Natural Sciences

The Last, by Hanna Jameson

Life has been rough lately… and by “lately,” I kinda mean the past two years, for various reasons, on and off. Because of that, I’ve struggled to focus on reading fiction, much to my own dismay. However, I opted to take a trip to Los Angeles this past weekend to catch up with some friends and meet a few twitter friends in person, and the long flight was a great opportunity and motivation to spark my reading again.

At a glance, Hanna Jameson’s The Last...

Dr. SkySkull in China, Part 4: the Shandong Museum

Part 3 in a long series of posts about my month and a half in China. Part 1 can be read here, Part 2 can be read here, and Part 3 can be read here.

On my first weekend in Jinan, I vowed to get out and brave the city by myself. On that Sunday, I went to Baotu Spring, which I wrote about in Part 1.  On that Saturday, though, I went to the Shandong Museum, which I will cover in this post.

Why am I writing about my first experience in Jinan in Part 4 of my series of posts? Well, it takes a lot more research...

Dr. SkySkull in China, Part 2: What I ate

Part 2 in a long series of posts about my month and a half in China. Part 1 can be read here.

Before I dive into a post of more history, culture and scenery of China, I thought I would do a short post on a question that was really weighing heavily on my mind when I arrived: what do I eat here?

China is a country with an incredibly diverse culinary tradition, and there are in fact officially eight major cuisine styles: Shandong, Sichuan, Hunan, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui and Fujian....

A small announcement: I’m adventuring in China!

Hi all, I just wanted to apologize for being rather quiet with posting lately, as work has been incredibly busy! Alas, things probably won’t pick up for another month, yet, as I am currently spending a month and a half in China to work on research collaborations!

I am hoping to share a few short posts here and there while I’m away, both on physics and on my travels in country.  Talk to you all soon!

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An Ode to the “Tomb of Horrors”

Part of this feeling on my part is certainly nostalgia, but there really isn’t anything quite like the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and its associated published adventure modules. Recently on twitter, I’ve been reminiscing about “Old School Dungeons & Dragons” and discussing some of the classics of D&D and AD&D.

However, there are some adventures that deserve more than a handful of tweets to discuss. One of these, and...

Vortices in beams of light and vortex coronagraphy

This past Friday, I was invited to give a talk at the monthly meeting of the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club, a lovely organization that has been around since 1954.  As a theoretical physicist, I am not that well-versed on astronomy but decided to give a talk on how the physics of optical vortices are now being used to improve direct observations of exoplanets, in a technique called vortex coronagraphy.

I wasn’t sure how well my talk would connect with the audience,...

Dr. SkySkull in China, Part 3: Daming Lake

Part 3 in a long series of posts about my month and a half in China. Part 1 can be read here, and Part 2 can be read here.

On my first weekend in Jinan I hit two of the major attractions of the city: the Shandong Museum and Baotu Spring. On my second weekend I opted to see a third major attraction, and a centerpiece of the city: Daming Lake, “Lake of the Great Splendor.” This 110 acre lake is fed by the artesian springs of the city, and has a lovely tree-lined walking trail around...

Dr. SkySkull in China, Part 1: Baotu Spring

So I’m back home after my epic month and a half trip to China! It was a really lovely experience: my hosts were incredibly kind and generous, I got to see and do a lot of things that I’ve only dreamed of, and I was able to get a lot of work done.

I also, of course, took a lot of photos! During my trip, I not only took a few trips to other cities, but spent my weekends wandering the city of Jinan, where I was based.  I worked at Shandong Normal University, at their newer campus situated...

Crookes and the puzzle of his radiometer

This blog post is based on some early experimental writing that was done for my Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics book that was cut from the final draft! As you will see, it was much too long and too much of a digression to include in the book, so I’ve posted it here sorta as a preview of not-quite-the-book!

Some of the most fascinating physics demonstrations are some of the oldest. In my office, I have several versions of a device known as a Crookes radiometer, including...

Available for pre-order: Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics!

Big news from about my upcoming book, Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics: we have a release date — October 22nd — and a cover!!!

Furthermore, and perhaps most important, the book is now available for pre-order! You can order it through Amazon at this link or, if you prefer, you can order it directly from Yale University Press at their website!

The official blurb is as follows:

The question of how falling cats land on their feet has intrigued humans since at least...

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