Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Now that a couple of papers are in and the never-ending list of tasks is getting shorter, hopefully blogging will pick back up. Here are a few interesting links for the (American) Thanksgiving holiday.


This is a paper about the subtleties and challenges of computational physics, meant to be very conversational and pedagogical for students. It was a fun read, and we should have more resources like this.

The Bad Astronomer has relocated to He did this just in time for the rampant speculation about NASA's pending chemistry results from the Curiosity rover. I don't think Curiosity actually killed a cat, but you never know.

The University of Houston just had a one-day symposium in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the discovery of YBCO, the first superconductor with a transition temperature greater than the boiling point of liquid nitrogen. I wish I could've been there, but I had other commitments. My colleague tells me it was a very nicely done affair with many interesting talks and panel discussions. Now if only we could figure this out definitively....

It's always interesting to see a very thought-provoking paper from someone you take seriously. Miles Blencowe, a condensed matter/quantum measurement theorist at Dartmouth, argues that perturbative quantum gravity (a general approach to extending general relativity a bit into the quantum regime) can be a major source of decoherence of quantum superpositions of massive objects. This implies that the very quantum structure of spacetime acts dynamically to "collapse wavefunctions" in the language of the Copenhagen take on quantum mechanics. I need to read this more carefully.



1 comment:

DanM said...

A quotation from the article you cited:

"Although this point of view is not universally accepted, scientists are human."

I'm enjoying that. Happy Turkey Day.