Brancusi's Golden Bird 1920
ArtMathPhilosophyphysicsQuantum MechanicsScience

Is the LHC an expensive art installation?

There are reams of writing, hours of talks, and TV programs by scientists on the manifestation of beauty in physics and mathematics. Obviously, beauty is a great angle for science communication, but their appreciation for beauty has a pragmatic purpose. From Albert Einstein to Edward Frenkel; Werner Heisenberg to Frank …

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ComicFeaturedphysicsQuantum MechanicsScience

Quantizing the Nucleus: Maria Goeppert-Mayer and the Creation of Nuclear Shell Theory (Women in Science 40)

How does radioactive decay know when to stop? When Uranium-238 breaks up, it goes through twenty-two intermediate isotopes before finally coming to rest at Lead-206, but why remain there? What’s so special about Lead-206, or Calcium-48, or any of the other isotopes that nature seems to particularly favor? The answer …

ComicFeaturedphysicsQuantum MechanicsScience & Nature

ATLAS Soared: Fabiola Gianotti and the Discovery of a Higgs Particle (Women In Science 19)

In a corner of a room, tucked unostentatiously away from the notice of the raving hordes of just barely contained school children using their field trip to Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science to wreak havoc, there lies behind glass a hundred year old circular object no bigger than a water …

ComicFeaturedfeminismphysicsQuantum Mechanics

Parity Girl: The Experimental Physics of Chien-Shiung Wu

How does a neutrino sign its name? Sometimes it’s only the truly absurd questions that can break physics from its well-worn grooves and force it to elaborate fantastic new schemes to explain reality.  The notion that, for some processes, there is a distinct right or left handed bias in nature, …

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Lab Track: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Higgs Boson Blues

I got sorta giddy when I saw that Nick Cave had written a song about the Higgs Boson, and it’s about the delegitimizing of religion in the face of science to boot. But then it turns out to be more of a lament than anything (Who cares what the future …

I can tell you where his head is but I have no idea where his wings are!
PhotographyphysicsQuantum MechanicsScience

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and Hummingbirds

This week in my art studio I thought I would learn some theoretical physics and finally wrap my brain around what’s known as the uncertainty principle. Also? Hummingbirds.

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Lots of stuff can be two different things: wave/particle, producer/director, dessert topping/floor wax. The list goes on and on. Today, though, we’re going to be one-upping that and making something that’s three different things. I know, right? Here’s how it all came together…

AIphysicsQuantum Mechanics

AI: Practical Art

Ever seen the image above? If you’re a particle physicist or have ever been in a college dorm, the answer is definitely yes. The rest of you who don’t fit into my false dichotomy (a good number I’m sure) probably have seen one of these and probably even know what it …