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Randomness Rules in Quantum Mechanics

So, Part II of my two-part series for American Scientist magazine about how to recognize random numbers is now out.  This part—whose original title was the one above, but was changed to “Quantum Randomness” to fit the allotted space—is all about quantum mechanics and the Bell inequality, and their use in generating “Einstein-certified random numbers.” […]

The supersymmetric bet

Particle physicists playfully take sides over whether the Large Hadron Collider is likely to discover evidence of Supersymmetry. Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have exactly two years to find evidence of new particles. Cognac...Show More Summary

QIP 2015

The website is up for QIP 2015, which will be held this year in beautiful Sydney, Australia. Here is a timeline of the relevant dates: Submission of talks deadline: 12/09/2014 Submission of posters deadline: 25/10/2014 Decision on talks and posters submitted before … Continue reading ?

Strings 2014

This coming week and the next Princeton will host both the big yearly string theory conference Strings 2014, and Prospects in Theoretical Physics 2014, a program designed to train young physicists in string theory. Princeton is definitely the right place … Continue reading ?

Weekend Plot: BaBar kicks ass

3 months agoAcademics / Physics : Resonaances

BaBar was an experiment studying 10 GeV electron-positron collisions. The collider is long gone, but interesting results keep appearing from time to time. Obviously, this is not a place to discover new heavy particles. However, due to...Show More Summary

Father’s Day 2014

Today is Father’s Day in the US, so I got a bunch of little gifts from the kids. The Pip’s was just a construction-paper card mostly made by his teachers, with a bit of scribble on it. SteelyKid’s, though, included a fill-in-the-blank booklet that she wrote on and drew pictures to go with. Some of…

Researchers imagine the accelerators of the future

At the LHC Physics Conference in New York, experts looked to the next steps in collider physics. In the late 1800s, many scientists thought that the major laws of physics had been discovered—that all that remained to be resolved were...Show More Summary

The Problems of the GRE

A bunch of people were talking about this Nature Jobs article on the GRE this morning while I was proctoring the final for my intro E&M class, which provided a nice distraction. I posted a bunch of comments about it to Twitter, but as that’s awfully ephemeral, I figured I might as well collect them…

Stockpiling Notebooks

3 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

As you know from my writings and sketches, I like to carry a notebook. People often ask me what types I use, or assume that I use the (increasingly fashionable) Moleskine books. I like Moleskine books (the little 3inx5in ones for example),...Show More Summary

Wave-particle duality

The concept of wave-particle duality ascribes two seemingly contradictory traits to a single object. Wave–particle duality is a concept in particle physics that ascribes two seemingly contradictory traits to a single object. Think of...Show More Summary

Pre-Tenure and Post-Hoc

I had a couple of conversations at DAMOP last week about career issues, and I just want to note that I will never get used to the idea that I’m a respected elder anything, whose advice would be valued. I basically feel like I lucked into my whole career, so I hesitate to advise others…

Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference

While I was away last week Columbia was hosting the Large Hadron Collider Physics (LHCP) conference here on campus. Talks are available here. Matt Strassler posts about some of the new Higgs results, which basically see some of the inconsistencies … Continue reading ?

Evidence in the Natural Sciences

I recently spent a day at the Simons Foundation in midtown, attending a symposium on Evidence in the Natural Sciences. Of the scientific program talks, I got the most out of the one by Thomas Hales on the question of … Continue reading ?

My Conversation with “Eugene Goostman,” the Chatbot that’s All Over the News for Allegedly Passing the Turing Test

If you haven’t read about it yet, “Eugene Goostman” is a chatbot that’s being heavily promoted by the University of Reading’s Kevin Warwick, for fooling 33% of judges in a recent Turing Test competition into thinking it was human, and thereby supposedly becoming “the first program to pass the Turing Test” as Turing defined it in […]

Science and diplomacy: Q&A with William Colglazier

The science and technology adviser to the US Secretary of State discusses how science and diplomacy can serve one another. William Colglazier, science and technology adviser to the US Secretary of State, gave a colloquium at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory on May 21. Show More Summary

Cosmos Reboot Wrap-Up

The Cosmos reboot season finale (or possibly series finale; not sure if they’re trying for a second set of episodes) was last night, but I wasn’t able to take part in the live-tweeting of it thanks to a super-restless Pip who didn’t drop off until 9:30 EDT. I suppose I could’ve waited to start the…

Past the End of Science

I haven’t yet seen a copy of Marcelo Gleiser’s new book, but this weekend the Wall Street Journal had a review by John Gribbin, author of the 2009 multiverse-promotional effort In Search of the Multiverse. I don’t know how Gleiser … Continue reading ?

Kickin’ Back

Made it home Friday evening after another bout of airline nonsense– they had replaced the plane for my flight into Albany with a smaller aircraft, so my email boarding pass assigned me to a nonexistent seat. Which had been corrected in their computer, but was never communicated to me, or to several other passengers who…

CERN announces winners of student research competition

The winners of the Beam Line for Schools competition will use a beam of particles at CERN to investigate one of the fundamental forces of nature and to test a home-built device. Following almost 300 submissions from school groups around the world, two teams have been selected to come to CERN to carry out their own experiments at a CERN beam line. Show More Summary

LHCb glimpses possible sign of new physics

A result presented at the LHC Physics conference in New York could show a crack in the Standard Model. This week at the LHC Physics conference in New York City, the LHCb collaboration presented a result that could be a hint of new physics. LHCb,...Show More Summary

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