March 14, 2010

February 22, 2010

The Crackpot Index

John Baez's gift to the research world (selected entries - please see the whole one):
A simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to physics:
- A -5 point starting credit.
- 1 point for every statement that is widely agreed on to be false.
- 3 points for every statement that is logically inconsistent.
- 5 points for using a thought experiment that contradicts the results of a widely accepted real experiment.
- 5 points for each word in all capital letters
- 10 points for each claim that quantum mechanics is fundamentally misguided
- 10 points for beginning the description of your theory by saying how long you have been working on it. (10 more for emphasizing that you worked on your own.)
- 10 points for mailing your theory to someone you don't know personally and asking them not to tell anyone else about it, for fear that your ideas will be stolen.
- 10 points for each new term you invent and use without properly defining it.
- 10 points for arguing that a current well-established theory is "only a theory", as if this were somehow a point against it.
- 10 points for claiming that your work is a "paradigm shift".
- 20 points for defending yourself by bringing up (real or imagined) ridicule accorded to your past theories.
- 20 points for naming something after yourself.
- 30 points for suggesting that Einstein, in his later years, was groping his way towards the ideas you now advocate.
- 50 points for claiming you have a revolutionary theory but giving no concrete testable predictions.

January 13, 2010

Yakov Smirnov Physics

- in Soviet Russia, Hamiltonian operates YOU!
- in Soviet Russia, quantum mechanics class flunks YOU!
- muon emitted in reaction will be taken to KGB for questioning
- Div(B) = what we tell you it is
- in Soviet Russia, infinite square potential well traps YOU!
- 〈 e 〉= somewhere in the line for bread
- in Soviet Russia, neutrinos oscillate YOU!

November 19, 2009

out of commission

Hi folks,

Sorry no posts for a while. I had to take some sick leave, and as a result I wasn't immersed in cartoon fodder. I've returned to work, so hopefully my cynicism will reestablish itself. As always, suggestions are welcome.

October 31, 2009

October 22, 2009

What's my line?

An Ersatz Physics Contest!
Come up with the best label for these axes. Don't be shy - I've only told about 10 people about this blog, so I'm not expecting a lot of entries.
Winner gets mentioned in the acknowledgments section of my next refereed publication.

September 30, 2009

September 28, 2009









This is a comic suggested by a friend - he noticed that if a speaker has a really strong accent, it's easier to understand the talk if you sit where you can see the speaker's face and get a few extra clues.

September 22, 2009

September 18, 2009

September 16, 2009

September 14, 2009

September 11, 2009