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- The author of Skulls in the Stars is a 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: History of science
So James Clerk Maxwell was one of the greatest theoretical physicists of the 19th century, even perhaps the greatest. He is most famous for compiling a system of equations in the 1860s that describe the interactions of electricity and magnetism, … Continue reading
I’ve said before that old illustrated magazines are a treasure trove of fascinating stuff. From the same 1904 issue of The Strand where I found the vintage math puzzle in my previous post, I found this amazing reader-submitted photograph: In … Continue reading
Most everyone knows the name H.G. Wells: he is one of the founders of science fiction as a popular and accepted form of literature, thanks to his brilliant novels The Time Machine (1895), The War of the Worlds (1898), and … Continue reading
Hi all, I’ve been rather busy with work lately and haven’t had much time to blog. I’ve got a lot to write about, and no time to do it! In the meantime, however, I gave a talk at my university … Continue reading
Another short post inspired by my work on my upcoming book on the history of invisibility physics! James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) is rightly regarded as one of the most important physicists of the 19th century, and indeed of all time, … Continue reading
This past week I gave a virtual talk to the Charlotte Amateur Astronomy Club about a fascinating development in wave physics and imaging called “superoscillations,” and I thought I would record a version that I could share here! Hopefully the … Continue reading
Okay, so I did a video presentation at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences tonight on “Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics!” Due to COVID restrictions, it’s the closest thing to a book event I’ll be doing for a while, so … Continue reading
On May 16, 1960, Theodore Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories was the first person to create the now ubiquitous and important source of light that we know as the LASER – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. This year … Continue reading
So this year is the 60 year anniversary of the invention of the laser, which was finally accomplished by Theodore Maiman on May 16, 1960 (mark your calendar!). I recently wrote a blog post about the physics and history of … Continue reading
Okay, here’s one more classic video from my regular seminar series: Forgotten Milestones in the History of Optics! This was one of the earliest semi-popular seminars I put together. More videos and posts to come!