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- The author of Skulls in the Stars is an associate professor of physics, specializing in optical science, at UNC Charlotte. The blog covers topics in physics and optics, the history of science, classic pulp fantasy and horror fiction, and the surprising intersections between these areas.
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Category Archives: Optics
I’ve joined a group of folks on Twitter who have vowed to read roughly a paper a day for an entire year, and will summarize my reading here occasionally. Part 1 can be read here, and part 2 can be … Continue reading
References in a scientific paper are supposed to answer questions, not raise them, but sometimes they inadvertently create a minor mystery for the reader. A few weeks back, I blogged about the curious phenomenon of subluminal vacuum beams of light, … Continue reading
I’ve joined a group of folks on Twitter who have vowed to read roughly a paper a day, and will summarize my reading here occasionally. Part 1 can be read here. Links are provided for those with university access who … Continue reading
Over the years, there has been a lot of hype about the possibility of “superluminal” light: namely, light than can travel faster than the vacuum speed of light meters/second, which is overwhelmingly considered the absolute speed limit of the universe. I’ve talked … Continue reading
I spend a lot of time talking about invisibility on this blog, as it is a subject near and dear to me: I did my PhD work, completed in 2001, on early historical forms of invisibility. I like to tell … Continue reading
This week, the Nobel Prizes for Physics and Chemistry were announced, and it was a photonics two-fer! The physics prize went to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white … Continue reading
Some of the most spectacular physics demonstrations rely on surprisingly simple science. Throughout history, for instance, very simple optics has been used to great effect to terrify and amaze audiences (see, for instance, Robertson’s Phantasmagoria). I recently came across such … Continue reading