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.


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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