Optics

Category archives for Optics

Last week’s post talked about the general idea of negative temperature, with reference to this much-talked-about Science paper (which also comes in a free arxiv version from which the figures used here are taken). I didn’t go into the details of how they made a negative temperature gas, though, and as it’s both very clever…

In which I unpack a cryptic paper title and explain how quantum superposition lets you use light to keep things from interacting with light. ————- I joined AAAS a couple of years ago to get a break on the registration fee for their meeting, and I’ve kept up the membership mostly because I like having…

Do the New Paper Dance

OK, it’s a paper I mentioned here before, when it went up on the arxiv, but the “Comments on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics” article I wrote this summer is up on the Physica Scripta web site now, and for the next not-quite-thirty days it’s free to read and download: Searching for new physics through…

It’s a banner day for science explainer things I wrote, as a piece I wrote has just gone live at Tor.com: Why Gandalf Is Wrong Even as a kid, reading J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings at the golden age of twelve or so, Gandalf’s response to Saruman never sat well with…

In which we do a little imaginary Q&A to explain the significance of Tuesday’s Nobel Prize to Dave Wineland and Serge Haroche. ———— I did a quick post Tuesday morning noting that the latest Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to two big names from my corner of the field. This would’ve been a great…

In which we do a little ResearchBlogging to look at a new paper about weird quantum effects, entangling two photons that never both exist at the same time. ———— I’m teaching full-time this term, but I’ve blocked out Thursdays as a day when I don’t do class- or chair-related work. Usually, this means trying to…

In which we look at a slightly crazy-sounding proposal from my former boss, the experimental realization of which is getting close to completion. ———— I spent more or less the entire first day of DAMOP a couple of weeks ago going to precision measurement talks. Most of these were relatively sedate (at least by the…

In which we do a little ResearchBlogging, taking a look at a slightly confusing paper putting a new twist on the double-slit experiment. ———— I’m off to California this afternoon, spending the rest of the week at DAMOP in Pasadena (not presenting this year, just hanging out to see the coolest new stuff in Atomic,…

Enough slagging of beloved popularizers– how about some hard-core physics. The second of three extremely cool papers published last week is this Nature Physics paper from the Zeilinger group in Vienna, producers of many awesome papers about quantum mechanics. Ordinarily, this would be a hard paper to write up, becase Nature Physics are utter bastards,…

So, the infamous OPERA result for neutrino speeds seems to be conclusively disproven, traced to a problem with a timing signal. Matt Strassler has a very nice explanation of the test that shows that the whole thing can almost certainly be traced to a timing error that cropped up in 2008. This problem is generally…