Month: January 2019

  • 720° untangles 360° tangles

    Despite growing up in three dimensions, as a kid I did not recognize one of 3D’s deep and subtle properties: full rotations tangle, but double rotations untangle! Following physicist Paul Dirac, twist a belt one full turn about its length. The 360° single twist cannot be undone without changing the belt buckles’ orientations, although the twist…

  • Wooster physics reunion in Eugene, Oregon!

    I recently returned from a refreshing and productive leave at the University of Oregon in Eugene.  I received my own Ph D in the field of quantum optics at Oregon, and my leave was a great opportunity to continue work with prior colleagues.  However, I am excited to be back and interacting daily with Wooster…

  • Luna’s Convex Orbit

    Luna orbits Earth and Earth orbits Sol (where Luna is Earth’s moon and Sol is Earth’s star, the sun). As a kid, I thought Luna’s solar orbit formed a loopy spirograph pattern. Instead, Luna’s orbit is convex! Neglecting the eccentricity and tilts of the orbits and the incommensurability of the periods, Luna’s counterclockwise path around…

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