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Cocktail Party Physics

Physics Week in Review: October 25, 2014

Credit: Tang-Ngiap Heng, http://www.thepond.com.sg

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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Cocktail Party Physics

Physics Week in Review: October 18, 2014

Credit: Carol Milne, http://www.carolmilne.com

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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Cocktail Party Physics

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

Blue light-emitting diodes prove Nobel-worthy. Credit: Wikimedia user:Gussisaurio, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/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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Cocktail Party Physics

Physics Week in Review: October 4, 2014

Credit: Aiko Miyanaga, http://www.aiko-m.com/eindex.html

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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Cocktail Party Physics

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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Cocktail Party Physics

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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Cocktail Party Physics

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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Cocktail Party Physics

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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Cocktail Party Physics

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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Cocktail Party Physics

Physics Week in Review: August 23, 2014

Credit: Robert Bosch, http://www.dominoartwork.com

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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Doing Good Science

Scary subject matter.

Death

This being Hallowe’en, I felt like I should serve you something scary. But what? Verily, we’ve talked about some scary things here: Dangers to life and limb in academic chemistry labs, and the suggestion that lab safety is too expensive. My unsavory habit of sending gastropods in my garden to a soapy end Implicit biases [...]

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Doing Good Science

Reading the writing on the (Facebook) wall: a community responds to Dario Maestripieri.

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Imagine an academic scientist goes to a big professional meeting in his field. For whatever reason, he then decides to share the following “impression” of that meeting with his Facebook friends: My impression of the Conference of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans. There are thousands of people at the conference and an unusually [...]

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Doing Good Science

Things to read on my other blog: #scio12 preparations, truthiness at NYT, and an interview with a chloroplast.

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For those of you who mostly follow my writing here on “Doing Good Science,” I thought I should give you a pointer to some things I’ve posted so far this month (which is almost half-over already?!) on my other blog, “Adventures in Ethics and Science”. Feel free to jump in to the discussions in the [...]

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