Another month, another set of blog posts. This one includes the highest traffic I think I’ve ever seen for a post, including the one that started me on the path to a book deal:
— The ALPHA Experiment Records Another First In Measuring Antihydrogen: The good folks trapping antimatter at CERN have now measured the hyperfine spectrum of hydrogen, which is a good excuse to explain what that is and why it matters.
— 7 Suggestions For Succeeding In Science In College: It’s the time of year when lots of people give unsolicited advice to the college-bound, and who am I to buck that trend?
— How To Look At The Sun Without Buying Eclipse Glasses: How to make a pinhole camera, and the optics of how it works.
— Quantum Physics Isn’t Magic But Thermodynamics Seems That Way: Looking at the microscopic physics of boiling water is pretty incredible.
— Why Do Basketball Shooters Put Spin On The Ball: A look at the physics of why basketball coaches teach kids to “follow through” in order to put back spin on a jump shot.
The eclipse thing, as you can tell from the date stamp, was knocked together very quickly on the weekend before the Monday total eclipse. Later that evening, I went to look at how many people had read it, and was completely shocked– I guess Google picked it up really quickly, or something, but it got over a quarter-million views in the course of an afternoon. I was hoping it’d hit half a million, but even Mick Jagger can’t always get what he wants, so who am I to complain?
I was also very surprised at how well the thermodynamics post did, which I thought might’ve been a little too noodle-y, but it got a lot of pleased responses. Maybe there’s more of an audience than I thought out there hoping for someone to write at length about thermal physics…
Anyway, that’s August’s crop of posts. I’m not going to officially call a halt, but with the new academic year starting next Wednesday, posting is likely to slow wayyyy down. But then again, a lot of other things in the world suck at the moment, so blogging about physics might turn out to be a pleasant break…