Physical Science

This Hugo nomination scandal continues to rage on, and much of what’s going on is just a giant sucking vortex of stupid. Standing out from this, though, is the guest post by Bruce Schneier at Making Light, which cuts through the bullshit to get to what’s really important, namely using this as an excuse to…

“The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it’s scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth! It is the guiding principle on which Starfleet is based. And if you can’t find it within yourself to stand up and tell the truth about what happened, you don’t deserve to wear that…

The LHC made simple (Synopsis)

“Let them see that their words can cut you and you’ll never be free of the mockery. If they want to give you a name, take it, make it your own. Then they can’t hurt you with it anymore.” -George R.R. Martin Well, it’s finally happened! After a two year upgrade, the LHC is back…

To Tennessee!

I’ll be heading off to Knoxville, Tennessee on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning I will be giving the big keynote talk at an undergraduate research conference at the University of Tennessee. Do you think maybe I’ll be talking about the Monty Hall problem? I think maybe I will! So, if you’re going to be in the…

On Bad Writing

One of the many problems with the essay discussed in yesterday’s post is that it was poorly written. Finnis and George seemed to go out of their way to be as unclear as possible, frequently choosing tortured, ambiguous phrasings when clearer options were readily at hand. This is something of an occupational hazard among academics,…

Nifty Fifty Podcast: The Franklin Institute’s Dr. Frederic Bertley Ignites Passion for Science

This Nifty Fifty Podcast features Dr. Frederic Bertley speaking to high school children about the availability of STEM jobs, how much science affects our lives, the promising future of transportation, drinking water, medicine, and genomic science, and some of the living scientists making an impact on our work.   Listen to the podcast and read…

The editor at Forbes suggested I should write something about the re-start of the Large Hadron Collider, so I did. But being me, I couldn’t just do an “LHC, yay!” post, but talk about it in a larger context, as one of three major approaches to filling the gaps in the Standard Model: The big…

Penultimate POTW!

Okay folks. The ninth Problem of the Week has now been posted. Only one more after this, so enjoy them while they last. I’ve also posted an “official” solution to Problem Eight, so feel free to have a look at that as well.

Last week, Steven Weinberg wrote a piece for the Guardian promoting his new book about the history of science (which seems sort of like an extended attempt to make Thony C. blow a gasket..). This included a list of recommended books for non-scientists which was, shall we say, a tiny bit problematic. This is a…

“The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” -Lao Tzu With hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way, you’d think the largest star we’ve ever discovered would be in the most intense star-forming regions here, perhaps towards the galactic center. It’s a good thought, as we’ve discovered stars up to 175…