It's been a few weeks since my last summary of physics posts I've been doing at Forbes, so here's the latest eclectic collection:
-- Football Physics And the Myth Of The Dumb Jock: In honor of the Super Bowl, repeating the argument from Eureka that athletes are not, in fact, dumb jocks, but excellent scientific thinkers. Of course, the actual game tat night was horribly ugly, not a compelling display of anything in particular...
-- How Can A Laser Make A Plane Turn Around?: A quick post on the optics of lasers, spinning off a news of the weird story about a flight that had to return after a "laser strike."
-- How Gravitational Waves Connect To Quantum Optics: The big news of the month is LIGO's announcement that they detected gravitational waves; this talks about how LIGO helped inspire the field of cavity optomechanics.
-- Four Important Things To Consider When Choosing A College: Some unsolicited advice for high-school seniors who are entering the stressful college decision season.
-- How To Make Movies Showing Nanoscale Molecules In Action: The editors changed the title of this one (you can see the original in the URL); it's about how a new microscopy technique is built out of previous results.
-- Why Is Relativity True?: A Twitter exchange with Kevin Drum about his foray into explaining General Relativity stumbled into the really big and probably unresolvable question in the philosophy of physics.
As usual, the reception of these is a mix of about what I expect and "Huh?" I figured the college advice thing would do well (and I'm glad to see it being well received by admissions counselors on social media), but I thought the LIGO/optomechanics post was too technical to get much traffic, and it turned into a smash hit. On the other hand, I thought the relativity post had a lot of potential, and it's been nothing but crickets and tumbleweeds. Go figure.
I'll also note that I've been getting some complaints via various channels about Forbes's ad-blocker policy. And, yeah, I find it kind of annoying, too, but that decision is made above my pay grade and I can't do anything about it. I will pass complaints on as I get them, but it's not like they're not aware that (some) people dislike the policy, so...
Regarding Forbes' ad policy, it has going a _lot_ of discussion over on Ethan Siegel's blog (Starts With A Bang). I found a useful workaround for those who use AdBlocker: turn it off when you access the article, then turn it back on and refresh the page. At that point, I suspect that Forbes has already left a cookie saying your browser is allowed through, and doesn't recheck until the cookie expires.