Why Physicists Disparage Philosophers, In Three Paragraphs

Periodically, some scientific celebrity from the physical sciences– Neil deGrasse Tyson or Stephen Hawking, say– will say something dismissive about philosophy, and kick off a big rush of articles about how dumb their remarks are, how important philosophy is, and so on. Given that this happens on a regular basis, you might wonder why it […]

Attempted Mpemba Effect

One of my favorite modern tales of scientific discovery is the Mpemba Effect, named after Erasto Mpemba, a schoolboy in Tanzania who noticed while making ice cream that hot mix put in the freezer solidified faster than cold. This counter-intuitive result has been replicated a bunch of times, and physicists and chemists continue to debate […]

The Exotic Physics of an Ordinary Morning: My TEDxAlbany Talk

So, yesterday was my big TEDxAlbany talk. I was the first speaker scheduled, probably because I gave them the title “The Exotic Physics of an Ordinary Morning,” so it seemed appropriate to have me talking while people were still eating breakfast… The abstract I wrote when I did the proposal mentions both quantum physics and […]

Another Terrible Defense of “The Humanities”

Somebody in my social media feeds passed along a link to this interview with Berkeley professor Daniel Boyarin about “the humanities,” at NPR’s science-y blog. This is, of course, relevant to my interests, but sadly, but while it’s a short piece, it contains a lot to hate. For one thing, after the dismissive one-two of […]

My Week in Waterloo

I spent the last few days in Ontario, attending the Convergence meeting at the Perimeter Institute. This brought a bunch of Perimeter alumni and other big names together for a series of talks and discussions about the current state and future course of physics. My role at this was basically to impersonate a journalist, and […]