Category Archives: Optics

Optics by hot air balloon?

The first in a (hopefully) series of posts inspired by topics covered in my upcoming textbook on singular optics. Crewed balloon rides have a surprisingly large role in the history of science.  The first untethered balloon flight was performed in Paris on November … Continue reading

Posted in Optics, Physics | 2 Comments

Physics demonstrations: the Mirascope

I recently participated again in the annual UNCC Science and Technology Expo, showing off neat science demos to the public.  This year, I decided to add a table of “Optics and Illusions,” to show how science and our own brains can … Continue reading

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Optics and infinity at American Scientist!

I’ve been kind of quiet here lately, partly due to my job and partly due to writing blog posts and essays for other venues.  Happily, one of these blog posts is now available to read over at American Scientist, on … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Optics, Personal | 1 Comment

Hilda Hänchen and the Goos-Hänchen effect

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

Posted in History of science, Optics, Women in science | 4 Comments

Optical rogue waves at American Scientist!

Been quite busy lately, but I wrote a blog post on recent research on rogue waves, the rare killers of the sea, at American Scientist, which appeared this week!  A snippet: Until these discoveries, such rogues were thought to be … Continue reading

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My Google Hangout Seminar on Invisibility Physics!

In lieu of more substantial writing on the blog, here’s a link to another presentation I gave! I was invited to give a Google Hangout Seminar at the University of Central Arkansas on “How Not to be Seen: The History … Continue reading

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Infinite hotels in swirling beams of light

I’ve noticed there seems to be a general unspoken rule about the relationship between mathematics and science: any mathematics, no matter how abstract or seemingly disconnected from reality, eventually finds use or representation in the natural world.  For example, most … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Optics | 11 Comments