Built on Facts

Archives for August, 2008

The Speed of Light Rock

I spent a few hours on the interstate this weekend, and I heard a Kid Rock song on the radio called “All Summer Long”. If your tastes are anything like mine you’d probably rather not hear it. The song describes Kid’s life as an 18-year-old, when “it was summertime in northern Michigan”. Basically he does…

Defending Science

There’s a long list of things that scientists do that are unpopular. The creation/evolution argument rages on, the stem cell fight still provokes legislative skirmishes, genetic research raises discrimination concerns, neuroscience questions the very sense of self, and that’s just the tip of the research iceberg. In broader science culture, there’s nuclear energy, Yucca mountain,…

Boltzmann Breakfast

A few days ago Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy wrote a beautifully clear post about why there are no green stars. If I can summarize, it’s because anything that’s been heated up enough to emit green light is also hot enough to emit red, yellow, and some blue as well. The combination appears to us…

Sunday Function

The Sine Function. Calm and dignified, it sits among the royal court of the Elementary Functions, presiding with undulating grace over the trigonometric functions, partnered with the Exponential Function, and showing forth his power over the realms of physics and mathematics. On one of the less subtle TV networks, this installment might be called When…

Sail Away

Weekend posting here is usually pretty light, but it’s only the second day here so I think a little extra is a nice way to kick things off. How about a little bit of solar sailing, since it fits pretty well with what I’m teaching in my intro class? We all know light carries energy.…

Building on ScienceBlogs!

Welcome to the new home of Built on Facts, now happily hosted at ScienceBlogs. For those of you who’ve been readers of this site for a while, I’m honored that you like my scribblings and I hope you enjoy this new location even better! For those of you who are curious about this new physics…