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{ Category Archives } STEM

Air conditioning, humidity, condensate and Summertime

Having to use the shop vac to get a few gallons of water out of the ductwork on a regular basis was an indication of a problem. Where does it come from? I used Calculate Temperature, Dewpoint, or Relative Humidity to see how humidity changes with temperature. 90F at 10% humidity is a 26F dew […]

What makes physiscists wierd?

Besides spherical cows (I prefer the spherical chicken), physicists tend to stand out as wierd in how they approach problems. Chad Orzel has a post on Think like a physicist that delves into the matter. ” the various scientific fields have a lot in common, and a generally reductive approach is one of those things. […]

25 years on: Wolfram tells the Mathematica story

Symbolic math is a bit more than just parsing an algebraic equation. Mathematica has become a standard for scientists trying to figure out better ways of expressing mathematical concepts and understanding what they mean. “Electronic calculators arrived on the scene when I was 12—and I immediately became an enthusiast. And around the same time, I started […]

On the nature of physics

Luboš Motl says Learning physics is futile without practicing but it’s not practice he is talking about. “Physicists have the working knowledge of all the things in the Universe – OK, I mean all the important things in the Universe – but they only have it if they can actually think. … they have mastered […]

What are teenagers doing? The ‘Draco Kill Shot’

It’s the networking. I knew about sky watching for comets and asteroids by dedicated amateurs. I didn’t know about the background radiation monitoring. Williams Lucas conned his parents into getting appropriate radiation monitoring equipment to follow the Fukushima fallout and participate in the Radiation Network. One day, there was a spike in the radiation readings […]

EMR fear and fanatacism

The FCC now requires careful consideration of exposure to electromagnetic fields by radio amateurs. The cell phone radiation fears come and go. Harriet Hall has a rundown on the Nonsense about the Health Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation citing Helke Ferrie and “dirty electricity.” “I could go on to deconstruct every paragraph of Ferrie’s article, but […]

Wolfram on Higgs and the interregnum in particle physics theory.

Stephen Worlfram is probably best known for his calculation software Mathematica. It turns out that that project was to create a tool for his first interest. Stephen Wolfram on Higgs, particle physics at The Reference Frame “Particle physics was my first great interest in science. And it is exciting to see now after 40 years […]

Spin as a key for QM

Spin is one of those things that we can understand intuitively. We can see spinning tops. We can imagine spinning electrical currents and their effect. Playing with electrical currents in magnetic fields didn’t always end up with expected results. Markus Ehrenfried has a good rundown to describe the situation answering the question What is Spin? […]

80 years on: the neutron

It was only 80 years ago – one human lifetime – that Sir James Chadwick discovered the neutron. PhysOrg has the story. “In 1932, Chadwick’s work led him to the discovery of a previously unknown particle in the atomic nucleus that was crucial to the fission of uranium 235. It became known as the neutron […]