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Matter & Interactions | Contemporary calculus-based physics
"Matter & Interactions is a textbook by Ruth Chabay and Bruce Sherwood (John Wiley & Sons, 4th edition, 2015) that emphasizes a modern perspective on the calculus-based introductory physics curriculum taken by science and engineering students. it engages students in: Starting analyses from fundamental principles rather than secondary formulas Making macro-micro connections, based on the atomic nature of matter Modeling physical systems: making idealizations, simplifying assumptions, estimates Constructing computational models to predict the time evolution of system behavior"
physics  textbook  python  graphics 
january 2017 by tsuomela
GlowScript IDE
"GlowScript is an easy-to-use, powerful environment for creating 3D animations and publishing them on the web. Here at, you can write and run GlowScript programs right in your browser, store them in the cloud for free, and easily share them with others. Thanks to the RapydScript compiler, you can use VPython here."
programming  library  python  graphics  physics  browser 
january 2017 by tsuomela
"VPython makes it easy to create navigable 3D displays and animations, even for those with limited programming experience. Because it is based on Python, it also has much to offer for experienced programmers and researchers."
programming  library  python  graphics  physics 
january 2017 by tsuomela
SCOAP3 | Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics
"SCOAP3 is a one-of-its-kind partnership of thousands of libraries and key funding agencies and research centers in two dozen countries. Working with leading publishers, SCOAP3 is converting key journals in the field of High-Energy Physics to Open Access at no cost for authors. "
open-access  publishing  physics 
may 2014 by tsuomela
Karen Barad - Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning <br />
"Meeting the Universe Halfway is an ambitious book with far-reaching implications for numerous fields in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. In this volume, Karen Barad, theoretical physicist and feminist theorist, elaborates her theory of agential realism. Offering an account of the world as a whole rather than as composed of separate natural and social realms, agential realism is at once a new epistemology, ontology, and ethics. The starting point for Barad's analysis is the philosophical framework of quantum physicist Niels Bohr. Barad extends and partially revises Bohr's philosophical views in light of current scholarship in physics, science studies, and the philosophy of science as well as feminist, poststructuralist, and other critical social theories. In the process, she significantly reworks understandings of space, time, matter, causality, agency, subjectivity, and objectivity. In an agential realist account, the world is made of entanglements of "social" and "natural" agencies, where the distinction between the two emerges out of specific intra-actions. Intra-activity is an inexhaustible dynamism that configures and reconfigures relations of space-time-matter. In explaining intra-activity, Barad reveals questions about how nature and culture interact and change over time to be fundamentally misguided. And she reframes understanding of the nature of scientific and political practices and their "interrelationship." Thus she pays particular attention to the responsible practice of science, and she emphasizes changes in the understanding of political practices, critically reworking Judith Butler's influential theory of performativity. Finally, Barad uses agential realism to produce a new interpretation of quantum physics, demonstrating that agential realism is more than a means of reflecting on science; it can be used to actually do science."
book  publisher  science  sts  philosophy  quantum  quantum-mechanics  physics 
july 2013 by tsuomela
Gravity's Ghost: Scientific Discovery in the Twenty-first Century, Collins
"As the leading chronicler of the search for gravitational waves, Harry Collins has been right there with the scientists since the start. The result of his unprecedented access to the front lines of physical science is Gravity’s Ghost, a thrilling chronicle of high-stakes research and cutting-edge discovery. Here, Collins reveals that scientific discovery and nondiscovery can turn on scientific traditions and rivalries, that ideal statistical analysis rests on impossible procedures and unattainable knowledge, and that fact in one place is baseless assumption in another. He also argues that sciences like gravitational wave detection, in exemplifying how the intractable is to be handled, can offer scientific leadership a moral beacon for the twenty-first century. In the end, Gravity’s Ghost shows that discoveries are the denouements of dramatic scientific mysteries. "
book  publisher  sts  science  history  philosophy  physics  gravity 
november 2012 by tsuomela
[1208.0215] The Making of a Genius: Richard P. Feynman
"In 1965 the Nobel Foundation honored Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, Julian Schwinger, and Richard Feynman for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics and the consequences for the physics of elementary particles. In contrast to both of his colleagues only Richard Feynman appeared as a genius before the public. In his autobiographies he managed to connect his behavior, which contradicted several social and scientific norms, with the American myth of the "practical man". This connection led to the image of a common American with extraordinary scientific abilities and contributed extensively to enhance the image of Feynman as genius in the public opinion. Is this image resulting from Feynman's autobiographies in accordance with historical facts? This question is the starting point for a deeper historical analysis that tries to put Feynman and his actions back into historical context. The image of a "genius" appears then as a construct resulting from the public reception of brilliant scientific research. "
physics  sts  science  history  biography  genius 
august 2012 by tsuomela
[1207.3738] Ice structures, patterns, and processes: A view across the ice-fields
"We look ahead from the frontiers of research on ice dynamics in its broadest sense
science  water  ice  physics  material 
july 2012 by tsuomela
[1207.3997] Beyond crystals: the dialectic of materials and information
We argue for a convergence of crystallography, materials science and biology, that will come about through asking materials questions about biology and biological questions about materials, illuminated by considerations of information.
science  material  physics  structure  information  unification 
july 2012 by tsuomela
[1207.2016] A Sense of Crisis: Physics in the fin-de-siecle Era
" Whereas physics in the period from about 1880 to 1910 experienced a steady growth, it was also a revolutionary period in which the foundations of the physical world picture were criticized and reconsidered. Generally speaking, from about 1890 mechanics and materialism came under increasing attack and sought replaced by new formulations based on either energy, the ether, or the electromagnetic field. Fin-de-siecle physics was in many ways a chapter of turmoil in the history of science. I review the main developments and alternatives to the established physics, in particular energetics, ether physics, the electromagnetic world view, and also the role played by radioactivity and other new rays discovered in the years around 1900. In the end the anticipated revolution based on the "matter is dead" catchword did not succeed. A revolution did take place in the period, but it was a different one that did not derive from the Zeitgeist of fin de siecle. "
sts  science  history  physics  19c  paradigm 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Scientific History and the Lessons for Today's Emerging Ideas - Technology Review
"Kragh clearly shows that only a small fraction of the mainstream scientific debate in the 1890s is relevant today. And there's no reason to think that same won't be true when historians reassess early 21st century science in a hundred year's time."
sts  science  history  physics  19c  paradigm 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Trickle Down Science : Uncertain Principles
"Which is great when you're in one of the fields that's meant to serve as the grand and inspirational challenge. For the rest of us, though, this is trickle-down science: the best and the brightest get fired up to be rocket scientists, or high-energy particle physicists, and those who aren't quite the best or the brightest, well... they can study condensed matter physics, or something less inspirational. They'll still be an upgrade over the riff-raff who are presumably populating those fields now. You know, the ones motivated by wanting to save the world from cancer, or hunger, or pestilence.

Not only is this kind of insulting to those of us who have chosen to make careers in fields that aren't driven by Big Science, it's not remotely sustainable. If getting people to go into science and engineering is dependent on something as ephemeral as "inspiration," we're forever going to be careening from boom to bust."
science  motivation  physics  goals  goal-setting  scale  discipline 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Why Are Physicists Hating On Philosophy? : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR
"Its one thing for physicists exploring carbon nanotubes to say they have no use for philosophy. Their work lives or dies by experimental data that can be collected tomorrow. But over the last few decades, cosmology and foundational physics have become dominated by ideas that that appear to take a page from science fiction and, more importantly, remain firmly untethered to data."
physics  cosmology  philosophy  empirical 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog: Krauss vs. the Philosophers
"Lawrence Krauss, a physicist at Arizona State University, wrote a book on the physics of how "something can come from nothing," and thought it answered the old philosophical question to that effect. He got lots of praise from other philosophical ignoramuses, and then along came David Albert, a distinguished philosopher of physics at Columbia University (who even has a PhD in physics), who pointed out the confusions in a rather wicked, but as far as I can see apt, review in The New York Times. "
physics  philosophy  envy  overconfidence  science  science-wars  sts 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Quantum mechanics in popular-science books -
"Since its inception in the early part of the 20th century, the theory of quantum mechanics has consistently baffled many of the great physicists of our time. But while the ideas of quantum physics are challenging and notoriously weird, they seem to capture the public imagination and hold an enduring appeal. Evidence of this comes in part from the numerous popular-science books that have been written on the topic over the years. This episode in the Physics World books podcast series looks at the popularity of quantum mechanics in science writing"
physics  science  podcast  publishing  public-understanding  popularize 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Authors of political science book argue for changes in methodology | Inside Higher Ed
"In their recently published book A Model Discipline: Political Science and the Logic of Representations (Oxford University Press), Clarke and Primo delve into the ramifications of this "physics envy" for political science. In their quest to emulate the hard sciences, Clarke and Primo write, political scientists have placed far too much emphasis on model testing, resulting in the widespread view "that theoretical models must be tested to be of value and that the ultimate goal of empirical analysis is theory testing."
A Model Discipline argues that the logic behind this stance is hopelessly flawed, while its impacts have been detrimental to political science in a variety of ways."
book  interview  methods  methodology  hypothetical  deduction  political-science  social-science  physics  hard-v-soft  science 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Arguments For Things I Don’t Believe, 1: Research on String Theory is Largely a Waste of Time | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine
A gedankenexperiment on "So here we go: the best argument I can think of for why research on string theory is a waste of time."
physics  research  justification  theory  experiments  philosophy 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
"We have this pet physicist and.. something's wrong. It keeps babbling about linguistics and neurology and climate science."
comic  humor  academia  physics  econophysics 
march 2012 by tsuomela
How Airplanes Fly
Good example for the "illusion of explanatory depth"
science  explanation  flying  physics  complexity  illusion  psychology  expertise 
december 2011 by tsuomela
Quantum computing for the determined | Michael Nielsen
"I’ve posted to YouTube a series of 22 short videos giving an introduction to quantum computing. Here’s the first video:

Below I list the remaining 21 videos, which cover subjects including the basic model of quantum computing, entanglement, superdense coding, and quantum teleportation.

To work through the videos you need to be comfortable with basic linear algebra, and with assimilating new mathematical terminology. If you’re not, working through the videos will be arduous at best! Apart from that background, the main prerequisite is determination, and the willingness to work more than once over material you don’t fully understand."
video  quantum  computing  science  education  mathematics  physics  open-access 
june 2011 by tsuomela
Best-yet Value for Universe's Expansion - News Blog -
"Having measured both recession speed and distance with good accuracy, Riess and his team came up with a figure for the expansion rate of the universe with an uncertainty of only 3.3%. (Their value is 73.8 ± 2.2 km per second per megaparsec.) By reducing the margin of error by 30% over the Hubble Space Telescope’s previous best measurement in 2009, his study made it clear that the void theory of accelerating expansion, already unlikely, is now virtually a statistical impossibility: the expansion rate calculated in this study is significantly larger than those that would be observed in the most plausible "void" scenarios, and the margin of error is too small to allow for any wiggle room.
physics  astronomy  astrophysics  universe  expansion  dark-energy  hubble 
march 2011 by tsuomela
symmetry - June/July 2007 - Talk and Chalk
"In the office world, there’s no question whiteboards have taken over. Schools, as well, have been switching to whiteboards, partly to prevent chalk dust from damaging the computers now common in classrooms. Overall, marker boards outsell blackboards by three to one, according to Pat Donohue, owner of Aywon, a company in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, that manufactures and sells both. Even the academic sector has gone largely to whiteboards. "Our biggest market for chalkboards," Donohue says, "is restaurants that want chalkboard menus."

But with their smelly markers and spotty erasing performance, whiteboards have won few converts among theorists at SLAC. When the group needs new boards— apparently they do wear out after 40 years—it still requisitions blackboards. "
physics  science  culture  behavior 
march 2011 by tsuomela
The Virtuosi: Darts
Modeling where to aim in darts to maximize your score.
physics  games  prediction 
january 2011 by tsuomela
[1101.0684] Scientific collaborations in astronomy between amateurs and professionals
"As our successful Mons campaign to observe WR140 has shown, there is a strong interest among both amateur and professional astronomers to collaborate on specific scientific questions. I highlight here some recent examples of successful collaborations, and outline a number of areas of astronomy where Pro-Am collaborations are making a difference. "
citizen-science  amateur  science  professional  astronomy  physics  co-science  collaboration 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Scientific Artifacts from the Sky | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine
Aerial pictures and notes - Fermilab, SLAC, Mauna Kea, VLA, Argonne, LIGO at Hanford.
science  photography  aerial  large  big-science  astronomy  physics  national-lab 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Definitions and Standards : Uncertain Principles
The image most people have of physical standards would have both the meter and the second tied to some sort of physical reference, with the speed of light determined in terms of those two standards. And, in fact, that's how things used to be-- if you look at the history of the definition of the meter, you see that it was tied to a physical standard until 1983. So why the change?

The reason for the change is basically that we can do a much better job of measuring time than position, thanks to spectroscopic techniques developed in the 1940's.
history  science  measurement  metrology  definition  standard  sts  speed  light  physics 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Using Information to Extract Energy | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine
In 1929, Leó Szilárd used a similar setup to establish an amazing result: the connection between energy and information. The connection is not that “information carries energy”; if I tell you some information about gas particles in a box, that doesn’t change their total energy. But it does help you extract that energy. Effectively, learning more information lowers the entropy of the gas. That’s a loosey-goosey statement, because there is more than one way to define “entropy”; but one reasonable definition is that the entropy is a measure of the information you don’t have about a system.
physics  information  information-science  entropy  physical  metaphor 
november 2010 by tsuomela
The golden age (is ending) | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine
As has been oft remarked on this blog, we are in a golden age of astrophysics and cosmology. The data is pouring down from the heavens, in large part from 14 state-of-the-art NASA space telescopes. However, this cornucopia of astronomy is about to come to a crashing stop. We are at the high-water mark, and the next few years are going to see a rapid decline in the number of observatories in space. In five years most, if not all, of these telescopes will be defunct (WMAP is already in the graveyard), and it’s not clear what will be replacing them.
astronomy  astrophysics  physics  observatory  space  data-collection  history  funding 
october 2010 by tsuomela
Rick Bookstaber: Physics Envy in Finance
Andrew Lo and Mark Meuller have has a recent paper that addresses the issue of physics envy. They focus on the applicability of the tools of physics as the type of uncertainty becomes more profound, pointing out that while physics can generate useful models if there is well-parameterized uncertainty, where we know the distribution of the randomness, it becomes less useful if the uncertainty is fuzzy and ill-defined, what is called Knightian uncertainty.
I think it is useful to go one step further, and ask where this fuzzy, ill-defined uncertainty comes from. It is not all inevitable, it is not just that this is the way the world works. It is also the creation of those in the market, created because that is how those in the market make their money. That is, the markets are difficult to model, whether with the methods of physics or anything else, because those in the market make their money by having it difficult to model, or, more generally, difficult for others to anticipate and do as
econometrics  econophysics  envy  physics  finance  financial-engineering  determinism  risk  information-asymmetry  information 
august 2010 by tsuomela
SSB: Space Studies Board
The Space Studies Board provides an independent, authoritative forum for information and advice on all aspects of space science and applications.
science  space  astronomy  astrophysics  physics  governance  funding  priorities 
august 2010 by tsuomela
Protons: Even Smaller Than We Thought : Uncertain Principles
The big physics story at the moment is probably the new measurement of the size of the proton... This is kind of a hybrid of nuclear and atomic physics, as it's a spectroscopic measurement of a quasi-atom involving an exotic particle produced in an accelerator. In a technical sense, it's a really impressive piece of work, and as a bonus, the result is surprising.
science  physics  proton  particle-physics  nuclear  paradigm  incommensurability  anomaly 
july 2010 by tsuomela
AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers
The AAVSO is an international non-profit organization whose mission is: to observe and analyze variable stars; to collect and archive observations for worldwide access; to forge strong collaborations between amateur and professional astronomers; and to promote scientific research and education using variable star data.
astronomy  science  citizen-science  amateur  professional  collaboration  project(Utenn)  associations  space  research  physics  variable-stars 
july 2010 by tsuomela
[1005.4117] Random Numbers in Scientific Computing: An Introduction
Random numbers play a crucial role in science and industry. Many numerical methods require the use of random numbers, in particular the Monte Carlo method. Therefore it is of paramount importance to have efficient random number generators. The differences, advantages and disadvantages of true and pseudo random number generators are discussed with an emphasis on the intrinsic details of modern and fast pseudo random number generators.
randomness  random  mathematics  science  physics  algorithms  lecture  modeling  reference  simulation 
june 2010 by tsuomela
NASA - Space Math
This web page contains problem sets in PDF format. The goal of these problems is to teach students about astronomy and space science by using mathematics and real-world problems.
mathematics  education  science  space  astronomy  physics  nasa  pedagogy  teaching 
may 2010 by tsuomela
Vlatko Vedral's Home Page
As Professor of Quantum Information Theory at the Universities of Oxford and Singapore I spend an awful lot of my time thinking about what quantum mechanics actually means and how it affects everything that we see around us. For example:

* Entropy, energy and thermodynamics: what makes our universe tick?
* The origin of information: who makes it and how can we use it?
* Bizarre quantum effects such as 'entanglement': just how spooky is this stuff?
* Harnessing quantum physics for improved information processing: how much extra 'oompf' does quantum physics give us?
* What does new evidence of quantum effects at the macroscopic level mean for us and the universe that we see around us?
* New applications of quantum information - going beyond teleportation, super fast computing and super secure cryptography. Of course i am not the first to think about these issues.
people  physics  quantum-mechanics  information  philosophy 
may 2010 by tsuomela
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