Another month, another collection of blog posts for Forbes:
— The Physics Of Century-Old Mirror Selfies: Back in the early 1900’s there was a brief vogue for trick pictures showing the same person from five different angles; this post explains how to do that with mirrors.
— Why Research By Undergraduates Is Important For Science And Students: A reply to an essay talking up the products of undergraduate research projects, arguing that the most valuable part of research is the effect on students.
— What Does It Mean To Share ‘Raw Data’?: Some thoughts on the uselessness of much “raw data” in my field to anyone outside the lab where it was produced.
— Breaking Stuff Is An Essential Part Of The Scientific Process: Thoughts on how the most important year of my grad school career was the frustrating one in which I broke and then repaired everything in the lab.
— Measuring The Speed Of Quantum Tunneling: A couple of recent experiments use a clever trick to look at whether there’s a time delay as electrons tunnel out of an atom in a strong electric field. Unfortunately, they get very different results…
I was a little disappointed that the photo-multigraph thing didn’t get more traction, but it was fun to do, so that’s okay. The quantum tunneling post did surprisingly well– I thought it was likely to be a little too technical to really take off, but it did. Always nice when that happens.
The other three are closely related to a development at work, namely that on July 1 I officially added “Director of Undergraduate Research” to the many hats I wear. I’m in charge of supervising the research program at Union, disbursing summer fellowships and small grants for research projects and conference travel, and arranging a number of research-oriented events on campus. This involves a certain amount of administrative hassle, but then again, it’s hassle in the service of helping students do awesome stuff, so I’m happy to do it.
Anyway, that’s where things are. Blogging will very likely tail off dramatically for the fall, possibly as soon as this month (though I already have one post up), as I have a book on contract due Dec. 1, and a review article due to a journal a month later. And, you know, classes to teach and research to direct…