Built on Facts

Archives for March, 2011

Sunday Function

A while back I was driving in my car listening to the radio and was gobsmacked to hear a song (What’s My Name? by Rihanna and Drake) in which the singer’s rap involved accurately estimating a square root. Unfortunately it was in the context of a rather vulgar play on words (“the square root of…

Dropping Rocks: Los Angeles

So there’s this alien invasion flick called Battle: Los Angeles. It’s getting mixed reviews. Ebert hates it – “an insult to the words “science” and “fiction,” and the hyphen in between them.” With the caveats that his judgment is usually questionable, I haven’t seen the movie, and I don’t plan to see the movie, I’m…

On Free Parameters

In the last post I talked about a measurement we did in our lab to characterize some properties of two parallel laser beams. The theory, if you want to dignify that equation with such a title, gave the power of the two beams as a function of mow much of the beams we cut off…

A while back in the lab we were conducting an experiment that involved passing a laser beam through a narrow iris, using a beamsplitter to take half the intensity of the beam and send it one way, with the remaining half passing through undisturbed. Then we arranged our mirrors in such a way as to…