I've been in Casper Wyoming the last few days at the Workshop of Quantum Science and Engineering, put together by Dr. Marlan Scully. The point of the workshop is to discuss the various work we're doing, exchange ideas, and all the other stuff that usually happens at these physics shindigs. We've also had a few talks celebrating 50 years of the laser and 95 years of its inventor, the Nobel laureate legend Dr. Charles Hard Townes. Dr. Scully says he's the greatest living scientist, and I have to say I think he's got a pretty good case.
Casper, Wyoming is Dr. Scully's hometown, and he makes sure we have lots of time to explore the area and do various outdoor things. For now I'm not going to talk much about the science because I haven't had time to get an outline together and organize things, so this'll be more or less just some photographic highlights.
First of all, Wyoming. Experimentalists talk about typical data, this is Typical Casper:
Here's part of one of Dr. Scully's family pieces of land, which the Audubon Society is managing as a nature preserve:
The Quantum Cowboy himself:
Your host, on Independence Rock (twice!). Ah, the old-school Oregon Trail computer game memories...
Dr. Townes in a quiet moment:
i played Oregon Trail on a decwriter with an acoustically coupled modem that we used to log into the mainframe. it had a roatary dial phone. gotta love teh 80's tech.
Do you have a pie tin? Placer gold hydrodynamically segregates on the inner curves of river oxbows. Slosh your gravel to remove mud, continue to remove light sediment, reduce it down to heavy fines.
Collect your heavy fines, add a drop of mercury, slosh that around to amalgamate gold. Cut into a raw potato, put your recovered Hg drop at the center, close potato, wrap in Al foil, place in coals of your dinner fire.
Com back in the morning, recover potato remains, go through the blackened mess, see if a gold nugget is at the center. Disposing of the Hg-contaminated potato is left as an exercise for the interested reader.