The wild beasts of Nevis

Nevis Laboratories, the physics lab where I work, is setting up an outreach program. The goal is to give the general public an idea of the work we do here. I’ve become the “social media coordinator” for the lab. Nevis now has a presence on three social-media sites: Facebook follow Nevis Labs on facebook, Twitter follow Nevis Labs on Twitter, and Instagram follow Nevis Labs on instagram.

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Mojo follow-up

In my previous post, I mentioned that I was working on a talk about the history of Nevis. I presented that talk yesterday.

I’d been worried about how the talk would be received. I focused more on the history of the Nevis estate and on the construction of the Nevis synchrocyclotron than the research we’ve done in the past 35 years. Anyone who came to the talk expecting to hear their work or name mentioned would be disappointed.

My stomach was doing flip-flops in the two hours just before the talk.

I needn’t have worried. Everyone loved the talk. They were more interested in learning something new than having their egos stroked. I made the talk non-technical, so the family and friends of the physicists at the holiday party had no problems following it.

The mojo lives!

Playing with the Mojo

I recently picked up Playing at the World by Jon Peterson. This book is a history of the game Dungeon & Dragons.

Since many of my readers are Wiccan, I’ll use an analogy that will make sense to them: Playing at the World does for D&D what Ronald Hutton’s Triumph of the Moon did for Wicca. It explores the different elements and influences that resulted in D&D, and follows the chain of influence forward as D&D affected the world around it. [1] [2]

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Two addenda

Two additional items about my previous post:

– It looks like power will probably not be restored at work until Tuesday afternoon at the earliest. Keep those cards and letters going to my g-mail address.

– It was not a woodchuck that got into the transformer. It was a raccoon. Mrs. Bucktooth is relieved and overjoyed, but Mrs. Ringtail is inconsolable.

For anyone trying to reach me by e-mail

My work e-mail address isn’t working. Please use one of my g-mail addresses (William, then a dot, then Seligman) or the Acorn Garden one (again, with a dot).

The reason why the work e-mail address is down is that power is out at the lab. There was a serious transformer breakdown because a woodchuck crawled inside. Funeral services for Mr. Bucktooth will be scheduled as soon as we can contact Simplicity Memorial.

It was a nice decade while it lasted.

Once every two years, the Particle Data Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories publishes their Review of Particle Physics. This is both a web site and thick magazine, about the size of the New York telephone directory. The production issues associated with such a volume are so complex that, even though it’s only published biennially, publication is distributed among several physics journal publishers; in 2010 it was published by Journal of Physics; this year it was published by Physical Review D.

In other words, it’s a big deal.

Continue reading “It was a nice decade while it lasted.”

Finally, physics

My subtitle for this blog is “Musings of a physicist, a witch, and a gamer.” I’ve posted on wicca and gaming, but I’ve never said much about physics until now.

I have been reticent to talk about physics because what I physically do is sit in front of a computer terminal and type (and occasionally think) all day. But evidently someone thinks that the work I do is interesting:

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