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The Ultimate Simplicity of Everything

There’s a wonderful interview with Perimeter Institute director Neil Turok here, entitled The Ultimate Simplicity of Everything, and done for a Canadian radio program. Turok discusses his point of view on whether we’re at “the end of physics”, and I’m … Continue reading ?

Mathematicians play whack-a-mole in the endless infinity hunt

Logic tells us infinity must exist, and you can’t even define a circle without it. But if we can’t reach it, how do we know it exists – and what is it anyway?

192/366: Springing

One of the surest signs of the imminent arrival of spring is the appearance of these little purple flowers in our back yard in large bunches. I have no idea what they are, but they’re kind of photogenic, so… Having spent much too long on the Internet, I can just about convince myself that this…

When Life Hands You…

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

When life hands you tomatoes, red onions, a little bit of garlic, ginger, some cardamom pods, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, and a pinch of paprika... make chutney! (It's about as easy as lemonade, actually.) Oddly, a carmello tomato...Show More Summary

Physics Week in Review: March 12, 2016

This week's physics highlights: measuring a black hole's spin, the trouble with Star Trek's transporters, and physicists successfully created the first "Majorana" particles for topological quantum computing. Me at Gizmodo: Physicists Create 'Pseudo-Particles' for Error-Free Quantum Computing. "We may be...

191/366: M-O-O-N

Really not a lot to say about this one. Pretty nice crescent moon last night, still had the telephoto lens on the camera, so: this shot.

750 GeV: the bigger picture

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Resonaances

Next Wednesday the ATLAS and CMS experiments will present updated analyses of the 750 GeV diphoton excess. CMS will extend their data set by the diphoton events collected in the periods when the detector was running without the magnetic field (which is not essential for this particular study), so the amount of available data will slightly increase. Show More Summary

Fermilab scientist elected next CMS spokesperson

Joel Butler will lead the LHC experiment starting in September. Long before the start-up of the Large Hadron Collider, physicist Joel Butler was helping shape the path of particle physics research in the United States. He led experiments...Show More Summary

189-190/366: Technology

Having done a thematic set of animal photos, it makes sense to complete the catching-up process by pulling together a couple of shots of man-made things. 189/366: Tower This is also from my trip to the post office the other day. The tall tower is a broadcast antenna of some sort from the CBS station,…

185-188/366: Critters

Sunday and Monday were wrecked by SteelyKid getting sick. She was actually only really ill on Sunday, but that was highly miserable. Monday, she had to stay home from school, and we spent the day watching the original Star Wars trilogy (which she had refused to watch on two previous occasions…). So, there weren’t a…

184/366: Odyssey

I seem to have fallen into a thing where I take pictures more frequently than I edit and post them. I blame the kids– SteelyKid got sick on Sunday (her third bout with strep in the last five months), and The Pip has decided to get a jump on Daylight Savings by waking up an…

This and That

A few short items: Nature has an editorial this week summarizing the situation with the 750 GeV possible diphoton bump. It mentions a new paper analyzing related data (the number of theory papers on this as a function of time). … Continue reading ?

Visualizing Zero Matter

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

Wired has a video piece about the VFX work done on Agent Carter to bring the substance known as "zero matter" to your screens. They very kindly mentioned me, which is a pleasant surprise. There was a lot of conversation early on with...Show More Summary

Art of Darkness

The Dark Energy Survey’s art show offers a glimpse of the expanding universe. Imagine a clear night in the mountains, away from glaring city lights. In the sky, gleaming speckles from distant stars cascade into the bright streams of the Milky Way. Show More Summary

What Should I See At The March Meeting?

I’m going to be at the March Meeting of the American Physical Society in Baltimore next week. This is the largest physics meeting of the year, with an emphasis on condensed matter physics (which is actually the largest single area of study within physics, though media overemphasis on particle physics and astrophysics might lead you…

ExoMars probe set to sniff out signs of life on the Red Planet

The joint European-Russian mission carries the most sensitive instruments ever sent to look for potentially biological gases on Mars

Feedback: Quantum theory and the science of queueing

Loose screws and the uncertainty principle, one weird travel trick to drop a dress size, Sting sings to wine barrels, and more

Quantum. Crypto. Things happen. I blog.

1. A bunch of people emailed me to ask about the paper “Realization of a scalable Shor algorithm”: a joint effort by the groups of my MIT colleague Ike Chuang and of Innsbruck’s Rainer Blatt.  The paper has been on the arXiv since July, but last week everyone suddenly noticed it because it appeared in Science. Show More Summary

182-183/366: Dunking and Monkeying

Thursday was a travel day, the less said about which the better. So, while I do have a couple of cell-phone snaps from the day, I’m just going to ignore it, and give you two better photos from Friday and Saturday. These go nicely together, as you can see in the composite that’s the “featured…

181/366: Luxury

There’s a sort of Internet tradition of posting photos of hotel-room views when traveling, so here’s a very slightly artsy version of same: The first time I looked out the window, there was a big-ass truck parked directly in front of it. I like this version a little better, though. Kidding about the accommodations aside,…

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