Happily Ever Apter: Grimm’s Law

Sucking up to teachers is highly underrated as a method of discovering lifelong passions. Let me back that statement up with a story. In sixth grade I decided that a great way to impress my English teacher would be to write a research paper on the history of the English language. Instant A! How could … Continue reading Happily Ever Apter: Grimm’s Law

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Folding Physics: The Mathematics of Origami

Space origami. Sounds cool, right? It'd be kind of fun if...what? That's already a thing? I don't mean anything like my origami spaceship, of course. I'm talking about solar cell panels, which are useful in spacefaring endeavors, since they can provide power to satellites. These panels are very thin, but since both mass and space are at a … Continue reading Folding Physics: The Mathematics of Origami

Skeptical Science Theater 3000: Gravitational Waves

As a physicist, I've heard some theories that are, to use a highly scientific term, weird. Odd. Crackpot, even, though that depends on who you ask. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, for example, would probably be happy to enthuse about how cool [string theory/multiverse theory/whatever] is. My husband, a brilliant and highly analytical mechanical engineer, will usually respond, … Continue reading Skeptical Science Theater 3000: Gravitational Waves

Happy Pi Day!

In case you’re not familiar with the holiday, today is Pi Day, which falls on 3/14 since π ≈ 3.14159 etc. Generally the feast is observed with pies (for some strange reason), be they fruit, meat, or pizza. Other round foods are also permissible, though not as clever. Sometimes people even bother measuring their radius and […]

The Twists of Time (or, the consequences of stellar velocities for stargazing)

As a kid, I read a lot of juvenile nonfiction on astronomy and celestial objects, which definitely contributed to my (totally original) career goal of being an astronaut. Among others, I know I read a lot of Seymour Simon's planet books (whichever ones were around 20+ years ago), which were pretty cool. But the book … Continue reading The Twists of Time (or, the consequences of stellar velocities for stargazing)