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    Jennifer Ouellette Jennifer Ouellette is a science writer who loves to indulge her inner geek by finding quirky connections between physics, popular culture, and the world at large. Follow on Twitter @JenLucPiquant.
  • During allergy season, sufferers know the drill: runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing up a storm. If you also have asthma, symptoms might also include coughing and wheezing. Then there’s the common cold, which also presents with similar symptoms. ...

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  • Manh(a)ttan Recap: Assembling a Nuclear Family

    The cast of "Manh(A)ttan."

    Jen-Luc Piquant was eagerly anticipating the premiere of the new series, Manh(a)ttan, on WGN America, a historic 13-episode (to start) drama set at Los Alamos in the early days of the Manhattan Project. We’re such huge fans of physics history, after all, and the World War II era is particularly rich fodder for both big [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: July 26, 2014

    Credit: Carlo Bernardini,

    Meet the 2014 recipient of the AIP Gemant Award, my own Time Lord, Sean Carroll. “Science isn’t a separate kind of human endeavor, utterly different from other things that we do,” said Carroll. “It’s part of what makes us human, a natural outcome of our intrinsic curiosity and urge to better understand the world.”  Related: [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: July 19, 2014

    Credit: Kwon O. Chul,

    It’s been a busy week on the physics front, so let’s get the shameless self-promotion out of the way upfront. I chatted with NPR’s Arun Rath on Weekend Edition about my recent New Scientist article on digital history and London’s Old Bailey.  The Open Notebook interviewed me and several other physics-centric science writers about tackling [...]

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    GUEST POST: Adjunct Instructors Petition for Change

    Credit: Ann Kottner

    Note: We’re pleased to feature a guest post by former Cocktail Party Physics co-blogger Ann (Lee) Kottner. Jennifer has graciously given me space to ask for some help from the science writing and STEM academic and post-ac community. If you’ve been in academia at any time in the last 30 years, you know that the [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: July 12, 2014


    This week, the marvelous documentary about the discovery of the Higgs boson, Particle Fever, became available on iTunes. It’s well worth a download. And Higgs fever continues apace, at least among particle physicists. The Higgs Particle Behaves In A Way Consistent With The Standard Model – Maybe A Dark Supersymmetry?  Related: Does The Higgs Violate [...]

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    Physics Week in Review (Independence Day Edition): July 5, 2014

    Image Credit: NASA/Alzate/SDO

    It’s Fourth of July weekend in the US, so our American readers are hopefully enjoying the long weekend away from the Internet. For everyone else, Jen-Luc Piquant has her usual round of nifty physics-related links gleaned from the past week of Web surfing. First up in a bunch of holiday-themed links: Hidden vortices! The Science [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: June 28, 2014

    Image courtesy of József HAJDÚ and Ksenia Vytuleva.

    Confirmed: That Was Definitely the Higgs Boson Found at LHC — you know, in case you were still wondering. Related: New result from LHC strengthens the case that the Higgs interacts with both types of particles in the Standard Model. Also: The Higgs Boson Should Have Crushed the Universe: inflation “really throws a wrench into [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: June 21, 2014

    Credit: Jim Dingilian,

    It’s the physics story that just won’t die. BICEP2 was back in the news yet again as the collaborators finally published their much-anticipated peer-reviewed paper, prompting headlines like this: Astronomers Hedge on Big Bang Detection Claim.  Okay, so maybe they had dust in their eyes but they reaffirmed ripples in time in their published paper, [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: June 14, 2014

    Image: NASA Ames Research Center

    Just a reminder for those of you in the Chicago area: I’ll be speaking Monday July 16th, 6 PM, at the Harold Washington Library Center. And in case you missed this week’s Virtually Speaking Science, I chatted with Jacquelyn Morie about avatars, identity and the potential of virtual worlds. Oh, and I have a feature [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: June 7, 2014

    Credit: Alain Delorme,

    As you read this, we are flying home to Los Angeles after an exhausting but exhilarating trip: 10 days, 2 continents, 3 flights, 2 trains, 4 hotels, 18 car rides, 7 panel discussions, 3 interviews, and 5 lectures between the two of us.  (The circles under my eyes are now saucers.) First stop: New York [...]

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