View original post 803 more words
Histograms: Construction, Analysis and Understanding
What is a Histogram?
A histogram is “a representation of a frequency distribution by means of rectangles whose widths represent class intervals and whose areas are proportional to the corresponding frequencies.”
View original post 566 more words
The great experimental physicist Chien-Shiung Wu in 1958. [Credit: Smithsonian Institution] In physics, it often seems that the theorists — the people thinking up new models and ideas to describe the natural world — get most of the glory. The Einsteins, Newtons, and Hawkings are generally better known than the people who do experiments. As a result, many of the great experimental physicists get overlooked even when we talk about important discoveries. However, without work in labs (and observatories), theories are no better than random thoughts; many theories have been ruled out by experiment, and forgotten as a result.
The neglect of experiment in the popular imagination is completely unfair, though. A case in point: the Chinese-American physicist Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997), known to many simply as Madame Wu, is not widely known by non-physicists, even though her accomplishments were many. Among other things, she worked on the Manhattan Project, did…
View original post 1,012 more words
A new documentary, Particle Fever, achieves the almost impossible: it makes the workings of the Large Hadron Collider comprehensible – and exciting – to even the most science-phobic viewer. Mark Levinson, the film’s director, first visited Cern, home of the LHC on the Swiss-French border, in 2007 and kept going back until July 2012, when the crack team of physicists concluded a two-decade quest to find the Higgs boson.
Particle Fever follows half a dozen diverse characters – out of more than 10,000 scientists from more than 100 countries – who work on the world’s…
View original post 1,148 more words
The new Cosmos series now playing in the US is not the only effort to communicate science to the public. Livescience.com recently reposted an article from the Australian site The Conversation on this topic. “No matter how strong the scientific argument and consensus among scientists there will always be people who reject the evidence. It happens on so many scientific topics, from climate change and vaccination to nuclear power and renewable energy… These are, of course, vastly different issues. Many of those who agree with one of the positions noted above will be horrified to find themselves included in the same sentence with another group.”
Scientists tend to think that the way to resolve a disagreement is to get more facts, but when well-established science confronts hot-button, public-policy issues, this approach fails. To borrow a phrase from Stephen Jay Gould, the misunderstandings are “conceptual locks…
View original post 228 more words
The Rev. John Cunningham is an associate professor at Loyola University Chicago. But, his background may surprise you. He is the chairperson and an associate professor in the Department of Physics. He has a long history in the fields of particle physics and astrophysics. Medill Reports interviewed him to learn more about his faith and his studies.
Q: Tell me about your background. How did you get your start?
A: In high school I was always very much interested in mathematics, so my history of my education in some ways started with the science first. I was interested in particle physics – quarks, leptons.
Out here in Batavia, Ill. was this place called Fermi National Accelerator. My goal was really was to work at that facility. I think it came down to a picture I saw in a book about the accelerator.
I don’t have a dramatic Jesuit story about…
View original post 1,023 more words
By Mark Leberfinger
The first total eclipse of the moon since December 2011 will be visible in North America, just in time to greet last-minute tax filers in the United States.
However, many Americans may not be in a good place to see the eclipse because of cloudy and rainy conditions.
The total lunar eclipse, resulting from the Earth’s position between the moon and sun, will occur early Tuesday morning, EDT.
The eclipse will begin at 12:53 a.m. EDT Tuesday. It will reach totality at 3:06 a.m. EDT and end at 4:24 a.m. EDT.
Viewing conditions will be poor in the eastern United States, except for South Florida, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Edwards said.
“A front will stretch from central Quebec down through the Appalachians into the Gulf Coast,” Edwards said. “It will bring clouds, showers and even thunder in the South and mid-Atlantic. It will be mostly dry but clouds…
View original post 163 more words