Physics Blogging Round-Up: August

Another month, another set of blog posts. This one includes the highest traffic I think I've ever seen for a post, including the one that started me on the path to a book deal:

-- The ALPHA Experiment Records Another First In Measuring Antihydrogen: The good folks trapping antimatter at CERN have now measured the hyperfine spectrum of hydrogen, which is a good excuse to explain what that is and why it matters.

-- 7 Suggestions For Succeeding In Science In College: It's the time of year when lots of people give unsolicited advice to the college-bound, and who am I to buck that trend?

-- How To Look At The Sun Without Buying Eclipse Glasses: How to make a pinhole camera, and the optics of how it works.

-- Quantum Physics Isn't Magic But Thermodynamics Seems That Way: Looking at the microscopic physics of boiling water is pretty incredible.

-- Why Do Basketball Shooters Put Spin On The Ball: A look at the physics of why basketball coaches teach kids to "follow through" in order to put back spin on a jump shot.

The eclipse thing, as you can tell from the date stamp, was knocked together very quickly on the weekend before the Monday total eclipse. Later that evening, I went to look at how many people had read it, and was completely shocked-- I guess Google picked it up really quickly, or something, but it got over a quarter-million views in the course of an afternoon. I was hoping it'd hit half a million, but even Mick Jagger can't always get what he wants, so who am I to complain?

I was also very surprised at how well the thermodynamics post did, which I thought might've been a little too noodle-y, but it got a lot of pleased responses. Maybe there's more of an audience than I thought out there hoping for someone to write at length about thermal physics...

Anyway, that's August's crop of posts. I'm not going to officially call a halt, but with the new academic year starting next Wednesday, posting is likely to slow wayyyy down. But then again, a lot of other things in the world suck at the moment, so blogging about physics might turn out to be a pleasant break...

More like this

How would science ever progress without anomalies? Theories are useful things, but they are most useful when they're wrong, when their Newtonian predictions are off, as in the case of the Pioneer space probes, by a hundred-millionths of an inch per second for every second of spaceflight. Robert Lee…
Creating Citizen Scientists § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM "A few days ago, sitting in my office, I contributed to peer-reviewed scientific research in biology, astronomy, and psychology. Even though I don't hold degrees in any of these fields, my contributions will help advance science: I was doing real…
August was the highest-traffic month since the move, with Google Analytics recording 51,752 "Unique Visits" (whatever that means-- it's not 50,000 different people, I don't think). I'm sort of boggled by that number, which is about an order of magnitude higher than what I was seeing at the old site…
Or, at least, that's what I assume she means when she asks "Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?" Equating her recent book with the quarter-million or so cables among US embassies and the state department, she is known to have tweeted: Inexplicable:…