Tag Archives: physics

Tonomura tango

For the dVerse prompt “This one’s for you Bjorn“, set by Lilian in honour of Bjorn who is a (fellow) physicist, and requiring the use of a line from ABBA’s “dancing queen”.

So, here is a little nerdity for Bjorn:

 

Each double slit’s a sliding door,
to a strand within the multiverse, or…
Can’t decide, and no one’s looking?
Go through both, you’ll have them cooking,
up a theory on how you danced
through those doors – by choice or chance?
Do you expose a God’s immorality
with your fluttering waves of probability?
We’ve counters, film and CCD,
you think we’re blind, but you’ve been seen –
though you’re a teaser, you turn em on,
you sneaky little el-ec-tron.

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for L_, who I trust and respect

I didn’t go to his funeral. Even if I could have, I would not have gone. Funerals are for the living, Continue reading

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some notes for Selma

Some notes for Selma on orbits, because I couldn’t put all this in a comment.

I can’t add a file other than an image, so here are my notes on orbits for Selma as a bunch of images. If they look fuzzy, just click on the image and it will display as a nice clear version. Continue reading

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confession of a physicist

So, I wrote my last post in response to the dVerse prosery prompt, which was to write up to 144 words of prose including  the line “I am bombarded yet I stand”. Then I thought I’d better actually read the poem by Adrienne Rich, “Planetarium”, that the line comes from.  And I wrote this as my proseyness instead: 

XXXXXX

XXXXXXI have a confession:

I don’t like astronomy. I find it really boring.

Go on, gasp in horror. Judge me soulless. Continue reading

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friction does not oppose motion – seriously, it doesn’t.

with apologies to Gordon Sumner….: 

Every move you make,
Every step you take,
Every game you play,
Unless still you stay,
Friction’s moving you.

Oh can’t you see,
That your free bodeeeee…
Diagram is wro-oong,
That’s why I sing this so-oooong…. Continue reading

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FBD, chant with me!

I use the odd rhyme and other mnemonics in my teaching, including online last year asking my class to turn on their microphones and all repeat after me:

“I solemnly swear, to draw the forces, all the forces, and nothing but the forces, on my free  body diagrams. So help me John”. (John is my co-lecturer – and it sounded better than “so help me Kate”). 

But after pondering the dVerse prompt to meet the bar with  a chant, I now have something bigger and… maybe…better… for this year’s cohort:

Now I know ’cause Kate told me

Now I know ‘cause Kate told me

I must master free body

I must master free body

Diagrams that show each force

Diagrams that show each force

If I want to pass this course

If I want to pass this course Continue reading

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Three layers, seven colours

A while I ago I posted a rant about rainbows. It was triggered by a comment that science ruins rainbows by taking away the magic. My argument in that post was that science adds to their beauty and magic because it allows you to “see” so much more in them.
A couple of days ago I was walking across a carpark and it had just started raining. And there was a stunning rainbow on the ground:

Continue reading

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seven colours, a thousand layers

As a scientist, and an educator, there are certain things that really irritate me. “Science ruins the magic” comments are pretty close to the top of the list.   These sorts of comments undermine the efforts of science and maths teachers to produce a scientifically literate next generation who is capable of making informed decisions about climate, health… etc. (And do the people who make these comments complain that vaccines ruin the magic of viruses??)

One of the old standard pull-it-out-of-your-box-of-clichés complaints is that knowing how rainbows work takes away their magic. Continue reading

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stuck in the middle, by blue

For dVerse’s prompt: ‘true colours.
The challenge was to write from the point of view of a colour…

All across space,
we travel as a pack,
none draws ahead
and none lags back.
But once we meet
an interface
ah, that changes,
how we race. Continue reading

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Obliquity II : turn the upper cheek

From summer downunder, for Eugi’s weekly prompt “winter”.  So great to have these prompts back! Thanks Eugi!

Mother earth,
your buttocks are scorchy!
It is time to turn us
away from the fire.

For my northern hemisphere friends – hang in there, the Earth will be turning her upper cheeks to the sun soon, and you’re welcome to it.  (And if you’re thinking winter is when you’re further from the sun, you might want to read Obliquity.)

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