In the News

Category archives for In the News

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…

The Top Physics Breakthroughs of 2011

Physics World has released its list of the top ten breakthroughs in physics for the year, and it doesn’t include either fast neutrinos or the Higgs boson: The two physics stories that dominated the news in 2011 were questions rather than solid scientific results, namely “Do neutrinos travel faster than light?” and “Has the Higgs…

Mandatory Higgs Boson Post

I was planning to let today’s Higgs press conference pass with only a few oblique mentions in posts about other things, but apparently, I would lose my license to blog about physics if I did that. You’d think that, being married to a lawyer, and all, I’d know to read the fine print in these…

Not All Attrition Is Bad

One of the many things I wish I had had time to blog about during the just-completed term was the big New York Times article on attrition in science majors. This generated enough commentary at the time that people are probably sick of it, but I haven’t seen anything that exactly matches my take, so…

Fast Neutrinos: Still Fast

One of the more reasonable criticisms of the OPERA result showing neutrinos apparently moving faster than light was that they were claiming 20-nanosecond resolution on the timing of a neutrino pulse that was 10000 nanoseconds long. They got their timing by doing fits to the shape of the whole pulse, as described in that link,…

I’ve been incredibly busy this term, but not so busy I couldn’t create more work for myself. Specifically, by writing an opinion piece for Physics World about the FTL neutrino business, that just went live on their web site: The result quickly turned into one of the most covered physics stories of the year, with…

It’s been a while since I posted anything science-y, and I’ve got some time between flipping pancakes, so here’s an odd thing from the last few weeks of science news. Last week, there was an article in Nature about the wonders of string theory applied to condensed matter physics. This uses the “AdS/CFT” relationship, by…

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…

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae.” Ethan will presumably have a post with about a gigabyte worth of images in it shortly, or if you prefer your information in…

There have been a lot of pixels spilled over this faster-than-light neutrino business, so it might not seem like something I should take time away from pressing work to write up. It is the story of the moment, though, and too much of the commentary I’ve seen has been of the form “I am a…