Video Games

Category archives for Video Games

A few years back, I became aware of Mike Brotherton’s Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop, and said “somebody should do this for quantum physics.” At the time, I wasn’t in a position to do that, but in the interim, the APS Outreach program launched the Public Outreach and Informing the Public Grant program, providing smallish grants…

Quantum Optics: The Game

Over on Facebook, my colleague Chris Chabris was talking up a smartphone game from a company he’s associated with. Which of course got me thinking “Wait, why don’t I have a smartphone game company?” (The Renaissance Weekend is also partly to blame, as I was one of about six people there who didn’t have a…

The Sound of Simulated Bombs

So, last week I idly wondered about the canonical falling-bomb whistle. The was originally intended to be a very short post just asking the question, but I got caught up in thinking about it, and it ended up being more substantial. And leaving room for further investigation in the form of, you guessed it, VPython…

The Social Construction of Gravity

One of the more annoying points of contention back in the days of the Sokal hoax and the “Science Wars” was an argument over social construction. This is, loosely speaking, the idea that our understanding of the world is not strictly rational and objective, but is heavily influenced by interactions with other people, and the…

260 Million Scientists a Month

The day I bought my iPad, as I was taking it out of the box, SteelyKid (then 3) came bopping into my office, spotted it, and declared “I want to play Angry Birds!” It’s a remarkable demonstration of the genius of their product: not only have they created a game that a three-year-old can play,…

Rhett at Dot Physics departed ScienceBlogs before NAtional Geographic fully took over, but still managed to connect with their book division for a physics text. This is part of a series they’re doing tied in with the folks from Rovio, makers of the world’s most popular smart-phone time-waster, and, as the title suggests, it uses…

I Have Competitive OCD

SteelyKid is a fan of a web game called BumperStars, which my parents introduced her to. If I’m at the computer doing something, she’ll march over, demand to be picked up, then point at the screen and say “Buh-Pah” until I open it up. Of course, she’s a toddler, and thus has an extremely short…

My Hugo Nomination Ballot

Cheryl Morgan has a post urging people to nominate for the Hugo Awards. While I don’t place the same priority she does on the gender distribution of who gets nominated, I applaud her for doing this now, while there’s a chance to influence the actual ballot, rather than waiting until April to complain about it.…

Zitterbewegung!

One of the few sad things about the recent American domination of physics (says the American physicist) is that new physical phenomena are now mostly given boring, prosaic American English names. Don’t get me wrong, I like being able to pronounce and interpret new phenomena, but when the pre-WWII era of European dominance faded away,…

Think Like a Videogame Physicist

Over at Dot Physics (which might be the best physics blog in the world at the moment), Rhett Allain has a pair of posts exploring the physics of Fantastic Contraption. The posts don’t really lend themselves to excerpting, so you need to go over there and read them, but I think they’re brilliant, and deserve…