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Pie Puzzle

A Thanksgiving Puzzle for you: From yesterday's kitchen adventure. -> You decide which order I did things in.... -cvj Click to continue reading this post ?

Thanksgiving 2014

SteelyKid’s first-grade class has been doing a bunch of Thanksgiving stuff. A lot of this is the lies-to-children version of the first Thanksgiving, and some of that is a little dubious (they had a dress-up “feast” on Tuesday, where SteelyKid was an Indian with a construction-paper vest and feathered headband, and oh, the parental eye-rolling…).…

Self-correcting Fractals

A really exciting paper appeared on the arxiv today: A proposal for self-correcting stabilizer quantum memories in 3 dimensions (or slightly less), by Courtney Brell. It gives the strongest evidence yet that self-correcting quantum memories are possible in “physically realistic” three-dimensional … Continue reading ?

Monday’s Quarry

Monday's quick grab on subway on the way to work. I claim that one of the most useful aspects of the smartphone is its facility for holding people in predictable poses in order to be sketched. He had a very elegant face and head, and was engrossed in his game, and I was done reviewing my lecture notes on scattering of light, so I went for it. Show More Summary

PNAS: Asad Aboobaker, Thermal Engineer

I’ve decided to do a new round of profiles in the Project for Non-Academic Science (acronym deliberately chosen to coincide with a journal), as a way of getting a little more information out there to students studying in STEM fields who will likely end up with jobs off the “standard” academic science track. Sixth in…

Needed: citizen scientists for Higgs hunt

A new project asks citizen scientists for help finding unknown Higgs boson decays in LHC data from the ATLAS experiment. Just days after the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider released a large batch of data to the public, the...Show More Summary

How to Build a Rocketship

The Pip’s current phrase of choice is “How do you build…?” We get asked this several times a day. “Daddy, how do you build a glass?” “Well, you get the right kind of sand, and you get it really hot, so hot it melts. Then you make it into the shape of a glass, and…

Look Up In the Sky…!

Yesterday's graduate class in electromagnetism had a bit of extra fun. We did a particular computation in some detail, and arrived at a pair of results. We thought about the main features of the equations we'd derived and I then asked the class if they could think of an example. Show More Summary

Lens of Computation on the Sciences

This weekend, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton hosted a workshop on the “Lens of Computation in the Sciences,” which was organized by Avi Wigderson, and was meant to showcase theoretical computer science’s imperialistic ambitions to transform every other field.  I was proud to speak at the workshop, representing CS theory’s designs on physics.  But videos […]

Students join the hunt for exotic new physics

Students will help the MoEDAL experiment at CERN seek evidence of magnetic monopoles, microscopic black holes and other phenomena. For the first time, a high school has joined a high-energy physics experiment as a full member. Students...Show More Summary

PNAS: Marin Hawk, Fisheries Management Plan Coordinator

I’ve decided to do a new round of profiles in the Project for Non-Academic Science (acronym deliberately chosen to coincide with a journal), as a way of getting a little more information out there to students studying in STEM fields who will likely end up with jobs off the “standard” academic science track. Fifth in…

Creating a spark

Science has a long history of creativity generated through collaboration between fields. A principle of 18th century mechanics holds that if a physical system is symmetric in some way, then there is a conservation law associated with the symmetry. Show More Summary

PNAS: P., Web Developer

I’ve decided to do a new round of profiles in the Project for Non-Academic Science (acronym deliberately chosen to coincide with a journal), as a way of getting a little more information out there to students studying in STEM fields who will likely end up with jobs off the “standard” academic science track. Fourth in…

The Peripheral by William Gibson [Library of Babel]

Spent the weekend in Florida getting together with some friends from college, which was a much-needed recharge for me at the end of a brutal term. It’s probably fitting to ease back into routine with a return to my blogging roots, and talk a bit about a book. Specifically, the new William Gibson novel, The…

Kuperberg’s parable

Recently, longtime friend-of-the-blog Greg Kuperberg wrote a Facebook post that, with Greg’s kind permission, I’m sharing here. A parable about pseudo-skepticism in response to climate science, and science in general. Doctor: You ought to stop smoking, among other reasons because smoking causes lung cancer. Patient: Are you sure? I like to smoke. It also creates jobs. […]

What does the NSA think of academic cryptographers? Recently-declassified document provides clues

Brighten Godfrey was one of my officemates when we were grad students at Berkeley.  He’s now a highly-successful computer networking professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he studies the wonderful question of how we could get the latency of the Internet down to the physical limit imposed by the finiteness of the speed of light.  (Right now, […]

Der Quantencomputer

Those of you who read German (I don’t) might enjoy a joint interview of me and Seth Lloyd about quantum computing, which was conducted in Seth’s office by the journalist Christian Meier, and published in the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung.  Even if you don’t read German, you can just feed the interview into Google Translate, […]

The intersection of art and science

Statistician Edward Tufte turns scientific notations into artwork. If you visit statistician and sculptor Edward Tufte’s farm in Connecticut, you’ll see something that gets to the heart of the person and his work. On the mile-long farm...Show More Summary

‘CERN People’ tells it like it is

A new video series about scientists at CERN pulls back the curtain on what it’s like to be a physicist during a pivotal time in the field. American director and documentary film maker Liz Mermin has traveled from beauty schools in Afghanistan to Bollywood movie sets in India filming people at their work. Show More Summary

500-mile neutrino experiment up and running

Construction is complete for NOvA, the longest-distance neutrino experiment in the world. With construction completed, the NOvA neutrino experiment has begun its probe into the mysteries of ghostly particles that may hold the key toShow More Summary

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