Physics

January in quantum physics

The beginning of the year was filled with great physics. Lots of interesting theory has been done, including by me (but more details on that later). But today I want to talk about three experiments that push our abilities to control matter using light into new regimes. In two of them, scientists were able to observe quantum effects in the motion of levitated objects for the first time. In the third one, the authors used their incredible control of single atoms to create a very thin and light mirror.

Academia, Personal

Scientific presentations and the art of storytelling

How many talks have you attended in the last year? And how many of those did you enjoy? Even when the topic itself is interesting, one often leaves disappointed. Some speakers spend too much time on technical details and do not have time to discuss the main results; others are not well prepared and keep… Continue reading Scientific presentations and the art of storytelling

Academia

Benefits and challenges of tweeting a conference

Academic conferences are usually exhausting. You spend the whole day (or, more often, several days) closed in a lecture room, often without direct sunlight or fresh air, and try to absorb as much information as you can from (sometimes poorly prepared) talks of your fellow researchers. At some events, speakers change as often as every 15… Continue reading Benefits and challenges of tweeting a conference

Physics

Is the Moon in the sky when you’re not looking?

If you find quantum physics hard to understand (or accept), rest assured that you are not alone. Even many physicists (including Albert Einstein, one of its founding fathers) refused to acknowledge that our world can behave so strangely. That atoms or electrons can be at two places at once or that it does not always… Continue reading Is the Moon in the sky when you’re not looking?

Personal

What I learned (and didn’t) from a year of blogging

It has been a year since I started blogging. It did not go quite as well as I hoped it would but also not as badly as I was afraid it might. I started full of determination with a clear plan, wrote posts… and then stopped. It took me seven months to start again and… Continue reading What I learned (and didn’t) from a year of blogging

Academia

Good scientists publish, shitty ones blog. Or do they?

As scientists, we are in a very privileged position compared to the rest of population. Not only do we really enjoy what we do but we also get to choose what to work on ourselves. Sure, there is the dark world of academic bureaucracy and the perpetual fight for grant money but I still think that… Continue reading Good scientists publish, shitty ones blog. Or do they?