Category Archives: History of science

James Clerk Maxwell – Vampyre poet?

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

Posted in History of science, Horror | 1 Comment

The oldest cat selfie? (1904)

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

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

H.G. Wells insults the entire human race (1924)

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

Posted in History of science, Science fiction | 3 Comments

Personally Speaking… about Falling Felines!

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

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Row, row row your boat, James Clerk Maxwell (1841)

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

Posted in History of science, Optics | 1 Comment

Superoscillations: imaging beyond the limits of diffraction

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

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Presentation on “Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics!”

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

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The Anniversary of the Laser at Cambridge University Press – Part 1!

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

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The first news report of the laser (1960)

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

Posted in ... the Hell?, History of science, Optics | 2 Comments

Forgotten Milestones in the History of Optics: video!

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!

Posted in History of science, Optics | 1 Comment