Dead Wild Roses: How Dare They? :) – Redefining the Kilogram

As of this year the standard example of what a kilogram is will change.  No longer will we have a physical representation, but rather a construct based on the harmonization of physics and chemistry.  Fascinating stuff. 🙂

Dead Wild Roses: The Physics of Curling

Filed under: Science Tagged: Curling, Physics

Dead Wild Roses: The Archer’s Paradox – Smarter Everyday

I’ve only shot a bow a couple of times, but I do remember that hitting anything consistently was quite challenging.  Physics, and of course long hours of practice come to the rescue. Filed under: Science Tagged: Archer’s Paradox, Physics, Smarter Everyday

Alberta Politics: Thinking about my dad on the 100th anniversary of his birth and Canada’s need for public post-secondary education

PHOTOS: My dad, John L. Climenhaga, as a University of Saskatchewan undergraduate. Below: My father, in the foreground, circa 1917, about the time the asteroid now named Climenhaga in his honour was discovered, and, many years later, in his modest office at the University of Victoria. Below those shots, the Climenhaga Observatory on the roof ...

Dead Wild Roses: How Far Can Humanity Go?

When physics drops the hammer on your galaxy exploration dreams… Filed under: Science Tagged: Limits of Humanity, Physics, Science

Dead Wild Roses: Minute Physics – The Limb of the Sun

Physics?  On a Monday?  Eeek! Filed under: Science Tagged: Limb of the Sun, Physics, Science

Terahertz: The Big Bang Theory is ruining science

When The Big Bang Theory first premiered, I watched it with a lot of hope. It had science script checkers and sought to bring the nerdy culture of physics into the mainstream. My wife (then girlfriend) and I started watching it while we were both undergrads – me in engineering physics and she in physics. ...

Dead Wild Roses: Minute Physics – How to See Without Glasses

As a bespectacled individual, I was hoping for something a little more high tech. 🙂 On the upside, it is good to know when you’re in a pinch.   Filed under: Science Tagged: How to See Without Glasses, Minute Physics, Physics, Science

Dead Wild Roses: The Sport of Curling is Mysterious – Even to Science

Curling, the backdrop for a a controversy among physicists.    Who knew?  You do now. 🙂   Filed under: Science Tagged: Curling, Mysterious Rocks, Physics, Science

Dead Wild Roses: Relativity Isn’t Relative – Minute Physics

Just when I think I have a handle on base concept or two…  *sigh*     Filed under: Science Tagged: Minute Physics, Physics, Relativity, Science

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

This beautiful video is set to the words theoretical physicist Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988). * * The Sagan Series is an educational project working in the hopes of promoting scientific literacy in the general population. Created by @ReidGower

Dead Wild Roses: How Transistors Work – 1veritasium

My ignorance knows no bounds. 🙂  I count myself, after watching this video, just little more in touch with the basic stuffs that makes computer technologies work. Filed under: Education Tagged: Education, Physics, Transistors

Dead Wild Roses: I like it when Physics answers the “Big Questions” – Immovalble Objects and Unstoppable Forces

No preamble necessary, watch and learn folks. 🙂 Filed under: Education, Science Tagged: Immovable Objects, Physics, Science, Unstoppable Forces

Death By Trolley: Help Me Better Understand The Big Bang Theory

My understanding of the Big Bang Theory (BBT) is that approximately 13.77 billion years ago a certain singularity came into existence “with a bang”. It was incredibly – infinitely? – dense and small, and it exploded into existence. The explosion was the beginning of the expansion. The Big Bang (BB) has been held to be ...

Dead Wild Roses: High School Physics – Momentum

Ah, the models we learn in school, just to get our head in the game.  Here is a quick  one minute physics video illustrating that most things are lot more complex than what we initially thought. Filed under: Science Tagged: Fun Facts, Model Builiding, Physics, Science

Exponential Book: What do you look for (part two)?

Having expounded in my previous post what kind of person I look for, when serving on the search committee for a tenure-track hire, now it is time to list the criteria that I adopt to try and spot my ideal candidate, as I go through application packages (APs). I am going to state upfront that, ...

Exponential Book: What do you look for (part one) ?

I am a faculty member in a university physics department, who finds himself periodically involved in faculty searches and hires. How do I evaluate the curriculum vitae of an applicant for a tenure-track position? What do I look for, and what are the red flags? Does it really boil down to counting (first-authored) articles, impact ...

The Quantum Buddha's Blog: Dan’s Estimation of the Age of the Universe

As a follow up to my post on the theory of relativity’s implications on the age of the universe and the nature of reality, I am pointing out something that has been bugging me for see time. How did quasars get 33 billions years away from us in just 13.75 billion years since the big ...

The Quantum Buddha's Blog: Dan’s Estimation of the Age of the Universe

As a follow up to my post on the theory of relativity’s implications on the age of the universe and the nature of reality, I am pointing out something that has been bugging me for see time. How did quasars get 33 billions years away from us in just 13.75 billion years since the big ...

Exponential Book: Binomial distributions and multiple choice tests

Readers of my blog know that I generally regard multiple choice tests (MCTs) as an adequate tool to assess student knowledge of, and proficiency with, a given set of topics. I have written about this subject here and here. No, I do not think that MCTs are perfect, nor do I deem them necessarily the ...

Things Are Good: Physicists Open Up

Results from publically-funded research often ends up in places that the average person can’t access the findings because scientific (and other) journals where results are printed cost an arm and a leg. Physicists, who are already renowned for being open, have taken the next logical step and said that any research paid for by public ...

Terahertz: Why read when you can watch and listen?

A bunch of shameless self promotion. Back in August I was invited to join Don McLenaghen on Radio Freethinker, the skeptical podcast of CiTR radio (the UBC radio station). Ethan was away that week, so we spent the entire hour talking about Humanism. You can listen to that interview here (mp3). Last week, I took ...

Exponential Book: In praise of failure

“In 2004, Kim and Chan (KC) carried out torsional oscillator (TO) measurements of solid helium confined in porous Vycor glass and found an abrupt drop in the resonant period below 200 mK. The period drop was interpreted as probable experimental evidence of nonclassical rotational inertia (NCRI). This experiment sparked considerable activities in the studies of ...

Exponential Book: On confirmation bias

Doug Natelson has done an outstanding job at debunking a ridiculous charge of confirmation bias allegedly affecting a recent study of climate change. Such a charge is put forth in an article published in the popular press (on a very prominent venue). While ostensibly aimed at educating the general public about some aspects of how ...

Exponential Book: Online notes

Why do students who take courses with me (but colleagues tell me of similar experiences) routinely insist that I scan and post online my very own notes, the hard-to-read, disorganized and sketchy gibberish that I use for lecturing, whereas if I post a neatly put together summary of the basic concepts and formulae — typically ...