Tools of the Cold-Atom Trade: Optical Molasses

`Once upon a time there were three little sisters,’ the Dormouse began in a great hurry; `and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well–‘ `What did they live on?’ said Alice, who always took a great interest in questions of eating and drinking. `They lived on […]

Balance, Productivity, and Temper

It’s been a few days since I did a work-life balance whine, but it’s not like I’m not thinking about it. The problem for the moment is the psychology of trying to be productive in limited time. Specifically, while I know intellectually that I need to be efficient in working, and make the most of […]

Tools of the Cold-Atom Trade: Light Scattering Forces and Slow Atomic Beams

This series of posts is intended to explain the tools and tricks used to create and manipulate samples of ultra-cold atoms; thus, it’s appropriate to start with how we get those atoms in the first place. This will be a very quick background on the basic force used to make atoms cold, and then the […]

Tools of the Cold-Atom Trade: Introduction

I have a small collection of recent research papers that I’d like to write up open in various browser tabs and suchlike, but many of these would benefit from having some relatively clear and compact explanations of the underlying techniques. And while I can either dig up some old posts, or Google somebody else’s, it’s […]

Neil de Grasse Tyson Is John Harrison

Over at Galileo’s Pendulum, Matthew Francis expresses an opinion that’s sure to get him in trouble with the Inquisition and placed under house arrest: Carl Sagan’s Cosmos isn’t all that: However, even taking into account the differences in TV between 1980 and 2013, the show is very slow-paced at times. I’m not talking about the […]

Baseball and Gender Bias: “Number of Women in Physics Departments: A Simulation Analysis “

I’ve spent a bunch of time recently blogging about baseball statistics, which you might be inclined to write off as some quirk of a sports-obsessed scientist. I was very amused, therefore, to see Inside Higher Ed and ZapperZ writing about a new AIP report on women in physics (PDF) that uses essentially the same sort […]