Monthly Archives: March 2011

Nichols in Science, “Experimental Philosophy and the Problem of Free Will”

“Many central philosophical problems—such as problems concerning free will, morality, and consciousness—have their roots in our ordinary ways of understanding the world. It takes no special training to come to appreciate questions like “How can a material object be conscious?” … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology, Science | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Swendsen in Am. J. Phys., “How physicists disagree on the meaning of entropy”

“Nobody really knows what entropy really is.”—John von Neumann. Contradictory opinions among practicing physicists on entropy: “The theory of probability (has nothing to do with/ is the basis of) statistical mechanics.” “The entropy of an ideal classical gas of distinguishable … Continue reading

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I now know why you won the Nobel Prize

They Said It (Science 331: 1246-1249, 11 March 2011). “ I now know why you won the Nobel Prize. When they asked you a question, by God, you answered it.” Representative Ralph Hall (R–TX), chair of the U.S. House of … Continue reading

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Fitzpatrick on “UV spectral synthesis of Vega” and the “A-star puzzle”

An A-type main-sequence star is a main-sequence (hydrogen-burning) star of spectral type A and luminosity class V. These stars have spectra which are defined by strong hydrogen Balmer absorption lines, have masses from 1.4 to 2.1 times the mass of the … Continue reading

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Nandy et al. in Nature, “The cause of the unusual minimum of sunspot cycle 23”

“The number of sunspots observed on the Sun’s surface varies periodically, going through successive maxima and minima. Following sunspot cycle 23, the Sun went into a prolonged minimum characterized by a very weak polar magnetic field and an unusually large … Continue reading

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Brumfiel in Nature, “Latest results from the LHC are casting doubt on the theory of supersymmetry”

“Supersymmetry is a theory that solves a host of problems with our understanding of the subatomic world, but there is growing anxiety that the theory, however elegant it might be, is wrong. Data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 27-kilometre … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental Search, LHC at CERN, News, Particle Physics, Science | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Rohn in Nature on “Give postdocs a career, not empty promises”

“The first step is to admit we have a problem, and that the problem is worth tackling. […] The career structure for scientific research in universities is broken, particularly in the life sciences. Fellowships are few, every advertised academic post … Continue reading

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