Amazing Laser Application 9: Fusion!

What’s the application? The goal of laser ignition fusion experiments is to heat and compress a target to the point where the nuclei of the atoms making up the sample fuse together to form a new, heavier nucleus, releasing energy in the process. Nuclear fusion is, of course, what powers stars, and creating fusion in […]

Belated March Meeting Wrap-Up

I did one sketchy update from Portland last Tuesday, but never wrote up my impressions of the rest of the March Meeting– when I got back, I was buried in grading, and then trying to put together Monday’s presentation. And, for reasons that will become apparent, I was unable to write anything up before I […]

The Faulty Fluid Dynamics of Hotel Environmentalism

Boskone this past weekend was held at the Westin Waterfront in Boston, which has these funky double showerheads that they charmingly call the “Heavenly(R) Shower” (hype aside, they are very nice showers). The picture at right is courtesy of lannalee on Twitter, as I didn’t bring a camera. Why am I telling you this? Because […]

Why Every Dog Should Love Quantum Physics 2: Solar Panels

Yesterday’s reason to love quantum was the CCD sensor, which relies on the photoelectric effect to take digital pictures. Sticking with the photoelectric theme, today’s first quantum-enabled technology is the photovoltaic cell, the basis for solar panels. Photovoltaic cells convert light into electricity, essentially via the same photoelectric effect used in CCD’s. A photon of […]

Snowy Poll

I just finished shoveling six-plus inches of snow off our cars and driveway (the forecast called for something like 3-5″, but we’ve got more than that, with no slowing in the fall). In honor of the first significant snowfall of the year, a poll: It’s snowing:(survey) This one has ticky-boxes, which will play hell with […]