Category Archives: Physics

1975: The year that quantum mechanics met gravity

Since the revolutionary development of both theories in the early twentieth century, it is fair to say that general relativity and quantum mechanics have had a rather hostile relationship to one another.  One reason for this is simple a matter of … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics | 4 Comments

Null-field radiationless sources: even more invisible than invisible?

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

Posted in Invisibility, Optics | Leave a comment

#365papers, part 1!

At the beginning of this year, my friend Jacquelyn Gill (who blogs over at The Contemplative Mammoth) suggested an interesting resolution for academics like us: read at least one scientific paper a day for the entire year.  This has been … Continue reading

Posted in Physics | 3 Comments

The mystery of the magnetic train

This past week, thanks to Laughing Squid and other sources, a lot of people watched and were amazed by this simple demonstration of electromagnetism in action. It is billed as the “world’s simplest electric train,” and it is almost certainly … Continue reading

Posted in Physics, Physics demos | 8 Comments

Paris: City of lights and cosmic rays

This post of mine originally appeared on the Scientific American guest blog some time ago.  Considering it has been three years, and it’s always been one of my favorite pieces of writing, I thought it was time to “bring it … Continue reading

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Physics demonstrations: Faraday disk

I’m prepping a new course to teach this semester: undergraduate Electromagnetism II!  I’m trying to put together some nice simple demos to illustrate principles in the class, and I’ll blog some of those that work and are interesting. When Michael … Continue reading

Posted in Physics, Physics demos | 9 Comments

Cloaking from earthquakes?

There has been a lot of excitement among researchers about the science of invisibility over the past decade, and a variety of designs of invisibility cloaks have been suggested since the groundbreaking 2006 papers.  I’ve talked a lot about invisibility … Continue reading

Posted in Invisibility | 1 Comment