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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.
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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,

    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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    Manh(a)ttan Recap: Security Theater and Safety Risks [SPOILERS]

    (L-R) Charlie Isaacs (Ashley Zuckerman) and Helen Prins (Katja Herbers) confront Daniel Ellis (John Carroll Lynch) about their safety concerns regarding the nuclear reactor facility as Theodore Sinclair (Corey Allen) looks on.

    The race for the first atomic bomb heats up, and we learn more about the human cost in terms of safety and security protocols on this week’s episode of Manh(a)ttan. “Acceptable Limits” proved to be another more leisurely paced episode, yet tightly plotted, methodically moving pieces in place for what promises to be some fireworks [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: August 30, 2014

    Image: Gabriela Barreto.

    Science Friday LIVE came to Caltech on Wednesday night, for a fun-filled evening exploring the intersection between Hollywood and science. Fortunately, you can listen to the audio if you missed the event. Program highlights included Making Hollywood Digital Doubles: USC scientist Paul Debevec and Avatar actor Stephen Lang talked about how convincing “digital actors” are [...]

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    Manh(a)ttan Recap: The Sins of the Past [SPOILERS]

    Daniel Stern plays Glen Babbit on "Manh(a)ttan, a scientist with a secret in his past.

    If you were wondering how Manh(a)ttan was planning to up the stakes yet again after the death of Sid Liao and the ensuing fallout, the latest episode (“A New Nuclear Cosmology”) should address that curiosity, as sins both past and present take center stage — and if a few immediate consequences may have been temporarily [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: August 23, 2014

    Credit: Robert Bosch,

    Summer is winding down, but the ongoing drought in much of the southwestern US shows no sign of abating. In fact, it’s so dry in California (where we live) that the ground is literally rising. “One doesn’t think of rock as being elastic, but over tens and hundreds of kilometers, the Earth is behaving elastically.”  [...]

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    Manh(a)ttan Recap: An Appetite for Self-Destruction [SPOILERS]

    Ashley Zukerman as Charlie Isaacs and Christian Clemenson as Niels Bohr in "Manh(a)ttan.

    The residents of the Los Alamos base camp receive a special visitor in this week’s episode of Manh(a)ttan — none other than Niels Bohr, he of the infamous model of the atom and one of the unquestioned giants of 20th century physics. Gossip abounds in advance of the great man’s arrival, namely, speculation that the [...]

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