Nathan

Category archives for Nathan

Adieu

Well, as a lot people seem to have written in my high-school yearbook, “it’s been real.” I’ve enjoyed standing in for Dr. Oilcan and appreciate his gracious offer to have an experimentalist representative on his guest-blogging squad. As Aaron said, I don’t know how he does it, but whatever juice he’s on, he sets a…

Huzzah!

Ah, what loyal citizen of California doesn’t remember singing the state song, I Love You, California, every morning. Or was it saying the Pledge…my memory’s hazy. The reason I bring up state songs is not to bring up the ill-fated campaign to make “Born to Run” the New Jersey state song (this town rips the…

Teh AMO hottness

I should probably sneak in a few posts before Chad gets back. It’s been a hectic week, as the time came for my current experiment (as it does for all experiments) where one stops futzing around trying to make things better, and takes the actual data, with an eye to moving on. This means that…

“It’s a monstrosity,” Brown said.

A little while ago, intrepid reporters from the Baltimore Sun dropped by my lab to investigate the newsworthiness of a paper (also on the ArXiv) that had just been published, about which I might talk a little bit before Chad gets back. Surprisingly, the article actually got published, complete with photo and great quotes. I’m…

Software for experimentalists

A long time ago, all you needed to think about and record the data you were interested in was a pen and some vellum, and maybe a few candles and a trusty manservant. Somewhere along the line, the chart recorder got invented, and when combined with the oscilloscope and those awful scope cameras, a whole…

In case you were happy

I’m here to depress you a little. First off, we have the upcoming anniversary of Katrina, about which Jane Dark has a tough tale to tell: The abandonment of a great city to time and tide is indeed both symptom and mark of empire on its downhill slide; it bears noting as well that pathetic,…

Bill Gibson is cooler than you

But he’s not cooler than me. Which is one of the things I thought of several times while reading Spook Country, his new novel. If you don’t want the long version, here’s the gist: it’s decent, he’s still pretty good, buy it in hardcover, move to Vancouver, buy a Powerbook, learn Mandarin, get hooked on…

Penguin suit

I’m off to Denver for a long weekend; two friends of mine are getting married (both PhD scientists, and exemplars of the two-body problem: one’s doing a postdoc at Princeton, the other at MIT…) I get to wear a tux, which is nice, because no one looks bad in a tux. In fact, a tux…

What is this “blog” you speak of

Some things I’ve noticed lately: Anton Zeilinger (Vienna) has a blog. It’s in German, but that shouldn’t be a problem, right? I found that out at Michael Nielsen’s place, where he’s started blogging again after a little hiatus. In an effort to improve on my bibdesk+bibtex+folder-full-of-local-pdfs system, I’ve been playing around citeulike, Papers, and Nielsen’s…

Sigh

I see below that (in what comes as a total surprise) the string thread has already gotten lively. As an experimentalist doing quantum mechanics at the ultra-low-energy end, I don’t have a strong opinion on string theory qua theory, and I really don’t have a strong opinion on the sociology-of-theory business, beyond saying that I’m…