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- The author of Skulls in the Stars is a 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: … the Hell?
My apologies that I continue to go on about Republican attacks on higher education, but it really has become clear now that this is a major goal of 2015 for the GOP: weaken and/or destroy public universities as much as possible. … Continue reading
Dear Senator McInnis, I recently read with some concern, first in The Daily Tarheel and then on Slate, about your proposed Senate bill 593, ironically titled “An act to improve the quality of instruction at the constituent 3 institutions of the University of North Carolina.” This … Continue reading
Scene: A table at Starbucks Cast: Man #1, a wealthy benefactor Man #2, an enlightened guy Man #1: Let me ask you a hypothetical question: given the choice, would you rather have world peace or a billion dollars? Man #2: Oh, … Continue reading
References in a scientific paper are supposed to answer questions, not raise them, but sometimes they inadvertently create a minor mystery for the reader. A few weeks back, I blogged about the curious phenomenon of subluminal vacuum beams of light, … Continue reading
I hate writing posts like this. I prefer to write about fun physics, history of science and cool horror fiction. But some things are so appalling and disgusting that one must speak up, especially if one’s friends are attacked. You … Continue reading
(Tip o’ the hat to Blake Stacey for first pointing this story out to me!) The history of science is filled with macabre tales of self-experimentation, amoral experimentation on others, horrific accidents, and even mysterious and sinister disappearances. Perhaps the … Continue reading
Update: tweaked the descriptions of nuclear physics to be a little more specific. I’m not sure that anything fills me with despair more than the trend of parents refusing to vaccinate their children. A couple of weeks ago, an article … Continue reading
Updated with a third footnote clarifying my use of the term “diverge,” thanks to suggestion by Evelyn Lamb, who has also written an excellent discussion of the problem with the video. At the end of this post I list all the … Continue reading
The history of science provides me with a practically never-ending set of delightful surprises! Case in point is a set of articles I found while browsing through volume 17 of Current Literature, “A Magazine of Record and Review,” published in … Continue reading
Update below: original block has been restored — I think. This is a bit out of the norm from my usual posts, but this has really pissed me off and I need to rant about it. Also, I need to … Continue reading