Faster Than a Speeding Photon: “Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam”

There have been a lot of pixels spilled over this faster-than-light neutrino business, so it might not seem like something I should take time away from pressing work to write up. It is the story of the moment, though, and too much of the commentary I’ve seen has been of the form “I am a […]

The Physics of Frustration: “Quantum Simulation of Frustrated Classical Magnetism in Triangular Optical Lattices”

One of the benefits of having joined AAAS in order to get a reduced registration fee at their meeting is that I now have online access to Science at home. Including the Science Express advance online papers, which I don’t usually get on campus. Which means that I get the chance to talk about the […]

It’s Magnetic Moment Season: Measuring Various g-Factors

Among the articles highlighted in this week’s Physics is one about a new test of QED through a measurement of the g-factor of the electron in silicon ions. This comes on the heels of a measurement of proton spin flips (this includes a free PDF) a couple of weeks ago, and those, in turn, build […]

ResearchBlogging by Proxy: Physics on “Coherent Light Scattering from a Two-Dimensional Mott Insulator”

You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been making a concerted effort to do more ResearchBlogging posts explaining notable recent results. I’ve been trying to get at least one per week posted, and coming fairly close to that. I’ve been pretty happy with the fake Q&A format that I’ve settled into, and while […]

Commanding the Power of Thor…ium: “Wigner Crystals of 229Th for Optical Excitation of the Nuclear Isomer”

I have to admit, I’m writing this one up partly because it lets me use the title reference. It’s a cool little paper, though, demonstrating the lengths that physicists will go to in pursuit of precision measurements. I’m just going to pretend I didn’t see that dorky post title, and ask what this is about. […]

Watching Photons Interfere: “Observing the Average Trajectories of Single Photons in a Two-Slit Interferometer”

It’s been a long and brutally busy week here, so I really ought to just take a day off from blogging. But there’s a new paper in Science on quantum physics that’s just too good to pass up, so here’s a ReasearchBlogging post to close out the week. Aw, c’mon, dude, I’m tired. What’s so […]

What Goes Around Is Really Round: “Improved measurement of the shape of the electron”

The big physics story of the week is undoubtedly the new limit on the electric dipole moment (EDM) of the electron from Ed Hinds’s group at Imperial College in the UK. As this is something I wrote a long article on for Physics World, I’m pretty psyched to see this getting lots of media attention, […]

Active Engagement Works: “Improved Learning in a Large-Enrollment Physics Class”

Physics is a notoriously difficult and unpopular subject, which is probably why there is a large and active Physics Education Research community within physics departments in the US. This normally generates a lot of material in the Physical Review Special Topics journal, but last week, a PER paper appeared in Science, which is unusual enough […]

Proving Einstein Wrong…ish: Measurement of the Instantaneous Velocity of a Brownian Particle

Last summer, there was a fair bit of hype about a paper from Mark Raizen’s group at Texas which was mostly reported with an “Einstein proven wrong” slant, probably due to this press release. While it is technically true that they measured something Einstein said would be impossible to measure, that framing is a little […]