Physics Blogging Round-Up: Condensed Matter, Magic, Navigation, and Late Nights

Another week, another set of posts at Forbes to link here:

-- Why Do Solids Have Energy Bands? A conceptual explanation of why putting together lots of atoms with electrons in well-defined energy levels leads to a solid with electrons filling broad energy bands.

-- This Is The Key Distinction Between Magic And Advanced Technology: Following up a fun panel at Readercon, and how the "magical thinking" involved in my grad school lab is distinct from real magic.

-- What Submarine Navigation Can Teach Us About Building Luxury Prison Tunnels: The editor at Forbes sent email asking if anybody could talk about the science of that Mexican drug lord's escape tunnel. I used that as an excuse to talk about gyroscopes and accelerometers and why the Navy funds atomic physics.

-- Scientists Should Work The Hours When They Work Best: Science did another career advice thing that pissed people off, about how young scientists should work 16-hour days to make sure they get noticed. In response, I talk a bit about my experience with late nights in the lab, and how those are better viewed as True Lab Stories than career advice.

So, there you go. Another week in the books.

Categories

More like this

Another month, another collection of blog posts for Forbes: -- The Physics Of Century-Old Mirror Selfies: Back in the early 1900's there was a brief vogue for trick pictures showing the same person from five different angles; this post explains how to do that with mirrors. -- Why Research By…
Lest this blog turn into a one-trick pony, let me tell you what I did today that's of a little different flavor. I epoxied some stuff onto some other stuff. More importantly, I calculated a band structure. This amazes me. Sure, all you squa^Wsolid-state types out there do this every day…
In the last course report post, we dispensed of atomic and molecular physics in just three classes. The next three classes do the same for solid state physics. Class 25 picks up on the idea of basic molecular potentials from the end of the previous class, and uses that to introduce energy bands in…
Last week's post talked about the general idea of negative temperature, with reference to this much-talked-about Science paper (which also comes in a free arxiv version from which the figures used here are taken). I didn't go into the details of how they made a negative temperature gas, though, and…

The tunnel could have been detected with a gravimeter using atomic interferometry. 30 meters from a 1.8 m diameter tunnel in rock with specific gravity 2.5 one gets a 3 microgal anomaly.

But the tunnel clearly could have been detected in many ways except that people were paid off to not look for it.

By Ned Wright (not verified) on 17 Jul 2015 #permalink