Observing the Observatory

Well, here’s a bit of news. For one reason or another, I have been invited to a preview, later this month, of the soon-to-be-reopened Griffith Observatory, and so will get to see it before it opens to the very general public. (Library photos, by E. C. Krupp, by the way.) I will try my best to bring you a full report on the splendiforous contents… assuming they […] Click to continue reading this post

Physics Nobel Prize 2006

COBE is the experiment that really blazed the trail for all the wonderful physics that was to come from WMAP, and various other experiments such as Boomerang. And Planck is about to fly as well, giving even more precise information about our universe.

I was an undergraduate when this was announced. [Update: Oops…not quite: I had just started graduate school. Thanks Chad!] It was a wonderful feeling that all of us students had, partly gleaned from the feelings of our lecturers, I suspect. The thing that struck us as most appealing (I think) was the idea that the black body radiation spectrum (click on the image on the right for larger) that we’d been learning about in the abstract, during lectures, was sort of “out there”, writ large…. as large as can be in fact, on the whole universe! It’s always good to learn that physics -or any field- is still alive, especially when you’re still on the cusp of making a career in it. […] Click to continue reading this post