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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: History of science
Some of the most interesting stories in the history of science are those where investigations take a wrong turn. Scientific progress is filled with red herrings, failed assumptions, and wild guesses that rarely make it into the science textbooks. When … Continue reading
Over the past few years, we’ve been treated to a stunning array of achievements in space exploration, such as the Juno Mission (inserted into orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016), New Horizons (passed Pluto on July 14, 2015), and Rosetta (landed … Continue reading
Some time ago, I wrote about a fascinating 1975 experiment in which the relationship between quantum mechanics and gravity was tested. The experiment was made possible by the new — at the time — technique of neutron interferometry, in which the wave … Continue reading
Today, the United Nations declared February 11 to be the “International Day of Women and Girls in Science,” starting a new effort to get more women into science and keep them there. In honor of this new day, I thought … Continue reading
It is rather unsettling to think that scientific careers are often made by simple luck. For example, eventual Nobel Prize winner Albert Michelson (1852-1931) only got an education thanks to the literal last-minute intervention of none other than the President … Continue reading
Update: Additional images provided by Alice Zent at the end of the post! Some five years ago, I shared an intriguing anecdote from the biography of Albert A. Michelson, in which Michelson — who had a reputation of being incredibly … Continue reading
On October 29, 2015, I was invited to present a Science Cafe at the Schiele Museum in Gastonia, NC, based on my “Science Chamber of Horrors” Tumblr! I think it went well and I appreciated the invitation to speak there. … Continue reading