- My friend Arjendu Pattanayak (founder of a very good blog) pointed out to me this book by Kittel. It's really nice - it is very concise and tightly written without being incomplete, and it's cheap.
- On a lighter note, Science...For Her! is a book by a friend of a friend. The introductory video is here. Attention Physics Today: I volunteer to review this book when it comes out. Seriously, I'd be happy to do it, and I think it would be great for some amount of wry humor to make its way into the pages of PT.
- Similarly, Randall Munroe's book What If? is magnificent. Attention Physics Today: I volunteer to review this one, also. If you don't review this book, you are entirely humorless.
- The MIT Technology Review has a fun article in it about topological quantum computing with non-Abelian anyons. The reason it's fun is that it talks about the people involved (including my postdoctoral mentor) and manages to avoid becoming overly technical.
- A few people have pointed out to me that Lockheed Martin has made a rather strong press statement regarding a fusion reactor scheme being developed by Skunk Works (the folks who brought us the SR-71 and the F-117, among other things). This is potentially interesting, but it's really hard to tell whether this is all vaporware so far. It looks like a magnetic mirror configuration, something that has been explored extensively over the last few decades, and they don't provide enough technical discussion to figure out what they're doing that's different. Still, there seem to be many takers trying alternatives to tokomaks (Washington, and what Nature termed "fusion upstarts"), and it's surely worth a shot.
- I listened in on a conference call today from Benefunder. These people are trying to come up with an alternative philanthropic approach to research funding that isn't crowdsourcing. Any commenters already sign up with them?
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Some interesting links: Books and news
Here are some things that I wanted to share with my readership:
Posted by Douglas Natelson at 6:45 PM