulation that only includes forces. But this is still kind of mysterious, from the standpoint of basic physics intuition. Specifically, it’s sort of hard to see how any of this produces a force…

The Emergence of Angular Momentum

The third of the great physics principles introduced in our introductory mechanics courses is the conservation of angular momentum, or the Angular Momentum Principle in the language of the Matter and Interactions curriculum we use. This tends to be one of the hardest topics to introduce, in no small part because it’s the last thing…

The LHC does a dry run

Engineers have started the last step required before sending protons all the way around the renovated Large Hadron Collider. All systems are go! The the Large Hadron Collider’s operations team has started running the accelerator through...Show More Summary

Expanding the cosmic search

This article appeared in Fermilab Today on March 20, 2015. Down at the South Pole, where temperatures drop below negative 100 degrees Fahrenheit and darkness blankets the land for six months at a time, the South Pole Telescope (SPT) searches the skies for answers to the mysteries of our universe. This mighty scavenger is about Read the full article

Festival of Books!

(Click for larger view of 2010 Festival "What are you reading?" wall.) So the Festival of Books is 18-19th April this year. If you're in or near LA, I hope you're going! It's free, it's huge (the largest book festival in the USA) and...Show More Summary

LHCb: B-meson anomaly persists

Today LHCb released a new analysis of the angular distribution in the B0 ? K0(892) (?K+?-) ?+ ?- decays. In this 4-body decay process, the angles between the direction of flight of all the different particles can be measured as a function of the invariant mass q^2 of the di-muon pair. Show More Summary

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