Science

The Quantum Pontiff

Category archives for Science

March Meeting GQI Invited Speakers

March is ages away, but it is time to start planning for the APS March meeting, to be held in the beautiful rose city, Portland, Oregon (Note to skiers that Mt. Hood is just a short distance away ) Anyway an important part of the March meeting are invites sessions and the quantum computing/information/foundations topical…

Unscientific in Seattle

Chris Mooney, former Scienceblogger and provocateur extraordinaire, will be in Seattle this Thursday talking about the book he co-authored with Sheril Kirshenbaum, “Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future.” Details: Thursday, August 6 7:00 PM University Bookstore 4326 University Way N.E. Seattle, WA 98105 http://www.bookstore.washington.edu/trade.taf?dept=attribute&category=events&par=trade&ttl=events&page=1 From all I’ve heard Chris is an excellent speaker…

Various and Sundry

Two notes from Caltech of interest: Michael L. Roukes’ group at Caltech has produced a NEMS (nanoelectromechanical system) device which can (almost) measure the mass of a single molecule (as opposed to the many tens of thousands (is this the correct amount?) needed in mass spectrometry.) Build a 2 micrometer by 100 nanometer NEMS resonator.…

Detexify Squared

A friend sent me a link to Detextify2: What is this? Anyone who works with LaTeX knows how time-consuming it can be to find a symbol in symbols-a4.pdf that you just can’t memorize. Detexify is an attempt to simplify this search. How does it work? Just draw the symbol you are looking for into the…

Backwards Archive

Via @mattleiffer, viXra.org: In part viXra.org is a parody of arXiv.org to highlight Cornell University’s unacceptable censorship policy. It is also an experiment to see what kind of scientific work is being excluded by the arXiv. But most of all it is a serious and permanent e-print archive for scientific work. Unlike arXiv.org tt [sic]…

Microsoft Research’s Project Tuva website is up. Project Tuva is a collection of seven searchable Feynman lectures aimed at a popular audience (with extras coming online in the future.) The rights to these lectures were obtained by Bill Gates after he was entranced by them over twenty years ago. Well worth watching, especially if you’re…

Humor as a Guide to Research

Over at the optimizer’s blog, quantum computing’s younger clown discusses some pointers for giving funny talks. I can still vividly remember the joke I told in my very first scientific talk. I spent the summer of 1995 in Boston at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (photo of us interns) working on disproving a theory about the…

The arXiv is a game changer for how large portions of physics (and increasingly other fields) are done. Paul Ginsparg won a MacArthur award for his vision and stewardship of the arXiv (something other institutions might want to note when they decide that someone trying to change how science is done isn’t really doing work…

arXiv.org Hacked?

Has the arXiv been hacked or is it offline? When I connect to arxiv.org it shoots me to mirror sites which haven’t been updated since Oct 08. Via @MartinQuantum. Also nanoscale views reports the arXiv down. Since this is a blog we can easily spread rumors by including a link to an article today about…

New DARPA Director

DARPA, you know the people who invented the internet (“100 geniuses connected by a travel agent”), has a new director: The Department of Defense (DoD) today announced the appointment of Regina E. Dugan as the 19th director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). DARPA is the principal agency within the DoD for research,…