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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Light: Particle/Wave? . . .Topographic Map?



      The first-ever image of light behaving as both a particle and a wave was published yesterday in Nature Communications and is shown below:





      This short summary article from Science Daily describes the procurement of the image by researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Quantum mechanics in bright , primary colors!

      The first thing I noted was the similarity to contour lines on topographic maps:









        Closing all those circles from contour lines/waves into pinnacles/particles brought me to Topo Gigio's brother, a quantum mechanic ;-) :

         



            Off to enjoy time with my brothers, my son, and my mom. 

            Happy March! Enjoy March fo(u)rth tomorrow, the most assertive day of the year and the anniversary of my son's beginning of his first trip around the sun. 

March Forth and Prosper,
Steph



         
      

34 comments:

  1. Is it just me, or does Topo Gigio's brother, the quantum mechanic, resemble the late Tom ("Don't Drive Like My Brother") Magliozzi, the car mechanic?

    Quantum Mechanic Do It With Uncertainty.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, with a little beard shaping, I can see the resemblance to Tom M.

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  2. Steph,

    Happy anniversaire to your son. I like the TopoGigiocal maps.

    I have been to Lausanne (though not to the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de...) I visited a friend there. It is a wonderful city.

    LegoTopo

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lego. It's a good day for all of us. Celebration!

      Lausanne is a wonderful city. I wonder how much it has changed over two score years. . .and if Topo Gigio has ever visited.

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  3. Replies
    1. In that first photo, how come even though the exposure was long enough to streak the star trails, the ash cloud is still sharp?

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    2. Some photoshopping or something?

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  4. Replies
    1. Remember reprint request postcards? I feel like sending them one...

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  5. Replies
    1. Wow, Cain's abel to run fast!

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    2. I have no clue what this clip is about.

      LegoRiddleOfTheSphinxByTheBard'sRiver

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  6. jan, no posting at Blaine's? It just doesn't seem right.

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    Replies
    1. And no lego, either? Parallel universe?

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    2. I wasn't available at 3:00 ET, and I didn't give any hints that needed explanation this week. Do you really think I needed to spell out "mar", "say", "cel", and "sew"?

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    3. Yeah,
      I suppose not. Next week!

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  7. I like this:

    What is an epigram? A dwarfish whole;
    Its body brevity, and wit its soul.

    Any good epigrams come your way lately?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On February 11 (during the annual Teachers Tournament), the Final Jeopardy category on Jeopardy! was Reference Book Makers. The clue was: In 1863, he used the epigraph “I have gathered… other men’s flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is my own.” None of the contestants got the right answer.

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    2. Yup. Interesting that they made no mention of the author of the quote, Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.

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    3. While not an epigram per se, this line from Steven Pinker's new The Sense of Style (subtitle: the Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century!), which my wife just showed me, is pretty great:

      I write with a thesaurus, mindful of the advice I once read in a bicycle repair manual on how to squeeze a dent out of a rim with Vise-Grip pliers: "Do not get carried away with the destructive potential of this tool."

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  8. Nothing to do with an epigram, but I just sent the following to some officials at my state society and alma mater:

    -----

    Thought you might be amused to learn that I've just fought and lost a battle on behalf of PAs everywhere with the head of The New Yorker magazine's famed fact checking department.

    Yesterday afternoon, I got an email from my wife, who's always looking out for our best interests:

    FYI: The much vaunted fact checkers at the New Yorker let "physician's assistant' get by them.

    I went to their website and found the article she was referring to. It was about "Diane Reynolds," the alias that Chelsea Clinton's been using on her mom's private email system, among others ().

    I wrote to The New Yorker:

    Be assured that Diane Reynolds is NOT "a physician’s assistant in Bangor" ("Alias," Lauren Collins, March 16, issue). Nobody is a "physician's assistant." We are Physician Assistants. Send your fact checker back to school.

    And I heard back from Peter Canby, their head fact checker (oops!):

    Dear Ms. Wolitzky, Thank you for your email. Both Webster's and the Columbia encyclopedia, however, list the position as "physician's assistant." Perhaps you should take up your dispute with them.

    I shot back:

    The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants () and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (), the organizations that certify and represent PAs in the U.S., both use the term "Physician Assistant", without the possessive, exclusively. I can't help it if your dictionaries are wrong.

    (I also corrected him the gender reassignment he'd performed.) He was not impressed:

    Mr. Wolitzky, you certainly take a myopic view of language. In the world of conventional English—the world we all share--dictionaries usages trump usages derived from professional associations. It's somewhat laughable for you to say that dictionaries are "wrong."

    So, there you are. They've thrown down the gauntlet, so as soon as you get the co-signature issue, medical marijuana, etc, ironed out, it's time for our PA representatives to take on The New Yorker. Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. "Somewhat laughable to say that dictionaries are wrong:" not laughing at all here. Glad you stood your ground, Mr. (not Ms.) Wolitzy!

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    2. So I was searching Physician Assistant and look what I found. At least The NY Times got it right. Well done, once again.

      http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2014/09/05/think-like-a-doctor-weaker-and-weaker-solved/

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    3. Fortunately, when they printed my incorrect guess a couple of weeks ago, they used just "jan" instead of my full name. A neighbor picked up on it anyway.

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    4. Mea culpa for leaving out the 'K' in your last name, jan. Not K!

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  9. New post on "SpongeBob SquarePants Fungi (Really!) and Possible Sponge Precursor" is up there, you fun guys!

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