Begin at the Beginning

Welcome to the new home of Uncertain Principles. If you’ve been reading the site over at, that probably means something to you. If you’re here for the first time, that might take a little explanation.

I started a book log in August of 2001, and quickly got drawn into reading a lot of general web logs. In late June 2002, I decided to start a general-interest weblog, which I’ve been updating regularly for the last three and a half years. Recently, the nice folks at Seed were kind enough to invite me to join their ScienceBlogs project, leading to the site you’re now reading.

The tagline of this blog has been “Physics, Politics, Pop Culture” from the very beginning, and that’s a pretty fair description of what I talk about. I’m a physics professor at Union College in New York, and I use this site to talk about what I do: physics research, physics teaching, and general academic matters, along with sports, movies, pop music, the occasional political rant, and anything else that catches my interest.

If you’d like a quick preview of what to expect (or to re-live the glory days of my previous site), I’ve linked a few favorite posts over on the left:

  • What’s With the Name?: The second post ever on Uncertain Principles– an explanation of the name, and a few thoughts on the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
  • A Week in the Lab: In December of 2005, I spent a week carefully documenting my day-to-day research activities as I worked on a particular project. This may be my favorite piece of blog writing.
  • Domestic Security: A Dialogue: A conversation with my dog about the best way to protect the backyard from squirrel incursions.
  • “Perfect Albums”: A discussion of some records that I think are nearly flawless.
  • Poetry for Physicists: Some thoughts on the interaction between science and the humanities in academia.

(If you’ve been reading for a while, and think I forgot something that ought to be in the “Greatest Hits” list, drop me a comment and I’ll consider adding it.)

As at the previous site, comments are open on all blog posts (I think it borders on dishonest to run a blog with no way for readers to comment). I envy the exceptionally lively comment community at Making Light, so I hope you’ll post comments on things that you find interesting, amusing, or annoying, and I do try to respond to comments (I’m pretty busy during the day, though, so I don’t always respond promptly). Please keep it civil, though– I reserve the right to edit or delete comments that are unproductively hostile.

Anyway, welcome to the new digs. I hope you like what you find here.


  1. #1 Dave Munger
    January 11, 2006

    Welcome, Chad. We’re making the move to Scienceblogs, too — looking forward to sharing your domain!

  2. #2 Kate Nepveu
    January 11, 2006

    For LiveJournal readers, you can get the RSS feed through

  3. #3 John Scalzi
    January 11, 2006

    Excellent, Chad! Congratulations. And see you at Boskone!

  4. #4 Sean
    January 11, 2006

    Congrats on the move. Who says the real estate market is bad?

  5. #5 Skwid
    January 11, 2006

    Consider yourself followed, Oilcan, and likewise congratulated.

  6. #6 Aaron Bergman
    January 11, 2006

    Is it lonely being the only physics blogger on the site?

  7. #7 Chad Orzel
    January 11, 2006

    Is it lonely being the only physics blogger on the site?

    It’s not so bad, but it’d be nice if some of the Quantum Diaries folks could be recruited to fill that category out a bit…

  8. #8 Aaron Bergman
    January 11, 2006

    Any hope of a comment feed, you think?

  9. #9 Thumb
    January 12, 2006

    Neat. But after folowing your old blog for a couple years it’s going to take some getting used to the stark white of this one.

    I miss the blue-tones.

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