Things I’ve Never Quite Understood: Microscopic Picture of Blackbody Radiation

I’m putting together slides for a TED audition talk in a couple of weeks, about how the history of quantum mechanics is like a crossword puzzle. This involves talking about black-body radiation, which is the problem that kicked off QM– to explain the spectrum of light emitted by hot objects, Max Planck had to resort […]

On Class and Skills and Education

In a comment to yesterday’s post about the liberal arts, Eric Lund makes a good point: The best argument I have ever heard for doing scholarship in literature and other such fields is that some people find it fun. I single this out as a good point not because I want to sneer at the […]

Trapping Neutrinos?

One of the chapters of the book-in-progress talks about neutrino detection, drawing heavily on a forthcoming book I was sent for blurb/review purposes (about which more later). One of the little quirks of the book is that the author regularly referred to physicists trying to “trap” neutrinos. It took me a while to realize that […]