Physics Blogging Request Thread

Having said that I want to focus more on positive stuff, and talking up cool things in science, I’m going to make an effort to do more write-ups of research papers. I’ve got a few ideas along those lines, and of course I get regular emails from journals and press offices bringing other papers to my attention. But I don’t want to neglect my audience, here…

So, I’ll throw this open as a place to request discussions of particular topics or papers. If there’s some topic in physics that you’d like me to write up an explanation of, or a paper or preprint that you’d like me to do the detailed Q&A treatment on, leave a comment letting me know what it is.

Caveats:

  • I’m not promising to explain or write up every topic or paper suggested here. There are some things that are a bit too far outside my areas of expertise for me to say anything sensible about. Atomic, molecular, and optical physics, I’m comfortable with; experimental work in other low-energy fields I can mostly deal with; high-energy experiment gets tricky; low-energy theory is a stretch; and high-energy theory is almost certainly beyond me.
  • That said, I will give serious consideration to stuff outside the cold-atom physics that’s my home base in science. Part of the idea here is to stretch a little and write about things I wouldn’t necessarily consider writing about. Within reason.
  • For a variety of reasons, I would be happier with papers available in some sort of open-access format. That doesn’t have to mean OA journals– Science or Nature papers with preprints on the arxiv or some similar repository would be just fine. It’s not a complete deal-breaker, but it’s much easier to write up papers when I know people can get to it without shelling out big bucks.
  • The comment system here may hold comments containing links for moderation. I will check them and publish them as soon as I can, but I’m pretty busy at the moment, so it might take a little while. Don’t panic.

So, have at it. What topics or papers should I write up for the blog?

Comments

  1. #1 Evan Berkowitz
    July 2, 2013

    I have been pulling for this for a while (since the 2011 Nobel prize): Delayed-choice quantum eraser. This is such a peculiar, surprising, deep, and not-well-explained-elsewhere-on-the-internet-at-a-decently-popular-level result. You could in principle do two on this topic: one on un-delayed choice, and one on delayed-choice, because there a bunch of weird quantum mechanical things going on even in the un-delayed choice eraser, and it’s probably better to draw those weirdnesses apart.

  2. #2 RM
    July 2, 2013

    I don’t have a particular topic in mind, but more “this is why AMO is cool” type things would be nice. We tend to get a bunch of press from the LHC and the like (“tetraquarks!”), but AMO physics topics tend to slip by unnoticed.

    Basically, anything where you could go up to a person on the street and say “Hey, did you know X’s Y when you Z them?” (or similar short summary) and have them come back with “No, I didn’t. That’s kinda neat.”

  3. #3 steve
    July 2, 2013

    How about that “time hole” paper from Nature that got some press. What little I understand doesn’t seem to merit the fantastical name.
    http://www.nature.com/news/temporal-cloak-erases-data-from-history-1.13141

  4. #4 Grad
    July 2, 2013

    10.1126/science.1238187

  5. #5 Alex
    July 3, 2013

    How about quantum erasers? I’ve never paid much attention to them, but occasionally somebody asks how they differ from classical polarization, and I think about it, and then I punt.

  6. #6 Steinn Sigurðsson
    July 3, 2013

    Have you followed any of the “computational effort to measure entanglement” speculation? Sounds like there is some interesting stuff on how entanglement may be unmeasurable in interesting cases – has relevance to various quantum gravity issues. Not seen a good summary and would like to see on from an AMO quantum side, as opposed to particle theory.

  7. #7 Rachel
    July 4, 2013

    I have a question. It’s a term I see used a lot but don’t really know what it means – what is a “squeezed state”? What does “squeezing” mean? (in a QM context of course…)

  8. #8 Frank Wappler
    http://how.to.determine.the.number.of.slits.in.your.diffraction.screen--or.the.optical.activity.of.particular.equipment.or.regions.in.your.setup
    July 5, 2013

    Chad Orzel wrote (July 2, 2013):
    > If there’s some topic in physics that you’d like me to write up an explanation of [...]

    Yes: referring (again) to terminology of http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2012/09/27/how-to-teach-relativity-to-your-four-year-old/ I’d (still) like to read an explanation of how to determine whether a given clock “keeps track of the time experienced along its worldlineaccurately (or within which accuracy).

  9. #9 Neil Bates
    Lair of tyrannogenius
    July 8, 2013

    Would you consider something about Renninger-style negative measurements (that show particle is *not* at a specific location and therefore wavefunction seems to be “redistributed” elsewhere instead of collapsed at specific place.)

  10. #10 Sili
    July 14, 2013

    Not directly tied to an article, but I’d like to hear how you prefer to understand QM: Copenhagen Interpretation, Many Worlds or something else entirely.

    Sorry, if you’ve answered this already. I’ve been away for a bit.