A very popular urban myth is that window glass is a liquid.  This apparently originated by the recognition that old European cathedrals had windows with the glass being thicker at the bottom than the top.  The actual cause of this is not attributable to gravity pulling the glass downward in a slump but rather the early window manufacturing techniques followed by a common practice of mounting window glass with the thicker side down. 

Temperature allows us to make a simple statistical statement about the energy of particles without having to know the specific details of the system.

How do quantum particles reach a state where statistical statements are possible? The result is surprising: a cloud of atoms can actually have several temperatures at once. 
Particle physics is so cool - you get to build huge detectors with a specific goal clearly stated in your letter of intents and technical proposals, but are then allowed to use them to study many other things.

John Baez writes in "The Crackpot Index - A simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to physics":

The most probable date for Good Friday is April 3, 33 AD. Isaac Newton figured that out in 1733.

Easter is that holiday that wanders around in the calendar and which you never quite know when will take place. Some get annoyed by that, but frankly I find it charming. But when did the crucifixion of Jesus really take place?

Questions like these were of much concern to Isaac Newton (1642-1726), surprisingly, since he is best known for gravitation and planetary orbits.

Taking inspiration from Resonaances, who this year offers much more than an April's Fool in his blog (I am also flattered to see that I am featured there, and with a character of my liking), I am going to offer some predictions for the next run that the LHC is going to start, at the unprecedented energy of 13 TeV, in the next few weeks. The unconventional thing is that I will force the natural scepticism out of my brain, and try to be over-optimistic.
The prediction for 2015-2016
Plagiarism is the most sincere form of flattery, they say (or rather, this is said of imitation). In arts - literature, music, painting - it can at times be tolerated, as an artist might want to take inspiration from others, elaborate on an idea, or give it a different twist. In art it is the realization of the idea which matters.


Mar 29 2015 | 1 comment(s)

The brakes on your car, the lift in the mechanics shop and standard construction machinery such as front end loaders,  back hoes, and bull dozers all require hydraulics instrumentation to perform their function.  In addition to this, all sorts of industrial cutters, presses, folders and a substantial amount of manufacturing machinery depend on hydraulics.  Hydraulic technology is pretty important to our standard of living seeing as how we depend on it in so many ways to per

Sometimes I think I am really lucky to have grown convinced that the Standard Model will not be broken by LHC results. It gives me peace of mind, detachment, and the opportunity to look at every new result found in disagreement with predictions with the right spirit - the "what's wrong with it ?" attitude that every physicist should have in his or her genes.
When most people think of quantum mechanics they think of Schroedinger's cat, a thought experiment describing a cat inside a closed box, that may be either dead or alive. Only when the classical physics world enters the box do we know. But what is the tipping-point between that cat's life and death, when does quantum behavior give way to classical physics?

Where, on the small scale, is Schroedinger's cat small enough size to be perceived as being both alive and dead at the same time?

A new study in Physical Review Letters has an answer, thanks to a fiber-based nonlinear process that allowed physicists to observe how, and under what conditions, classical physical behavior emerges from the quantum world.