Faster Than a Speeding Photon: “Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam”

There have been a lot of pixels spilled over this faster-than-light neutrino business, so it might not seem like something I should take time away from pressing work to write up. It is the story of the moment, though, and too much of the commentary I’ve seen has been of the form “I am a […]

Neutrino Hypotheses Non Fingo

The final sentence of the neutrino paper that everybody is buzzing about: We deliberately do not attempt any theoretical or phenomenological interpretation of the results. From a somewhat older work in physics: Rationem vero harum gravitatis proprietatum ex phænomenis nondum potui deducere, et hypotheses non fingo. Quicquid enim ex phænomenis non deducitur, hypothesis vocanda est; […]

How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog: The Cover

I’m looking at an email from my editor when Emmy wanders by the computer, sniffing around just in case a crumb of food has fallen on the floor in the last five minutes. “Hey,” I say, “Come here and look at this.” “Look at what?” “This:” “It’s the cover for my new book.” “A-hem.” “OK, […]

Active Learning Experiment: The First 1.6 Weeks

As mentioned a while back, I’m experimenting with “active learning” techniques in my intro courses this term. Specifically, I’m doing a variant of the “Peer Instruction” method developed by Eric Mazur and others. There are a few complications imposed by our calendar/ class schedule, but I’m giving it a shot, and I thought I’d report […]

Cute Toddler Story

Those of you who follow me on Twitter/ Facebook have been getting the occasional snippet of cute dialogue from SteelyKid over there. This one’s a little too long for breaking into 140-character blocks, so while I wait for her to come downstairs so we can make pancakes, a cute SteelyKid story: We play a surprising […]