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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.
  • This second eBook in our Ask the Experts series – Astronomy – looks skyward and explains a variety of universal phenomena and theories. ...

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  • Manh(a)ttan Recap: Cracking the Implosion Case [SPOILERS]

    Boys and Their Toys: Lazar (Peter Stormare), Frank Winter (John Benjamin Hickey) and Charlie Isaacs (Ashley Zukerman) testing the waters for shock wave control.

    The beleaguered physicists in Frank Winter’s group finally get some good news on the implosion front in this week’s episode of Manh(a)ttan. It’s titled “The Understudy,” a reference to the fact that Jim Meeks, one of the scientists in Frank Winter’s group, has an understudy role in the base camp’s upcoming production of Our Town: [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: September 27, 2014

    Planck’s full-sky map showing the projected dust contamination at 150 GHz. Credit: Planck collaboration.

    The big physics news this week was the announcement of the long-awaited results from the Planck missions — and the news is not good for the BICEP2 collaboration: the Study Confirmed Criticism of BICEP2′s original Big Bang Finding.  They may have had space dust in their eyes. Researchers on the Planck mission say galactic dust [...]

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    Manh(a)ttan Recap: Sex, Lies, and Subterfuge [SPOILERS]

    Frank Winter (John Benjamin Hickey) and Lazar (Peter Stormare) face off against would-be blackmailer Javier Raoul Truiillo).

    In physics, “spooky action at a distance” is a colloquial term for the famous EPR paradox, devised by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen in the 1930s to describe the bizarre implications of quantum entanglement. In essence, two particles that become entangled can be separated in space and yet still influence each other instantaneously, [...]

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    Physicists on Ice: Exploring the Physics of Curling

    Caltech's Clifford Cheung prepares to throw a curling stone.

    Last Friday I joined a contingent of Caltech physicists (including the Time Lord) for an afternoon of curling — yeah, you heard me, curling — in honor of Caltech theoretical physicist Mark Wise‘s 60th birthday. Turning 60 is a big deal among physicists, often marked by a special conference commemorating the honoree’s work. Wise’s past [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: September 20, 2014

    The aurora borealis shimmers above the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø, Norway on September 12, 2014. (Photo: ©Tom Yulsman)

    On the latest episode of the Know Brainer Podcast, I chatted with host Christina Ochoa about Self- Experimentation, Time and Identity, and Body Fluids in Art. It’s available on iTunes or via Libsyn direct feed for your listening pleasure. And check out prior episodes of this most excellent podcast. Everything was coming up Rosetta this [...]

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    Manh(a)ttan Recap: Dead in the Water [SPOILERS]

    Charlie Isaacs (Ashley Zukerman) ponders whether to reveal his discovery of a critical flaw in the Thin Man bomb design on "Manh(a)ttan.

    The British are coming! The British are coming! To Manh(a)ttan, that is. This week’s episode (“The Second Coming”) finds our intrepid community of physicists eagerly awaiting their own British invasion: the arrival of an elite contingent of some of the greatest scientific minds in Britain, come to join forces with the Americans (and European refugees) [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: September 13, 2014

    "Halong Bay-0215," by James Proctor, http://jamesmakes.com

    This week on Virtually Speaking Science, I chatted with Caltech’s Spiros Michalakis about quantum computing, quantum information, and when we might expect Google to have a quantum computer inside every self-driving flying car. Then there was a bunch of stuff about the implications for space and time being emergent that blew Jen-Luc Piquant’s mind and [...]

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    New Bond Breaker Game Puts You in the Proton’s Seat

    Source: Test Tube Games/CaSTL group, UC-Irvine

    Admit it: haven’t you always longed to experience what it’s like to be a proton at the subatomic scale? No? Just Jen-Luc Piquant then. And now she can, thanks to a new game called Bond Breaker, released at the end of August simultaneously on the Web, and as apps for the iPhone and Android. The [...]

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    Manh(a)ttan Recap: Let’s Get Critical [SPOILERS]

    Abby (Rachel Brosnahan) and Elodie (Carole Weyers) might just be More Than BFFs.

    Things are heating up all over in this week’s episode of Manh(a)ttan (“The New World”). Not only is the X10 nuclear reactor in Tennessee firing up, romantic sparks are flying on several fronts, setting up a metaphorical chain reaction among all the convoluted personal relationships that one suspects will ultimately go critical. Let’s get right [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: September 6, 2014

    A knitted fabric circuit board. A) A close up of the fabric over a finger; B) Front; C) Back; D) Cross-sectional view, plus illustration of the knit.  Qiao Li et al./Royal Society

    The folks at TED-Ed asked for my recommendations regarding Math 101: A reading list for lifelong learners. I also have a post up this week at the NOVA physics blog: Quantum Physicists Catch a Pilot Wave. Also: Check out Natalie Wolchover’s great feature for Quanta on the implications of these experiments from earlier this year. [...]

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