The Problems of Science Media Are Not Unique

On Twitter and blogs, we’re having another round of complaints about sensationalism and hype in science stories– Matthew Francis and Gabrielle Rabinowitz are the latest to cross my social media feeds. I’ve also seen some stories recently (that I’m too lazy to dig up) complaining about the latest Higgs Boson stuff, and I’m sure if […]

How Do You Make Negative Temperatures, Anyway?

Last week’s post talked about the general idea of negative temperature, with reference to this much-talked-about Science paper (which also comes in a free arxiv version from which the figures used here are taken). I didn’t go into the details of how they made a negative temperature gas, though, and as it’s both very clever […]

What Does “Negative Temperature” Mean, Anyway?

The most talked-about physics paper last week was probably Negative Absolute Temperature for Motional Degrees of Freedom (that link goes to the paywalled journal; there’s also a free arxiv preprint from which the above figure is taken). It’s a catchy but easily misinterpreted title– Negative absolute temperature! Below Absolute Zero! Thermodynamics is wrong!– that obscures […]

What’s So Interesting About Single Quantum Systems? Physics Nobel 2012

In which we do a little imaginary Q&A to explain the significance of Tuesday’s Nobel Prize to Dave Wineland and Serge Haroche. ———— I did a quick post Tuesday morning noting that the latest Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to two big names from my corner of the field. This would’ve been a great […]

Congratulations to Dave Wineland, Serge Haroche, and KSC

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics was announced this morning, going to Serge Haroche and Dave Wineland, “for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems”. This isn’t a pair that was getting much love from the prognosticators, but they’re an excellent choice. And, in fact, commenter KSC correctly picked Wineland […]

Nobel Prize Betting Pool 2012

It’s that time of year again, when everybody pays attention to Sweden for a couple of months: the 2012 Nobel Prizes are about to be announced. Which means it’s time for the game everybody loves to tolerate: the Uncertain Principles Nobel Betting Pool: Leave a comment to this post predicting at least one of the […]

Figure 2

Simulating Wires with Atoms and Light: “Conduction of Ultracold Fermions Through a Mesoscopic Channel”

So, it’s been a while, but let’s see if we can’t hit the ground running with a good physics post. There have been a few notable physics events since I went on hiatus, but for a return to physics ResearchBlogging, we’ll go with something near and dear to my heart, ultracold atoms. Specifically, this Science […]