science

Tag archives for science

Yesterday’s big post on why I think people should embrace scientific thinking in a more conscious way than they do already (because my claim is that most people already use scientific thinking, they’re just not aware that they’re doing it) is clearly a kind of explanation of the reason behind my next book, but what…

As you may or may not know, I’m currently at work on a book called How to Think Like a Scientist. This raises the fairly obvious question in the post title, namely, why should people think like scientists? What’s the point? In a sense, this is (as Ethan Zuckerman pointed out at lunch the other…

In which we look at the end of the Steelypips era and the launch of ScienceBlogs. ———— Before the Great Upgrade derailed things completely for a month, I was working on a recap of this blog’s history, and had gotten up through the end of 2005, which marked the end of my time as an…

How Did the arXiv Succeed?

In which we look again at the question of why, despite the image of physicists as arrogant bastards, biologists turn out to be much less collegial than physicists. ———— While I was away from the blog, there was a spate of discussion of science outreach and demands on faculty time, my feelings about which are…

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,…

In which I talk about the common complaint that we teach students physics that “isn’t true,” and the limits on that statement. ———— Frequent commenter Ron sent me an email pointing to this post by David Reed on “What we “know” that t’aint so…. and insist on teaching to kids!”: he science we teach is…

The Physics of a Sad Balloon

My birthday was two months ago, and SteelyKid’s was the weekend before last, so we’ve had balloons running around the house for a good while now. Meaning that when I came into the library yesterday, I saw the sad little image on the right: a half-deflated Mylar balloon floating at about chest height. Now, the…

I am an inveterate driver of “back ways” to places. My preferred route to campus involves driving through a whole bunch of residential streets, rather than taking the “main” road leading from our neighborhood to campus. I do this because there are four traffic lights on the main-road route, and they’re not well timed, so…

How Good Are Polarized Sunglasses?

A while back, I explained how polarized sunglasses work, the short version of which is that light reflected off the ground in front of you tends to be polarized, and by blocking that light, they reduce the effects of glare. This is why fishermen wear polarized sunglasses (they make it easier to see through the…

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…