Chad Orzel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, NY. He blogs about physics, life in academia, ephemeral pop culture, and anything else that catches his fancy.

Physics Blogging Round-Up: April

It’s the first week of May, which means we’re due to see flowers watered by all this damn rain soon, and also a recap of the various posts I wrote for Forbes during April: — Why Are There Too Many Papers In Theoretical Physics?: A look at the origins of “ambulance chasing” in high-energy theory,…

Kid Writing Update

One of the things parents of multiple kids often talk about is how they don’t end up doing the same things with second children that they did with their first. For example, I carried the weekly Appa-for-scale photos on with SteelyKid for a couple of years, but didn’t last anywhere near that long with The…

Physics Blogging Round-Up: March

Another month, another batch of blog posts at Forbes: — In Physics, Infinity Is Easy But Ten Is Hard: Some thoughts on the odd fact that powerful math tricks make it easy to deal uncountably many interacting particles, while a smaller number would be a Really Hard Problem. — New Experiment Explores The Origin Of…

There was a kerfuffle in academic social media a bit earlier this week, kicked off by an anonymous Twitter feed dedicated to complaints about students (which I won’t link to, as it’s one of those stunt feeds that’s mostly an exercise in maximizing clicks by maximizing dickishness). This triggered a bunch of sweeping declarations about…

I mentioned in passing in the Forbes post about science funding that I’m thoroughly sick of hearing about how the World Wide Web was invented at CERN. I got into an argument about this a while back on Twitter, too, but had to go do something else and couldn’t go into much detail. It’s probably…

A bunch of people in my social-media feeds are sharing this post by Alana Cattapan titled Time-sucking academic job applications don’t know enormity of what they ask. It describes an ad asking for two sample course syllabi “not merely syllabi for courses previously taught — but rather syllabi for specific courses in the hiring department,”…

Physics Blogging Round-Up: February

Another month, another collection of physics posts from Forbes: — Quantum Loopholes And The Problem Of Free Will: In one of those odd bits of synchronicity, a previous post about whether dark matter and energy might affect atoms in a way that allowed for “free will” was followed shortly by a news release about an…

Physics Blogging Round-Up: January

It’s a new month now, so it’s time to share links to what I wrote for Forbes last month: — Small College Astronomers Predict Big Stellar Explosion: I mostly leave astronomy stories to others, but I heard about this from a friend at Calvin College, and it’s a story that hits a lot of my…

So, I tweeted about this yesterday, but I also spent the entire day feeling achy and feverish, so didn’t have brains or time for a blog post with more details. I’m feeling healthier this morning, though time is still short, so I’ll give a quick summary of the details: — As you can see in…

Physics Blogging Round-Up: December

This one’s late because I acquired a second class for the Winter term on very short notice. I was scheduled to teach our sophomore-level “Modern Physics” class, plus the lab, but a colleague who was scheduled to teach relativity for non-majors had a medical issue, and I’m the only other one on staff who’s ever…