Real science

Mingling stat mech with quantum info in Maryland

I felt like a yoyo. I was standing in a hallway at the University of Maryland. On one side stood quantum-information theorists. On the other side stood statistical-mechanics scientists.* The groups eyed each other, like Jets and Sharks in West Side Story, except without fighting or dancing. This March, the groups were generous enough to [...]

Generally speaking

My high-school calculus teacher had a mustache like a walrus’s and shoulders like a rower’s. At 8:05 AM, he would demand my class’s questions about our homework. Students would yawn, and someone’s hand would drift into the air. “I have a general question,” the hand’s owner would begin. “Only private questions from you,” my teacher [...]

The Graphene Effect

Lunch with Spiros, Eryn, and Jackie at the Athenaeum (left to right). Sitting and eating lunch in the room where Einstein and many others of turbo charged, ultra-powered acumen sat and ate lunch excites me. So, I was thrilled when lunch was arranged for the teachers participating in IQIM's Summer Research Internship at [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:40+00:00 September 4th, 2014|Experimental highlights, Real science|1 Comment

Caltech InnoWorks 2014, More Than Just a Summer Camp

“More, we need more!”Adding more fuel to “Red October”, I presented the final product to my teammates. With a communal nod of approval, we rushed over to the crowd.“1, 2, 3, GO!”It was the semi-finals. Teams Heil Hydra! and The Archimedean Hawks ignited their engines and set their vehicles onto the starting line. Nascar? F1? [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:40+00:00 August 28th, 2014|Real science|1 Comment

Reading the sub(linear) text

Physicists are not known for finesse. “Even if it cost us our funding,” I’ve heard a physicist declare, “we’d tell you what we think.” Little wonder I irked the porter who directed me toward central Cambridge. The University of Cambridge consists of colleges as the US consists of states. Each college has a porter’s lodge, [...]

“Feveral kinds of hairy mouldy fpots”

The book had a sheepskin cover, and mold was growing on the sheepskin. Robert Hooke, a pioneering microbiologist, slid the cover under one of the world’s first microscopes. Mold, he discovered, consists of “nothing elfe but feveral kinds of fmall and varioufly figur’d Mufhroms.” He described the Mufhroms in his treatise Micrographia, a 1665 copy [...]

The return of the superconducting high school teacher

Last summer, I was blessed with the opportunity to learn about the basics of high temperature superconductors in the Yeh Group under the tutelage of visiting Professor Feng. We formed superconducting samples using a process known as Pulse Laser Deposition. We began testing the properties of the samples using X-Ray Diffraction, AC Susceptibility, and SQUIDs [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:42+00:00 May 5th, 2014|Real science|0 Comments

High School Physics Teacher Embedded on A Quest to Squash Quantum Noise

Date: 8/22/2013 Location: Caltech Cryo Lab, West Bridge: Hello: I am Steve Maloney, a Physics and Chemistry teacher intern from Duarte High School, sponsored by IQIM (Institute for Quantum Information and Matter), doing whatever I can to be of assistance to Dr. Nicolas Smith-Lefebvre. Upon meeting him in mid-June I soon learned that our mission [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:43+00:00 May 5th, 2014|Real science|1 Comment

Summer of Science: Caltech InnoWorks 2013

The following post is a collaboration between visiting undergraduates Evan Giarta from Stanford University and Joy Hui from Harvard University. As mentors for the 2013 Caltech InnoWorks Academy, Evan and Joy agreed to share their experience with the audience of this blog. All throughout modern history, science and mathematics have been the foundation for engineering [...]

2017-01-13T10:05:46+00:00 March 4th, 2014|Real science, Reflections|0 Comments