Anti-Steve: The Week in Review (January 25-29, 2016)

The atomic spectral lines of hydrogen (bottom) and helium (top). These elements are the most abundant in stars like our sun. This photo was taken in preparation for an exercise in Modern Physics where were build a "model star" and view the star through a diffraction grating to see what its spectrum would look like if we were at rest with respect to the star. Shifts in these spectral lines can be used to find the speed of the star, thanks to the theory of relativity.

The atomic spectral lines of hydrogen (bottom) and helium (top). These elements are the most abundant in stars like our sun. This photo was taken in preparation for an exercise in Modern Physics where were build a “model star” and view the star through a diffraction grating to see what its spectrum would look like if we were at rest with respect to the star. Shifts in these spectral lines can be used to find the speed of the star, thanks to the theory of relativity.

This week was a busy one. My introductory physics course is rolling along and so is Honors Physics, whose membership suddenly swelled. Jodi traveled to Washington D.C. for an American Physical Society leadership event, and I guest-lectured for her Modern Physics class. There were lots of meetings and a fair bit of paper writing for my physics analysis. I held my first undergraduate “Physics Tea Times.” And, in less than a week is my public Godbey Lecture celebrating the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s publication of the General Theory of Relativity.

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Anti-Steve: The Week in Review, January 18 – January 22, 2016

This was the best start to a semester that I have had in a long time. My first day of class was Tuesday, and my course has hit a major milestone this semester. My ATLAS colleagues and I are making excellent progress on analysis work and a conference note for the Moriond Conference in March. I started hosting “Tea Times” in my office this week, now that it is a comfortable space for work and interaction. Our department was proud to see another graduate student complete the qualification milestone that puts then into formal Ph.D. candidacy.

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PoliSci: Trumping Statistics

Trump brags about beating Hilary Clinton in a national contest, based on a total misunderstanding (or intentional misrepresentation) of numbers from Real Clear Politics.

Trump brags about beating Hillary Clinton in a national contest, based on a total misunderstanding (or intentional misrepresentation) of numbers from Real Clear Politics.

Donald Trump wrote, in response to statistics reported in a Washington Post article [1], that “I will defeat Hillary Clinton…”. But his claim is based on a total misreading of what the data used in the Post article, taken from Real Clear Politics (RCP) [2], actually say.

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Memes vs. Facts: What the President Said

The reality distortion field is strong with this meme. This circulated hours after the President gave a speech about executive power and how it might be applied to the issue of gun safety laws. What did the President actually say, and does it comport with memes like this?

The reality distortion field is strong with this meme. This circulated hours after the President gave a speech about executive power and how it might be applied to the issue of gun safety laws. What did the President actually say, and does it comport with memes like this?

On January 5 (yesterday), the President spoke to the nation about possible executive actions to address gun sales and safety. Memes began circulating immediately (see right), likely dusted off and reshared from previous second amendment “debates” but recycled for this moment. Do they accurately reflect the content and intent of the speech? Or, are these just ad hominem attacks and red herrings meant to distract the public or reinforce the echo chamber around certain rhetorical claims? The short answer is that they are the latter. But what did the President actually say, and how does this compare to the memes? If memes are an application of the first amendment being used to address issues of the second amendment, let’s see how the two have played together.

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