Category Archives: History of science

What is quantum entanglement? Part 2: Randomness and measurement

This is part 2 in a lengthy series of posts attempting to explain the idea of quantum entanglement to a non-physics audience.  Part 1 can be read here. So, by the mid 1920s, physicists had made significant progress in developing the … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics | 3 Comments

What is Quantum Entanglement? Part 1: Waves and particles

If you follow science, or science fiction, to any degree, great or small, you’ve probably heard the term “quantum entanglement” before.  You may also have heard it referred to as “spooky action at a distance,” and understand that it somehow … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics | 18 Comments

Pepper’s last optical illusion: metempsychosis

A month ago, I shared the lengthy, odd and sometimes dramatic history of the illusion commonly known as “Pepper’s ghost,” which I believe is more properly called the “Pepper-Dircks ghost.”  In researching this post, I uncovered a wealth of fascinating … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Optics | 1 Comment

19th century optics FAILs

My recent post on the Pepper-Dircks ghost didn’t include even close to all of the interesting tidbits it could have!  There are so many things to learn from the story of the ghost, including some lessons about optics. For example: … Continue reading

Posted in ... the Hell?, History of science, Optics | Leave a comment

Michael Faraday meets “The Ghost”

My most recent blog post, concerning the history of the Pepper-Dircks Ghost, was extremely long but didn’t even include all the fascinating aspects of its history.  For instance: the ghost was such an incredibly effective illusion that it even drew … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Optics, Physics | 1 Comment

Dircks and Pepper: A Tale of Two Ghosts

It is often told that in the 1860s, John Henry Pepper used science and technology to invent a ghost. Or did he? This is the surprisingly tricky question that we will try to answer in this lengthy post. It is a … Continue reading

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Dinosaur feathers and other oddly-discovered science

Several days ago, a truly awe-inspiring and beautiful scientific achievement was announced to the public: the discovery of the first piece of amber ever found to actually contain the preserved tissue from the tail of a dinosaur, including bones, flesh … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, General science, History of science | 2 Comments