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LSST construction begins

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will take the most thorough survey ever of the Southern sky. Today a group will gather in northern Chile to participate in a traditional stone-laying ceremony. The ceremony marks the beginning of construction...Show More Summary

Yet More Academic Hiring: 2:1 Bias in Favor of Women?

I continue to struggle to avoid saying anything more about the Hugo mess, so let’s turn instead to something totally non-controversial: gender bias in academic hiring. Specifically, this new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science titled “National hiring experiments reveal 2:1 faculty preference for women on STEM tenure track” with this…

Discovering Baltimore’s Inner Scientist, Hon

I’ve been falling down on the job of informing you about promotional events for Eureka, mostly because the pace of these has slackened. But I’ll be on the radio today, on WYPR’s “Midday with Dan Rodricks” based in Baltimore (I’ll be in the usual studio in Albany for this…). This is scheduled for a full…

Mapping the cosmos: Dark Energy Survey creates detailed guide to spotting dark matter

This Fermilab press release came out on April 13, 2015. Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have released the first in a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos. These maps, created with one of the world’s most powerful digital cameras, are the largest contiguous maps created at this level of detail and will

Excellent Witten Interview!

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

I just learned of an excellent interview with Edward Witten, one or our field's grandmasters, or rather: the grandmasters' grandmaster. I strongly recommend reading it. (This is for technically equipped people working in the field, most...Show More Summary

DES releases dark matter map

The Dark Energy Survey's detailed maps may help scientists better understand galaxy formation. Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have released the first in a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos. These maps, created with one of...Show More Summary

Good Examples of Science in Fiction

I continue to read way too much about the ongoing Hugo mess, and will most likely eventually lose my battle not to say anything more about it. In an attempt to redirect that impulse in a productive direction, I wrote a thing for Forbes about some of my favorite treatments of science in SF: Of…

LAIH Luncheon with Amy Parish

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

For Friday's Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities luncheon we had a presentation from anthropologist/primatologist Amy Parish (an LAIH Fellow) on the work she's been doing with bonobos at a zoo in Stuttgart. She updated us on how...Show More Summary

The Pip: Future Comic-Book Movie Screenwriter

The Pip is in a big superhero phase at the moment, and all of his games revolve around being a superhero of some sort. He has also basically memorized a couple of 30-page Justice League books, after demanding them over and over at bedtime. As I did with SteelyKid, I make a game out of…

Bright Lights and Up-Tempo Tracks

The folks on the Hold Steady fan board arranged a Mix CD exchange recently, and I agreed to take part, putting together a playlist of stuff and sending off a bunch of electronic files a couple of weeks ago (I don’t know if the drive on my desktop can even burn CD’s any more, even…

Why Small Colleges Are Great For Science Students

We’re into admitted student season, that muddy period when large numbers of anxious high-school seniors visit college campuses all over the nation, often with parents in tow, trying to decide where to spend the next four years. As a result, I’ll be spending a good deal of time over the next few weeks talking to…

LHC breaks energy record

The Large Hadron Collider has beaten its own world record for accelerating particles. Around midnight last night, engineers at CERN broke a world record when they accelerated a beam of particles to 6.5 trillion electronvolts—60 percent...Show More Summary

LHC News

The LHC has just ramped up for the first time to 6.5 TeV, and has a probe beam circulating in one direction, the highest energy protons humans have ever accelerated. You can follow what’s happening here. The BBC has gotten … Continue reading ?

CUORE-0 Results Tour Kicks Off

The CUORE-0 collaboration just announced a result: a new limit of 2.7 x1024 years (90%C.L.) on the halflife of neutrinoless double beta decay in 130Te. Or, if you combine it with the data from Cuorecino, 4.0×1024 years. A paper has been sent to the arXiv preprint server and submitted to the journal Physical Review Letters. Read the full article

On Hugo Voting Slates and Clustering

This Hugo nomination scandal continues to rage on, and much of what’s going on is just a giant sucking vortex of stupid. Standing out from this, though, is the guest post by Bruce Schneier at Making Light, which cuts through the bullshit to get to what’s really important, namely using this as an excuse to…

Seeing dark matter without seeing

Indirect detection experiments might be the key to discovering invisible dark matter. The race for the discovery of dark matter is on. Several experiments worldwide are searching for the mysterious substance and pushing the limits on...Show More Summary

Absence of gravitational-wave signal extends limit on knowable universe

This article appeared in Fermilab Today on Thursday, April 9. Imagine an instrument that can measure motions a billion times smaller than an atom that last a millionth of a second. Fermilab’s Holometer is currently the only machine with the ability to take these very precise measurements of space and time, and recently collected data Read the full article

Tales from the Industry XXXX – Relative

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

(Click images for larger view.) Last Tuesday was a bit unusual. I've been chatting for a while with the people making a new BBC/PBS(NOVA) special in celebration of it being 100 years since Einstein's presentation of the field equations...Show More Summary

News of the Multiverse

Just about ten years ago, my April 1 posting here was a fantasy about the Stanford ITP getting major funding from the Templeton Foundation, using it to fund a program on the multiverse, and renaming themselves the Stanford Templeton Research … Continue reading ?

Quantum purity: How the big picture banishes weirdness

Nobody really understands the quantum world. But a change of perspective might be all we need to make sense of it – and get to the theory of everything

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