New Neutrino Masses

If you’d like some, you know, physics from your physics blogs, here you go: Andrew Jaffe points out new results on neutrino oscillations from the MINOS group, providing new limits on the differences between the masses of different neutrino flavors. You can also read the Fermilab press release, which as a bonus contains some wonderful […]

The ScienceBlogs Diet

How big a dork am I? Well, you can see from the graph at left, roughly thirty pounds less of a dork than I was at the beginning of the year… Hey, man, it’s not science without graphs. So, as noted in passing in several other posts, I decided at the beginning of the year […]

Class Notes

I realize that I’ve been pretty bad about posting articles with explanatory physics content (even neglecting a couple of things that I promised to post a while back), but I have a good reason. All of my explanatory physics effort these days has been going into lecture writing, such as the two hours I spent […]

Quick Physics Notes

A couple of quick notes regarding physics stories that have caught my eye: 1) Like Doug Natelson, I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more discussion about the PRL claiming to have seen vacuum birefringence. The idea here is that a group in Italy passed light through a huge rotating magnetic field (5 Tesla, or about […]

Hugo Award Nominations

Last Friday, before descending into fluff topics like a serious scholarly treatment of Chris Mooney’s The Republican War on Science, Henry Farrell of Crooked Timber posted about something really important: The Hugo Awards. Weirdly, I find myself in the position of having read all of the Best Novel nominees, and this months before the awards […]

Universal Computer Simulator, Simulated

If you’ve ever read and been confused by computing theory books, you might appreciate the discussion of Turing machines at Good Math, Bad Math. Or, if you’re already happy with the whole Turing machine thing, you might just like that post for the link to a Turing machine simulator applet. Either way, it’s all good.

Technical Issues Open Thread

Two recurring issues regarding commenting: 1) There is some sort of a bug in the commenting software that occasionally causes comments to be rejected as lacking a valid email address, even when you have provided one. We think this is somehow related to the TypeKey registration required on some blogs, but it’s hard to reproduce. […]

Admissions Is a Hard Problem

There was an interesting article on Inside Higher Ed yesterday about the idea of “Affirmative Action for Men.” The piece was a response to an op-ed by Jennifer Delahunty Britz, an admissions officer at Kenyon College, where she talked about gender preferences in admissions, using the classic op-ed device of talking about a particular student […]

Revenge of the Pre-Meds

As the number of students taking physics who go on to major in physics is vanishingly small– something like 3% of students in introductory physics take even one more class– physics departments end up serving a number of different constituencies. There are students majoring in other sciences, future engineers, and then there are the pre-meds. […]