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You mention Richard Feynman's ancedote about the plate and have him telling his result to a stuffier colleague and, when asked the significance, saying it was just for fun.

I don't have the book with the story in front of me (presumably one of Feynman's anecdote collections, Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman or What do You Care What People Think)in front of me, but my recollection is that the senior (but apparently not stuffy) colleague was Hans Bethe, who had recruited Feynman to Cornell. More importantly, my recollection is that when Feynman said the plate spinning result was of no significance, Bethe said something like, "Good, keep on working like that" thereby helping Feynman get over his depression and block.

I was about to post the same--I wouldnt exactly call Bethe "stuffy". He and Feynman seemed to
bounce stuff off of each other.

The interaction between H. Bethe & R. Feynman goes back to Los Alamos/Manhattan Project. RPF was the "mosquito boat" ("that can't be right!?"..devils advocate) & HB was the "battleship" (calming force). It's productive in research situations to have a "point" VS "counter-point" interaction (as per the old 60 Minutes CBS show). My HS classmate (Stanford Geophysics PhD) told me of a similar 2-man team @Stanford Geophysics dept: one was the "idea guy" & the other was the "do-er".

Later on @Caltech, of course RPF & M. Gell-Mann had famous "battles". "Explosions were heard from xxth floor of physics bldg", according to 1 of the books. An inside source (Caltech physics prof) told me MGM left Caltech at the urging of his wife because of "being overshadowed by RPF".

"Since the courts were consistently ruling in favor of environmental groups, he simply went outside the courts and decided that the Navy doesn't have to comply with federal environmental regulations. "National security" has become his catch-all excuse for trampling all over the rule of law.


We're very much in danger of being left behind by the rest of the developed world in terms of cutting-edge science and technology."

While I tend to agree with the risk mentioned in the last sentence, it's worth pointing out that the main body of the Department of the Navy isn't as fickle as the head of the Executive Branch. The science continues regardless of the latest press release.

If you're actively interested in finding out more about what the Navy is doing and why, I suggest that you contact the Principle Investigators mentioned at the bottom of this website summarizing the M3R program.

my very most favoritest thing about people who think they want 'church' cleft unto 'state', is that they seem to assume that their church will 'win'. hee heeeee!!! how amusing are the zany antics of those who fail to reflect...

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.