Category Archives: Physics

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

Cat-turning in the Washington Post!

Those who have followed this blog for a while know that I have a fascination with the physics and history of “cat-turning,” the ability of a cat to turn over and land on its feet even when it falls with … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Personal, Physics | Leave a comment

How much does a photon weigh?

A couple of weeks ago, after a glass of wine, I did a twitter “ask me anything” about optics and light which resulted in the question that is the title of this post.  I took a rough twitter stab at it … Continue reading

Posted in Physics, Relativity | 20 Comments

The Hunt for Vulcan, by Thomas Levenson

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

Posted in History of science, Physics | 2 Comments

Light, by Kimberly Arcand and Megan Watzke

I have a lot of catching up to do in terms of popular science books, so I’ve recently been doing an intense amount of reading.  A lot of my focus has been on reading books by people I’m acquainted with … Continue reading

Posted in Optics, Physics | 1 Comment

Breaking the Chains of Gravity, by Amy Shira Teitel

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

Posted in History of science, Physics | 3 Comments

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