Category Archives: Stray dogs

Do You Believe in Electrons?

Two physicists are sitting in wooden chairs at a table in a cafe, drinking coffee from plain white porcelain cups. One says to the other, “Do you believe in electrons?” The physicist is not asking “Do you believe electrons exist?” … Continue reading

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A Joke Only Physicists Will Get

It occurred to Albert Einstein that gravity could be modeled as a geometric phenomenon. Instead of saying that a particle was deflected from a straight trajectory by the force of gravity, one might say that that gravity affects space and … Continue reading

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My Right Foot

We’d prefer when we drive to keep the math to a minimum. In particular the whole process would ideally be understood in terms of the zeroth spatial derivative, x(t). I want to be at work by 9:30 am; I’m meeting Barbara at the … Continue reading

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We are Mostly Empty Space

Occasionally during the opening homily of a yoga class the teacher will say, “Scientists tell us that we are 90% empty space” and go on to use this as a metaphor for openness and possibility. (“Breathe into your empty space” … Continue reading

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Vapor

Going through my father’s old technical books I found the slim reference volume Thermodynamic Charts: Also Special Tables for Turbine Calculations. The original copyright is 1939 (under the pithier title Vapor Charts), though this edition is from 1959. It’s a … Continue reading

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Feynman’s Apology

Why is it that particles with half-integral spin are Fermi particles whose amplitudes add with the minus sign, whereas particles with integral spin are Bose particles whose amplitudes add with the positive sign? We apologize for the fact that we … Continue reading

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Schrödenger’s Night Watchman

There is a night watchman whose job it is to keep an eye on an empty office building between the hours of midnight and 8:00 am. For most of his shift he sits at a desk near the front entrance … Continue reading

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