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Mountain Sketch

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

I went for a little hike on Sunday. Usually when I'm here visiting at the Aspen Center for Physics I go on several hikes, but this year it looks like I will only do one, and a moderate one at that. I had a bit of a foot injury several weeks ago, so don't want to put too much stress on it for a while. Show More Summary

What’s Hard to Understand is Classical Mechanics, Not Quantum Mechanics

For a zeroth slogan about quantum mechanics, I’ve chosen What’s hard to understand is classical mechanics, not quantum mechanics. The slogan is labeled by zero because it’s preliminary to what I’ve been writing about here. It explains why I don’t … Continue reading ?

Fall QM Course

This year I’ll be teaching a new version of the same course on quantum mechanics aimed at mathematicians that I taught during the 2012-3 academic year (there’s a web-page here). During the last course I started writing up notes, and … Continue reading ?

New game trades clicks for physics discoveries

A group of students at CERN have created a computer game that makes particle physics research as addictive as Candy Crush Saga. If you’re hearing an incessant clicking sound right now, someone around you has probably just discoveredShow More Summary

Perseids, Meet Supermoon!

2 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

So tonight (meaning the wee hours of Monday morning and the next few mornings, for optimum viewing - more civilised hours will work too, of course) the Perseid meteor shower will be on view! Have a look at this site (picked at random; there are many more) for more about how to view the meteors, in case you're not sure. Show More Summary

See You on the Other Side…

…of the Atlantic. After a few stress-inducing bits the less said about which the better, preparations are basically complete, and we’re heading out for London tonight. In the highly unlikely event that I haven’t done enough plugging of my appearances, here’s a compact list of where you’ll be able to find me if you happen…

Open access to the universe

A team of scientists generated a giant cosmic simulation—and now they're giving it away. A small team of astrophysicists and computer scientists have created some of the highest-resolution snapshots yet of a cyber version of our own cosmos. Show More Summary

Aspen Art Museum Opening

3 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

I just got back from the Aspen Art Museum's new building. They've been having a members-only series of nights before the big opening to the public in a few days, and an invitation was sent along to Aspen Center for Physics people to come along, and so (of course) I did. Show More Summary

Science on demand

Brian Greene welcomes the Internet to physics class with World Science U. Professor, author and string-theorist-about-town Brian Greene wants to expand the ways we learn about science. Greene, the author of popular physics books such...Show More Summary

Uncertain Dots 21

Our little hangout thing is now old enough to drink, in episode-years anyway, and to celebrate, we finally figured out how to get live audience feedback during the hangout. Which takes the first couple of minutes of the video, because we’re highly trained professional scientists. Once we got that sorted, we talked about a bunch…

In Motion…

3 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

Back in Aspen. I went back to LA for a long weekend, and my travel back to Aspen today gave me a lot of good thinking time. Also, I got a few very quick drawings done, such as the one on the right of a cooperative fellow (looking atShow More Summary

Quantum Connection Could Revitalize Superstrings

Finally back from vacation, postings may appear somewhat more regularly… Science journalist Tom Siegfried has been one of the most vociferous proponents of string theory for many, many years (see here), but even his faith seems like it might be … Continue reading ?

Neutrino researchers pull double duty

Neutrino researchers work collaboratively, sharing and comparing results to help advance the field of neutrino physics. For Philip Rodrigues, a postdoc at the University of Rochester, receiving a new dataset from the MINERvA neutrino...Show More Summary

Women of the Arxiv

Over at FiveThirtyEight, they have a number-crunching analysis of the number of papers (co)authored by women in the arxiv preprint server, including a breakdown of first-author and last-author papers by women, which are perhaps better indicators of prestige. The key time series graph is here: This shows a steady increase (save for a brief drop…

Impossible Thruster Probably Impossible

I’ve gotten a few queries about this “Impossible space drive” thing that has space enthusiasts all a-twitter. This supposedly generates thrust through the interaction of an RF cavity with a “quantum vacuum virtual plasma,” which is certainly a collection of four words that turn up in physics papers. An experiment at a NASA lab has…

The Social Event of the Season…

…if you’re a first-grader in Niskayuna, anyway. We’ve got 10-15 elementary school kids who are supposed to descend upon our house a bit before lunchtime. Morituri te salutamus… Kidding aside, it’s worth it, because SteelyKid is awesome, and she’s super excited to have a whole mob of her friends over. I just hope the rain…

Using the Higgs boson to search for clues

The Higgs boson could be the tool that leads scientists to the next big discovery. After a new particle such as the Higgs boson is discovered, scientists want to measure all of its properties as accurately as possible. Not only doesShow More Summary

Eureka! It’s a Book!

I took a short nap yesterday, and of course as soon as I lay down on the bed, Emmy erupted in the furious barking that signals the arrival of a package. When I went out to get it, I found shiny new bound galley proofs of Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist: I knew these were…

Café Talk

3 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

Here's a quick sketch I did while in Princeton last month, at a new café, Cafe Vienna. (See earlier posts here and here for sketches in an older Princeton Café. I'm using a thicker marker for this one, by contrast, giving a different...Show More Summary

Triply Dyonic

3 months agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

I thought I'd mentioned this already, but I could not find anything after a search on the blog so somehow I think I must have forgotten to. It is a cute thing about a certain favourite solution (or class of solutions) of Einstein's equations that I've talked about here before. Show More Summary

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