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Revamped LHC goes heavy metal

Physicists will collide lead ions to replicate and study the embryonic universe. “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” ~ Terry Pratchett, author For the next three weeks physicists at the Large Hadron Collider will cook...Show More Summary

Quick Items

A few quick items before the holiday: I hear that Luis Alvarez-Gaumé will be the next Director of the Simons Center, starting next Fall, taking over from John Morgan, the founding Director. My understanding is that the hope was to … Continue reading ?

The New Improved Scooby-Gang? (Part 1)

20 hours agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

This is a group shot from an excellent event I mentioned on here only briefly: (Click for larger view. Photo from album linked below.) It was on Back to the Future Day... the date (October 21st 2015) that Marty McFly came forward in time to in the second of the BTTF movies... Show More Summary

085/366: $27.00

I spent a good chunk of the morning across the river at the Honda dealership, because of this: That’s the nail that they pulled out of my right rear tire, which had developed a slow leak late last week. It was one of those leaks that took several hours to significantly reduce the pressure, and…

Weirdly tilted planet knocks formation theory out of line

Some exoplanets orbit their stars at jaunty angles. We thought we knew why, but a new discovery could throw the theory into disarray

Charge-parity violation

Matter and antimatter behave differently. Scientists hope that investigating how might someday explain why we exist. One of the great puzzles for scientists is why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe—the reason we exist. It...Show More Summary

Talk, be merry, and be rational

Yesterday I wrote a statement on behalf of a Scott Alexander SlateStarCodex/rationalist meetup, which happened last night at MIT (in the same room where I teach my graduate class), and which I’d really wanted to attend but couldn’t.  I figured I’d share the statement here: I had been looking forward to attending tonight’s MIT SlateStarCodex meetup as I […]

This Week’s Non-Hype

Since I often post here complaints about articles produced by the press offices of various institutions that hype in a misleading way physicist’s theoretical work, I thought it a good idea to make up for this by noting a positive … Continue reading ?

084/366: Woodpecker

I was headed outside to take a bunch of photos with which I plan to do some SCIENCE!, but that won’t be the photo of the day, because this little critter was energetically banging on the side of our house when I got outside: I think this is probably a female downy woodpecker. Though I…

083/366: Bat-Toys!

The Pip is nute about superheros at the moment, primarily the Justice League, and particularly Batman. He’s got quite the pile of toys around this theme, making for a decent photo subject: Technically, these aren’t all Bat-Toys– you can see a Spiderman Lego set in there (from some alternate universe in which Peter Parker got…

082/366: Stickers!

I try not to have this be the cute-kid-photo-of-the-day, but really, how could I not use this shot: The Pip was not a huge fan of the antibiotics that came with his strep-throat diagnosis, so we bought a sticker book as a bribe reward for taking his medicine. Yesterday afternoon, in one of the brief…

Physics Week in Review: November 20, 2015

More proof that spooky action at a distance is real, a big grant for tabletop laser accelerators, and celebrating the 100th anniversary of Einstein's general theory of relativity were among this week's physics highlights. Me at Gizmodo: Physicists Prove That...

081/366: Pre-Dawn

For a brief, glorious moment the time change meant that I didn’t need a flashlight for my weekday morning walks with Emmy. Sadly, the inexorable motion of the Earth in its orbit means that we are once again into the zone where the sun isn’t above the horizon when we take our morning stroll: That’s…

Physicists get a supercomputing boost

Scientists have made the first-ever calculation of a prediction involving the decay of certain matter and antimatter particles. Sometimes the tiniest difference between a prediction and a result can tell scientists that a theory isn’t...Show More Summary

Langlands Items

There’s an interesting development in the math-physics overlap, with a significant number of physicists getting interested in the theory of automorphic forms, often motivated by the problem of computing string scattering amplitudes. This has led to a group of them … Continue reading ?

080/366: ISO Revisited

A little while back, I did a comparison of the different ISO settings on my camera, and a bunch of people commented that it would be interesting to try to match two photos at different levels. So, here’s that: These aren’t quite perfectly matched, because the time settings give me a limited range of options,…

Shrinking the accelerator

Scientists plan to use a newly awarded grant to develop a shoebox-sized particle accelerator in five years. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded $13.5 million to Stanford University for an international effort, including...Show More Summary

Leptoquarks strike back

Leptoquarks are hypothetical scalar particles that carry both color and electroweak charges. Nothing like that exists in the Standard Model, where the only scalar is the Higgs who is a color singlet. In the particle community, leptoquarks enjoy the similar status as Nickelback in music: everybody's heard of them, but no one likes them. Show More Summary

079/366: Leaf Leap

the Pip officially has strep throat, and thus had to stay home today, but the antibiotics he started yesterday (over his very strenuous objections) have worked wonders, so his energy level was pretty much back to normal. Which means that we spent a while out in the back yard raking up a big pile of…

078/366: Quantum Calculations

As threatened yesterday, another staged shot for a “quantum is difficult” image for an upcoming talk. This is a piece of a homework solution that was on a pad I had lying around– those are infinite square well wavefunctions. It’s about as trivial as you can get from quantum, but looks math-y enough to make…

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