Experiment

Category archives for Experiment

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…

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…

It’s been a while since I last rounded up physics posts from Forbes, so there’s a good bunch of stuff on this list: — How Do Physicists Know What Electrons Are Doing Inside Matter?: An explanation of Angle-Resolved Photo-Electron Spectroscopy (ARPES), one of the major experimental techniques in condensed matter. I’m trying to figure out…

Attempted Mpemba Effect

One of my favorite modern tales of scientific discovery is the Mpemba Effect, named after Erasto Mpemba, a schoolboy in Tanzania who noticed while making ice cream that hot mix put in the freezer solidified faster than cold. This counter-intuitive result has been replicated a bunch of times, and physicists and chemists continue to debate…

165/366: Wintry Science

It was bitterly cold over the weekend here in the Northeast, with daytime high temepratures in the single digits Fahrenheit. This has little to recommend it in terms of, you know, leaving the house, but it did provide an opportunity to try some SCIENCE! Unfortunately, I left the notepad with the data (such as it…

One of the things about being a physicist that makes it tough to have any sensible work-life balance is that I’m constantly seeing little things and thinking “Oooh! Physics!” then getting distracted from what I’m actually supposed to be doing. Take, for example, our bathroom sink. I have noticed, from time to time, a weird…

Rotational Motion of a Bouncing Football

I followed up my ranty-y post about “Sports Science” with an experimental investigation over at Forbes, tossing a football around on the deck out back and then doing video analysis of the bounces. This provided a wealth of data, much of it not really appropriate for over there, but good for a physics post or…

Energy Dissipation in a Physics Toy

A little while back, I used a photo of SteelyKid’s toy Newton’s cradle as the photo of the day, with a bonus video: I mentioned that I was going to do some analysis of this at some point, but didn’t have time right then. I had a bit of time to poke at this yesterday,…

Me in the Media: Two New Interviews

I’ve been slacking in my obligation to use this blog for self-promotion, but every now and then I remember, so here are two recent things where I was interviewed by other people: — I spoke on the phone to a reporter from Popular Mechanics who was writing a story about “radionics” and “wishing boxes,” a…

The Evolution of a Sad Balloon

A few years back, I did a couple of posts on the physics of a sad balloon (that is, a helium balloon that can no longer lift itself up to the ceiling), the first on simple buoyancy, the second on how long it takes for the helium to leak out. These were based on only…