Precision Measurement

Category archives for Precision Measurement

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…

It’s been a while since I did any ResearchBlogging posts, because it turns out that having an infant and a toddler really cuts into your blogging time. Who knew? I keep meaning to get back to it, though, and there was a flurry of excitement the other day about a Nature Physics paper proposing a…

On the Interconnectedness of Things

I finally got a copy of Cox and Forshaw’s The Quantum Universe, and a little time to read it, in hopes that it would shed some light on the great electron state controversy. I haven’t finished the book, but I got through the relevant chapter and, well, it doesn’t, really. That is, the discussion in…

My course on the history and science of timekeeping has reached the home stretch, with students giving presentations in class for the remainder of the term. My portion of the course was wrapped up with two lectures on “quantum timkeeping,” as it were: a lecture on the development of quantum mechanics: History of Quantum Mechanics…

On Neutrinos and Cables

It’s not a good week for me to be writing about anything remotely controversial, but if I want to keep my physics blogging license, I need to say something about the latest fast neutrino news. This has followed the usual trajectory of such stories, with the bonus farcical element of people who blasted the media…

A week and a half ago, when the advent calendar reached Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation, I said that it was the first equation we had seen that wasn’t completely correct. Having done our quick swing through quantum physics, the time has come to correct that equation: If you say “Einstein equation” to a random…

In a lot of ways, the OPERA fast-neutrino business has been less a story about science than a story about the perils of the new media landscape. We went through another stage of this a day or two ago, with all sorts of people Twittering, resharing, and repeating in other ways a story that the…

Take A Moment to Remember

A few people last week were linking to this press release from Fermilab, which probably says more about the state of American particle physics than anything else: it’s about an experiment that they expect to be approved in 2012, to break ground in 2013, and start running in 2016. I guess with the Tevatron shutting…

Among the articles highlighted in this week’s Physics is one about a new test of QED through a measurement of the g-factor of the electron in silicon ions. This comes on the heels of a measurement of proton spin flips (this includes a free PDF) a couple of weeks ago, and those, in turn, build…

A month and a half ago, I reported on a simple experiment to measure the performance of a timer from the teaching labs. I started the timer running at a particualr time, and over the next couple of weeks checked in regularly with the Official US Time display at the NIST website, recording the delay…