I ran into the headline above today. As a guy who skipped high school to get a PhD in physics, and a father of a 14 year old daughter who is tops in her mathematics classes, you can bet that I've wondered why there are so few women in physics.
Many of the reasons cited in the article, however, had nothing to do with sex, like:
The notion that physics has nothing to do with the real world such as finance.
What could be more wrong? Let me take away your GPS smartphone to grab your attention. GPS is roughly a $100 billion dollar industry with real world jobs made possible by the physics of general relativity.
Charles Hatchett - Tribologist to the Royal Mint
Stephen Hawking and Jacob Bekenstein made black holes hot, my latest work shows just how cool they really are. I have derived a formula for the temperature of a black hole which has the same basic shape as that derived by Bekenstein and Hawking, but which differs in slope, and has what would be observably different behavior for black holes of about 10 to 12 percent the mass of Sagittarius A* the super massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. In short according to my fully quantum fully relativistic calculations black holes are just a tiny bit cooler than is generally thought.
In 1992, some shipping containers got washed overboard on a trip from Hong Kong to Tacoma. Among the losses was one containing 28,800 plastic bath toys known as Friendly Floatees - frogs, turtles, ducks, that kind of thing. It's not an uncommon event, storms cause, on average, about one container per day to get lost at sea, a minor amount when we consider how much shipping is done annually.
Creativity is a complex and vast construct that has been vital to the progress of human civilization and the development of human reasoning processes. Indeed, the immense array of creative endeavors encompasses the works of such disparate activities as those undertaken by painters, sculptors, nuclear engineers, landscape architects, graphic designers, and software developers.
While I do intend to update this blog today or tomorrow with a report on a nice new measurement, my blogging activities have generally slowed down a bit this week, as I am traveling. On Monday I flew from Venice to Paris and then to Miami (in a brand new A380 - that was the first time for me on that giant plane). On the next day I flew to Cancun, and then headed to Playa del Carmen where I am currently staying.
Neatly Scattered Papers
In an article in Scientific American*
on the possibility of time running backwards, the author states:
Increasing entropy is a cosmic certainty because there are always a great many more disordered states than orderly ones for any given system, similar to how there are many more ways to scatter papers across a desk than to stack them neatly in a single pile.
That sentence contains an implied statement of fact: "there are many more ways to scatter papers across a desk than to stack them neatly in a single pile."
But is it a fact?
Excerpt from “The Terrorism Delusion” by Meuller and Stewart:
We have argued that terrorism is a limited problem with limited consequences and that the reaction to it has been excessive, and even delusional. Some degree of effort to deal with the terrorism hazard is, however, certainly appropriate—and is decidedly not delusional. The issue then is a quantitative one: At what point does a reaction to a threat that is real become excessive or even delusional?
Mobile Phones - No Link To Cancer
Although some members of the public express concern that mobile phones may cause cancer no credible evidence exists for a causal link between cancer and the weak magnetic fields associated with mobile phones.
A paper published today* by a team from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology in Interface, a Journal of the Royal Society, following a study of the effects of weak magnetic fields on key human proteins shows that such weak fields have no detectable impact on flavoproteins.