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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.
  • Martin Gardner would have celebrated his 100th birthday this October, and to mark the occasion we’ve created this eBook collection, Martin Gardner: The Magic and Mystery of Numbers. ...

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  • Physics Week in Review: October 25, 2014

    Credit: Tang-Ngiap Heng,

    Halloween is a week away, and for those in search of costume ideas, here are some Physics-Themed Halloween Costumes to make zombie Einstein proud. If Jen-Luc Piquant weren’t rocking the vampire look, she would totes dress up as a Feynman diagram. Also: Ten Nerdy Science Costumes for Halloween. It’s almost time for the premiere of [...]

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    Manh(a)ttan Recap: Sacrificing the Few for the Many [SPOILERS]

    Frank Winter (John Benjamin Hickey) is promoted by J. Robert Oppenheimer (Daniel London) on WGN America's "Manh(a)ttan."

    Rejoice, my fellow fans of Manh(a)ttan (a.k.a. “Fanhattans”), for this critically acclaimed fledgling series on WGN America has been renewed for a second season, just in time for the season finale (“Perestroika”). We’ve watched our characters — Frank Winter chief among them — weave an elaborate web of secrets and lies over the course of [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: October 18, 2014

    Credit: Carol Milne,

    It was Ada Lovelace Day this past week, So Here’s The Life And Times Of Ada Lovelace, The First Computer Programmer.  Related: Beyond Emmy (Noether) and Sophie (Germain): Resources for Learning about Women in Math.  Also: Take the Guardian‘s quiz: how much do you know about women in science? Bonus: This Ada Lovelace Inspired Artwork [...]

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    Manh(a)ttan Recap: Thin Man Implodes [SPOILERS]

    David Harbour as Reed Ackley and Ashley Zukerman as Charlie Isaacs.

    Secrets have a way of coming out, one way or the other, despite one’s best efforts to contain them, and boy howdy, do they ever on the penultimate episode of Manh(a)ttan. In the process, “The Gun Model” finally sheds some light on the enigmatic cipher that is Reed Ackley, head of the Thin Man design [...]

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    Physics Week in Review (Nobel ’14 Edition): October 11, 2014

    Blue light-emitting diodes prove Nobel-worthy. Credit: Wikimedia user:Gussisaurio,

    It was the Nobel Prize announcement that launched a thousand “How many physicists does it take to change a light bulb?” jokes on twitter. (I know, we all thought we were being totes original.)  The Nobel Prize committee awarded this year’s prize in physics to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura, who produced blue [...]

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    Manh(a)ttan Recap: Casualties of War [SPOILERS]

    Tom Lancefield (Josh Cooke) and his wife Elodie (Carole Weyers) are arrested for suspected treason on "Manh(a)ttan."

    Relationships are fraying right and left, with betrayal, after betrayal after betrayal, this week on Manh(a)ttan, as we kick off the first (“Tangier”) of the final three episodes of the season. You might remember that Colonel Cox told Frank Winter about a German scientist dubbed “Magpie,” who was passing secrets to the US on the [...]

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    Physics and the Human Factor: A Q&A with the Writers on Manh(a)ttan


    There are just three episodes left for Season 1 of WGN America’s most excellent new series, Manh(a)ttan — or as Jen-Luc Piquant has taken to calling it, The Best New Show You’re Not Watching. Seriously people, why aren’t more of you watching? We’re hardcore fans here at the cocktail party, and hence jumped at the [...]

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    Physics Week in Review: October 4, 2014

    Credit: Aiko Miyanaga,

    While everyone’s biding their time for next week’s Nobel prize announcements — and in some cases, indulging in some speculative predictions — scientific progress marches on. Case in point: Physicists have found Evidence Of A Particle That Is Its Own Antiparticle, both matter and antimatter. Researchers observed the signature of “Majorana particles” — originally predicted [...]

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    Nobel Crystal Ball: Predictions for the 2014 Prize in Physics

    Credit: Kamioka Observatory, Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, The University of Tokyo.

    Excitement is building — at least in science circles — for the upcoming announcements of the 2014 Nobel Prizes, along with the inevitable speculation about who might be among this year’s winners. Jen-Luc Piquant normally eschews this kind of speculation (selection committees work in mysterious and unpredictable ways), but Smithsonian magazine invited me to channel [...]

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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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