Amazing Blackbody Radiation and LHC Basics

I was proctoring an exam yesterday in two different sections of the same class, so I had a lot of quite time. Which means I wrote not one but two new posts for Forbes...

The first continues a loose series of posts about the exotic physics behind everyday objects (something I'm toying with as a possible theme for a new book...), looking at the surprisingly complicated physics of an incandescent light bulb. A light bulb filament emits (to a reasonable approximation) black-body radiation, which is historically important as the starting point for quantum physics. But when you think about it, it's kind of amazing that you get a black-body spectrum from a large collection of atoms that absorb and emit at discrete frequencies...

(As I type this, I have a crude Monte Carlo simulation running in VPython, so there will be more on this subject later...)

The second post was prompted by the news that the LHC is now colliding protons at 13TeV, and offers answers to some really basic questions about the LHC.

So, you know, if you'd like some physics-y stuff to read as you wait for the official start of the weekend, well, there you go...

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