What Counts As Successful Outreach?

Part of this past weekend’s meeting of the Committee on Informing the Public was to evaluate 100+ proposals for “mini-grants” of up to $10,000 for new outreach activities. It wouldn’t be appropriate to go into detail about any of the proposals or what we decided (the PI’s of the proposals we decided to fund will […]

Possibly Stupid Question: Why All These Extra Particles?

I’ve reached a point in the book-in-progress where I find myself needing to talk a little about particle physics. As this is very much not my field, this quickly led to a situation where the dog asked a question I can’t answer. But, hey, that’s why I have a blog with lots of smart readers… […]

The Status of Simulations

Most of what would ordinarily be blogging time this morning got used up writing a response to a question at the Physics Stack Exchange. But having put all that effort in over there, I might as well put it to use here, too… The question comes from a person who did a poster on terminology […]

Poll: Top Physics Story of 2010?

It’s the last week of the (calendar) year, which means it’s a good time to recap the previous twelve months worth of scientific news. Typically, publications like Physics World will publish a list of top ten physics stories of 2010, but we’re all Web 2.0 these days, so it seems more appropriate to put this […]

The Unexpected Leaping Ability of Bovines

I’m spending the day trying to get some work done on the book-in-progress, so I’m avoiding both work- and blog-related stuff. I don’t want to leave the site completely quiet, though, so here’s a question to ponder, relating to SteelyKid’s continuing fascination with Goodnight Moon: How does a cow jump over the moon? The father […]

The Calculus Diaries by Jennifer Ouellette

I finished Jennifer Ouellette’s new book a few weeks ago, shortly after my trip to Alabama, but it’s taken me a long time to get around to reviewing it due to a combination of too much work and being a Bad Person. There’s finally a tiny break in the storm of work, though, so here’s […]

The Problem With Innate Differences

In yesterday’s post about the experience of science, I mentioned that I had both a specific complaint about the article by Alexandra Jellicoe (which I explained in the post) and a general complaint about the class in which the article falls. I want to attempt to explain the latter problem, partly because I think it […]

Experiment vs. Theory: The Eternal Debate

Melissa at Confused at a Higher Level offers some thoughts on the relative status of experimental vs. theoretical science, spinning off a comprehensive discussion of the issues at Academic Jungle. I flagged this to comment on over the weekend, but then was too busy with SteelyKid and football to get to it. since I’m late […]

The Astrophysics of Bedtime Stories

SteelyKid is a big fan of the classic children’s book Goodnight Moon, which, if you haven’t spent the last sixty-odd years in a cave, you probably know features a bunny saying goodnight to a variety of objects in a great, green room. The attentive toddler will find a lot to look at in the pictures– […]

What Every Dog Should Know About Quantum Physics

A quick check-in from Tuscaloosa, where we’re getting ready to head out for the football tailgating. While I’ve got a minute, though, here are the slides from my public lecture, via SlideShare: What Every Dog Should Know About Quantum Physics View more presentations from Chad Orzel. These are probably less comprehensible that some of my […]