Category Archives: Physics

Hamiltonian Flow

Newton wrote, “My brain never hurt more than in my studies of the moon [and Earth and Sun]”. Unsurprising sentiment, as the seemingly simple three-body problem is intrinsically intractable and practically unpredictable. … If chaos is a nonlinear “super power”, … Continue reading

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Summer Highlight

Since the mid 1990s, a highlight of my year has been the Physics Department’s National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates summer program. Our research assistants come from Wooster and from all over the United States, as detailed in the … Continue reading

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Higgs Without Molasses

Although almost all ordinary mass effectively arises from the kinetic and binding energy of quarks and gluons bound to protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei, the Higgs mechanism does endow some particles like quarks and weakons with intrinsic masses. Here … Continue reading

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Meeting 100+ years of experience in nonlinear dynamics

I met two scientists for my BZ-history project with a combined age of 177 years. It was a great pleasure and honor to talk to them.

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Continental Bridge

I remember looking at a classroom map of Earth and thinking the continents seem like puzzle pieces, especially north and south America in the west and Europe and Africa in the east. I mentally fit them together. Later I learned … Continue reading

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Table of Nuclides

As of 2019, we have identified or synthesized 118 distinct elements with Z protons, but about 2900 distinct nuclides with N neutrons (where atom is to element as nucleus is to nuclide). The start of my version of the table … Continue reading

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Wooster Epicycles

A vector is the sum of its components, a mechanical vibration is a combination of its normal mode motions, a quantum state is a superposition of its eigenstates, and any “nice” function is a Fourier sum of real or complex sinusoids, … Continue reading

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Redefining SI

Today the SI (Système international d’unités) base units are redefined. The following are now exact. Memorize these numbers! Cs-133 transition frequency constant  defines the second. Then light speed constant  defines the meter. Then Planck’s constant  defines the kilogram. Then electron charge constant  defines … Continue reading

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Black Hole Radii

I set the alarm for 8:55 AM. Brutal, but I wanted to watch live the National Science Foundation Event Horizon Telescope news conference. I was expecting the first image of a black hole, and the EHT team did not disappoint. … Continue reading

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March Meeting — Guest Blog by Carlos Owusu-Ansah ’21

I thought the March APS meeting was fantastic. It felt great to present our research findings to people who cared about what Dr. Lindner and I were working on at the College. I attended fun talks about astronomical phenomena and … Continue reading

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