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036/366: Pine Bush

The difficult-to-spell name “Schenectady” (where Union is located) derives from a Mohawk word meaning “beyond the pines.” The pines in question are an extensive region of pine barrens between Albany and Schenectady, a small bit of which survives as the Albany Pine Bush Nature Preserve. They’ve got a nice little nature center and some trails…

Get ready for some “movie science” chatter…

Yes, I've been hanging out with my Screen Junkies friends again, and this time I also got to meet JPL's Christina Heinlein, who you may recall was in the first of the Screen Junkies "Movie Science" episodes last year. While we were both...Show More Summary


Neutrinos! See the press release here, and congratulations to the winners! (Honestly, I thought that the Nobel prize for this had already been given...) -cvj Click to continue reading this post ? The post Neutrinos! appeared first on Asymptotia.

Nobel Prize in Physics 2015

So, the Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 has been announced. To much surprise of many (including the author), it was awarded jointly to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald “for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass.” Well deserved Nobel Prize for a fantastic discovery. What is this Nobel prize all

Nobel Prize awarded for discovery of neutrino oscillations

Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald received the call from Sweden for their work on the Super-Kamiokande and SNO experiments. Courtesy of: Takaaki Kajita and K. MacFarlane The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded this morning to two physicists whose teams discovered a fundamental property of neutrinos. Show More Summary

Probability is as useful to physics as flat-Earth theory

You can't explain how the world really works with probability, says physicist David Deutsch. It's time for a different approach

Metals are Shiny

23 hours agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

"Metals are shiny." That's one of my favourite punchlines to end a class on electromagnetism with, and that's what I did today. I just love bringing up a bit of everyday physics as a striking consequence of two hours worth of development on the board, and this is a good one for that. Show More Summary

Thomas and Fermi

The other day the Thomas-Fermi model (and its enhancements by Dirac and others) wandered across my desk (and one of my virtual blackboards as you can see in the picture) for a while. Putting aside why it showed up (perhaps I will say...Show More Summary

035/366: Trike Rack

Another fall day, another holiday closing at the JCC. I was home with The Pip for most of the day, which was the usual mix of fun, exhausting, and puzzling. For example, while I offered several times to go out to a playground before lunch, he refused. But then insisted that we walk to the…

Nobel Week 2015

So, once again, the Nobel week is upon us. And one of the topics of conversations for the “water cooler chat” in physics departments around the world is speculations on who (besides the infamous Hungarian “physicist” — sorry for the insider joke, I can elaborate on that if asked) would get the Nobel Prize in

034/366: Dinner

A big chunk of Sunday was lost to a wretched cold– despite a two-hour afternoon nap, I was asleep by 10pm– but I did get the camera out for a bit while doing some late-season grilling: Not the most amazing photo, I know (though it does take deliberate work to get those cross-hatched grill marks…),…

033/366: Ommmm…..

Saturdays are the busiest days around Chateau Steelypips, with both SteelyKid and The Pip having soccer in the morning (in two different places), then lunch, then some sort of activity for the afternoon. Yesterday, this was a party for one of SteelyKid’s friends. And last night, there was a Movie Night at SteelyKid’s BFF’s house,…


I call this part of the garden Benedict, for obvious reasons... right? -cvj Click to continue reading this post ? The post Benedict appeared first on Asymptotia.

Physics Week in Review: October 3, 2015

Water on Mars (and the release of the highly anticipated Matt Damon film The Martian), the physics behind the formation of icy pillars known as penitentes, and experiments to probe the quantum vacuum were among this week's physics highlights. Me...

032/366: Symmetry

Took the camera along this afternoon when I took Emmy for a walk (Kate and I are going to see The Martian tonight, so Emmy got an early dinner and stroll), and took pictures of a bunch of random stuff in a little park near our house. Including these two pictures pasted together into one:…

Neutrino detectors could keep discreet tabs on nuclear reactors

When a country such as Iran is wary of nuclear inspections, an experimental detector could help ensure that its reactors are not making plutonium for weapons

How to measure anything – and fix the foundations of science

We're about to recalibrate the units that mark out reality – and it's forcing us to probe the stuff of the universe more precisely than ever before

The burgeoning field of neutrino astronomy

A new breed of experiments seeks sources of cosmic rays and other astrophysics phenomena. Ghostlike subatomic particles called neutrinos could hold clues to some of the greatest scientific questions about our universe: What extragalactic...Show More Summary


A few odd things that I’ve run into recently: The IAS has a weekly meeting to discuss current topics in HEP theory. From their events calendar, next week’s meeting will be devoted to “The Cosmological Constant and the String Landscape”, … Continue reading ?

031/366: It Begins

It’s October 1, aka “the day it starts being hard to keep track of what number photo we’re on,” and we’re officially into Fall here in the Northeast US. Accordingly, it’s a bit chilly (about 30F colder than a week ago), and while most of the leaves are still green, we’re starting to see some…

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