Category Archives: Physics

How many quarks would a charm quark charm if a charm quark could charm quarks?

Fundamental physics is having quite a spectacular season.  In mid-March, the collaborators of the BICEP2 telescope announced the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation, answering a long-standing question about the beginnings of the universe. Now, on the heels of that … Continue reading

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Posted in Physics, Science news | Leave a comment

1895: Cats meddle in geophysics

Updated slightly to add even more cat goodness! The more I research, the more it becomes clear that cats caused all sorts of mischief in the scientific community in the late 1800s!  The source of this mischief is the feline … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, History of science, Physics | Leave a comment

How *do* cats land on their feet when falling, anyway?

This post is an exploration of some ideas I put together for a proposed magazine article.  Will link to the article if and/or when it becomes available! Last year, I wrote a blog post about the history of “cat-turning”: the … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Physics | 8 Comments

My appearance on WCCB TV!

In the annals of “shameless self-promotion,” I should note one more appearance I’ve made in local media!  Yesterday, a journalist from WCCB TV in Charlotte stopped by my office to interview me on camera about invisibility physics and the interesting … Continue reading

Posted in Invisibility, Personal | 3 Comments

A brief NPR interview with me on invisibility!

Continuing my recent streak of self-aggrandizing posts, I wanted to point out (again, for those who don’t follow me elsewhere) that I recorded a short interview the other day for our local Charlotte NPR affiliate, WFAE, on the physics of … Continue reading

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Dr. SkySkull talking invisibility in the News & Observer!

This has already been making the rounds via other social media today, but for those who aren’t on Facebook or Twitter (lookin’ at you, Dad!), I was interviewed by the News & Observer about invisibility physics and the article appeared … Continue reading

Posted in Invisibility, Personal | 4 Comments

Cat-turning: the 19th-century scientific cat-dropping craze!

One thing I’ve learn from studying the history of science is that scientists are human beings.  Often incredibly weird, weird human beings.  For example: in the mid-to-late-1800s, an exciting era in which the foundations of electromagnetic theory were set and … Continue reading

Posted in ... the Hell?, History of science, Physics | 10 Comments

Hiding from time? New design of a “temporal cloak” makes waves

Is it possible to make something invisible in time as well as in space?  It is a fascinating question, a provocative question, a mind-boggling question… wait… what exactly does it mean to “make something invisible in time?” We’ll get to … Continue reading

Posted in Invisibility, Optics | 2 Comments

The Kaye effect after dark!

I’ve talked in some detail before about the Kaye effect, in which a shear-thinning fluid such as shampoo or liquid soap can be made to “bounce.”  Well, I did one final experiment with the Kaye effect, in order to show … Continue reading

Posted in Physics | 2 Comments

Physics demonstrations: Chladni patterns

A good demonstration of a physical phenomenon should be both insightful and exciting.  Sometimes, a demonstration succeeds at both so well that it is practically awe-inspiring.  Such is the case, for me, with the demonstration of Chladni patterns, exotic and … Continue reading

Posted in Physics, Physics demos | 3 Comments