Science

  • EBEX launched!

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    My colleagues, friends and collaborators on the EBEX project are in Antarctica this (Northern) winter preparing the telescope for launch. And today, they did it: EBEX Launch movie Just beautiful. (The video is from Asad Aboobaker, whose blog EBEX in Flight is documenting the mission from the field.) EBEX is a next-generation CMB telescope, with…

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  • Quantum debrief

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    A week ago, I finished my first time teaching our second-year course in quantum mechanics. After a bit of a taster in the first year, the class concentrates on the famous Schrödinger equation, which describes the properties of a particle under the influence of an external force. The simplest version of the equation is just…

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  • Science as metaphor

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    In further pop-culture crossover news, I was pleased to see this paragraph in John Keane’s review of Alan Ryan’s “On Politics” in this weekend’s Financial Times: Ryan sees this period [the 1940s] as the point of triumph of liberal democracy against its Fascist and Stalinist opponents. Closer attention shows this decade was instead a moment…

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  • SDSS 1416+13B

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    It’s not that often that I can find a reason to write about both astrophysics and music — my obsessions, vocations and avocations — at the same time. But the recent release of Scott Walker‘s (certainly weird, possibly wonderful) new record Bish Bosch has given me just such an excuse: Track 4 is a 21-minute…

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  • Prizes and Books, As Yet Unread and Unwritten

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    Over the last couple of months, I’ve managed invites to a few swish literary shindigs. For no literary reason at all (I’m the proud godparent of someone who works for the prize’s sponsors), I was able to make my way into this year’s ceremony for the Man Booker Prize, held in the rather splendid Guildhall…

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  • Traversant la Manche

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    Until now, I have been forced to resist the clamour brewing among both members of my extensive readership (hi, dad!) to post a bit more often: my excuse is that, in the little over a month between early September and mid-October, I have travelled back and forth from Paris to London five times, spent a…

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  • Harmony in the Universe

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    Cosmology fans in and around London: Please come here my colleague Jean–Philippe Uzan, visiting us from Paris, who will talk about “ Harmony in the Universe: between science and music” this coming Thursday, 25 October 2012 in the Huxley Building here at Imperial College. It’s free, but please contact us at astro-outreach@imperial.ac.uk if you’re going…

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  • Higgs vs Religion on the Radio: no contest

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    The Higgs day continues (and I’m not even a particle physicist). At about 5pm, just as I was dialling into one of my several-times-a-week Planck teleconferences, I had an email from Tim at the BBC, who works with the World Service “World Have Your Say” show, coming on at 6pm. Would I be able to…

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  • Fundamental Scalar found?

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    I am just back from STFC‘s media event covering what did, in the end, turn out to be the discovery of a particle that appears to be the long-predicted Higgs boson, the last component in the Standard Model of Particle Physics to be discovered, and in many ways its linchpin. Via a mechanism known as…

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  • Future Science Bloggers Wanted

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    Attention Imperial Postgraduates*: I’ll be helping lead a course in Science Blogging this Friday, 6 July 2012 at Imperial, along with a couple of fellow (science) bloggers: biophysicist Professor Stephen Curry and biostatistician (and actual graduate student!) Erika Cule, both of whom write at Occam’s Typewriter, an excellent grassroots network of scientist bloggers. Imperial students…

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