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Planck News?

The timing for release of long-awaited Planck polarization data keeps getting pushed back. At one point it was supposed to be earlier this year, most recently it was supposed to be this month, with that timing forced by a conference … Continue reading ?

Advertisements for the Multiverse

After watching the Breakthrough Prize awards tonight, tomorrow night on the Science Channel you can watch a program that actually features physicists rather than Hollywood/Silicon Valley celebrities. There’s an hour long infomercial for the Multiverse, entitled “Which Universe Are We … Continue reading ?

Breakthrough Prize on TV

You can watch the recent Breakthrough Prize awards ceremony on TV tonight, 6 pm on the Science and Discovery channels. The Science Channel has a site with videos of highlights of the evening, the complete list of which is: Christina … Continue reading ?

High Precision, Not High Energy: Video

Back in August, I gave a talk in Stockholm at the Nordita workshop for science writers, about precision measurement searches for physics beyond the Standard Model. There’s now video of this online: The video quality isn’t great, but if you’d like a clearer look at the slides, I’ve posted them on SlideShare. The talk was…

Return of the Revenge of the Project for Non-Academic Science

I’ve been doing a lot of darkness-cursing lately (mostly off-line), so we could stand to have a little candle-lighting. It’s been a few years since I last did a round of profiles of scientists outside academia, so let’s see if that will fly again… So, if you 1) Have a degree in a STEM field…

Eureka: Bridge to Dark Matter

The first time you hear about dark matter, it sounds kind of crazy– asserting that we’re surrounded by tons of invisible stuff is usually a good way to get locked up. But the process of its discovery is surprisingly ordinary: it’s just what you do when you play cards. Here’s the second green-screen video I’ve…

Benefits of an Academic Day Job

I’ve been quieter than usual here, partly because I’ve been crushingly busy, but primarily because most of the things I want to talk about, I can’t. Not yet, anyway. But I’m still alive, and this murderous term will be over soon, at which point blogging will pick up a bit. I will throw in a…

Three Cellos

These three fellows, perched on wooden boxes, just cried out for a quick sketch of them during the concert. It was the LA Phil playing Penderecki's Concerto Grosso for Three Cellos, preceded by the wonderful Rapsodie Espagnole by Ravel...Show More Summary

Nerd-Off Results

So I'm supposed to be writing 20 slides for a colloquium so let me see if I get this right really fast:- First round, the Koch Brothers bested the Justice League and Ultron was beaten up by Inspector Gadget meanwhile Ice Cube trumped Mr. Show More Summary

Nerd Judgement

I’ve judged Poetry battles a number of times, essay competitions, art displays… but never Nerd-offs. Until tonight. Come to the Tournament of Nerds around midnight tonight at Upright Citizen’s Brigade. I’ll be one of the guest judges. I’ve no idea what I’m supposed to do, and my core “nerd” and … Click to continue reading this post ?

Interstellar Science at Screen Junkies!

As promised on Tuesday, below you will find my Screen Junkies interview where I chat with Hal Rudnick about some of the science in Interstellar. We covered a lot of topics and went into a lot of detail, but a lot of that is on the cutting room floor in order to make a svelte (but relatively generous) ten minute cut. Show More Summary

Alexandre Grothendieck 1928-2014

I just heard that Alexandre Grothendieck passed away today, at the age of 86, in Saint-Girons. For a French news story, see here. Grothendieck’s story was one of the great romantic stories of modern mathematics, and many would consider him … Continue reading ?

Big lessons from a Tiny Titan

When it comes to explaining how a massive machine works, sometimes smaller is better. Tiny Titan is a supercomputer. Kind of. It should probably be clarified that the term supercomputer, in this sense, would have more to do with howShow More Summary

Subway Glances

Just a few grabs of parts of faces of people who I see on the subway journey to and from USC each day. Sometimes I get a good look, other times not... Sometimes they disappear before I get anywhere. I've been busy on other things (like...Show More Summary

Southern California Strings Seminar

The UCLA group is hosting the next Southern California String Seminar, the long running once a semester (mostly) regional event that roves around the various high energy groups in the region (more here). It is on Friday! There's schedule and other information here. The schedule goes something like this: [...] Click to continue reading this post ?

Ancient pigments, modern mystery

When Chinese workers searching for water found the famous Terracotta Warriors instead, they brought to light a scientific mystery. True purple is one of the rarest colors in nature. Before the advent of artificial coloring, a tiny sea...Show More Summary

Hanging out at Screen Junkies!

Just finished another enjoyable hour of chatting about movies and science with the Screen Junkies guys! You'll recall the fun results of the last two (see here on Time Travel and here on Guardians of the Galaxy). We were talking about... Show More Summary

The November Revolution

Forty years ago today, two different research groups announced the discovery of the same new particle and redefined how physicists view the universe. On November 11, 1974, members of the Cornell high-energy physics group could have spent...Show More Summary

Interstellar’s dangling wormholes

On Saturday Dana and I saw Interstellar, the sci-fi blockbuster co-produced by the famous theoretical physicist Kip Thorne (who told me about his work on this movie when I met him eight years ago).  We had the rare privilege of seeing the movie on the same day that we got to hang out with a real astronaut, Dan Barry, who flew […]

Eureka: Quantum Crosswords

My new book comes out one month from yesterday, or four weeks from tomorrow. Of course, yesterday was Sunday, and tomorrow’s a federal holiday, both lousy times for promotional posts, so I’ll drop this in today instead. Here’s a promotional video I put together, about how the history of quantum mechanics can be compared to…

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