Our department just took delivery of a new 14″ telescope, to be used for classes, student projects, and public observing nights:
As you can see, it’s not in the best possible observing location at the moment. Plans are in motion to give it a permanent home on the roof of our building.
Thanks a lot to Dean Newcomb for buying us this!
Andrew Jaffe shares my love of oddities regarding probability theory:
Before it happened, I would have said slim. But since it happened, 100%.
€”Lawrence Fishburne, CSI, on the chances of being hit in the head by a tortoise dropped by a bird of prey.
I’ve never seen CSI. Are they investigating the death of Aeschylus?
I liked this bit on the Daily Show about the Large Hadron Collider for a bunch of reasons, mostly because John Oliver is always great. Among other things, though, it contains a great illustration of how tricky it is, when using a Bayesian approach to probability, to choose the right prior. That bit starts at about 3:07 and is hilariously reprised at the very end, but you should really watch the whole thing if you haven’t seen it.
Since explanations of jokes are never tedious, there’s a bit of exegesis after the jump.
Continue reading The Daily Show on probability theory
At long last, the Planck Surveyor is getting ready for launch. Andrew Jaffe gives details and a bunch of links.
Like most academics, I obsessively keep track of who’s citing my work. As a result, this paper caught my eye today. (If that link doesn’t work, try this one.) The lead author is a UR alumnus and winner of both of the physics departments main awards in his senior year. During my first year here, I taught him in an independent study course on relativity. He went off to graduate school in mathematics, but he later saw the light and came back to physics.
I haven’t read the paper in detail yet, but from the abstract it looks like a very nice piece of work (in addition to having the good taste to cite me). Congratulations, Andrew!