Physics Blogging Round-Up: July

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 Undergraduates Is Important For Science And Students: A reply to an essay talking up the products of undergraduate research projects, arguing that the most valuable part of research is the effect on students.

-- What Does It Mean To Share 'Raw Data'?: Some thoughts on the uselessness of much "raw data" in my field to anyone outside the lab where it was produced.

-- Breaking Stuff Is An Essential Part Of The Scientific Process: Thoughts on how the most important year of my grad school career was the frustrating one in which I broke and then repaired everything in the lab.

-- Measuring The Speed Of Quantum Tunneling: A couple of recent experiments use a clever trick to look at whether there's a time delay as electrons tunnel out of an atom in a strong electric field. Unfortunately, they get very different results...

I was a little disappointed that the photo-multigraph thing didn't get more traction, but it was fun to do, so that's okay. The quantum tunneling post did surprisingly well-- I thought it was likely to be a little too technical to really take off, but it did. Always nice when that happens.

The other three are closely related to a development at work, namely that on July 1 I officially added "Director of Undergraduate Research" to the many hats I wear. I'm in charge of supervising the research program at Union, disbursing summer fellowships and small grants for research projects and conference travel, and arranging a number of research-oriented events on campus. This involves a certain amount of administrative hassle, but then again, it's hassle in the service of helping students do awesome stuff, so I'm happy to do it.

Anyway, that's where things are. Blogging will very likely tail off dramatically for the fall, possibly as soon as this month (though I already have one post up), as I have a book on contract due Dec. 1, and a review article due to a journal a month later. And, you know, classes to teach and research to direct...

More like this

When, in the course of an academic career, should you work on your own ideas: you know, the stuff that deep down you think is really interesting, potentially breakthrough stuff. Because, most scientists, most of the time, don't. as Bee puts it: every postdoc I know or have met and with whom I have…
So, looking at the SRI studies of undergraduate research and its effects, it seems like the solution to a lot of problems. Involvement in research has been shown to increase student interest in science careers and increase the likelihood of graduate school, regardless of the race and gender of the…
Lately, I've been blogging a bit about science teaching. Most of my focus has been on teaching at the secondary level, but it turns out that there are issues to be tackled with science teaching at all levels, including the college level. You'd think, then, that when a scientist who has proven…
Following Chad and Jake, I want to jump off from an article in Science about undergraduate research. It's always nice when some sort of survey confirms one's preexisting biases.... In short, the survey found that performing research increased undergraduates' interest in science and technology…

Has anyone confirrmed Diracs prediction that gravitatonal force strength has declined since the beginning of time?

By Griffith Winthrop (not verified) on 08 Aug 2017 #permalink

My view of raw-data is "do what you can". My research was closer to mechanical engineering (and so the data I collected was fairly close to understandable physics concepts - force, displacement, etc) and much of my code was "scripts to process into nice figures", but it wasn't much headache for me to share things on GitHub. At the very least, there were several papers in my field where I was trying to estimate values based on points on graphs, but if I could have recreated the graphs on my own computer pulling out the data would have been very easy.

And any simulation work done should be easily shareable. If it's in-house ad-hoc stuff, just publish the scripts. If you've got ABAQUS or Gaussian or other proprietary software platforms, at least include whatever scripts/parameters you had as input for them.

In a particle free environment does time cease to exist? Next question. What would happen if a Black Hole ran out of matter to consume?

If antimatter is truly the opposite of Matter how is it that scientists are able to define it with particle based physics! It doesn't exist.