Fixing first-year physics (1/2)

From undergrad through my PhD, I learned physics in traditional lecture courses, and I very much enjoyed it. Is this selection bias? Perhaps. It is no less true. Over the years, whenever I’ve heard tell of the magic of active learning it’s been like nails on a chalkboard…

"So…you study string theory?"

Originally published 10/26/2016 Many people hear fundamental physics and think of theoretical physics like string theory. In fact, physics research might be fundamental, or it might be theoretical, or even both, or neither. Pop culture often glosses over the fact that the two terms are not synonymous, they…

“Do you believe in the big bang?”

Originally published 10/20/2016The big bang is like biological evolution: the non-technical world makes a big fuss about it, but scientists simply shake their heads and move on. Our understanding of biology and astronomy is so inextricably linked with these theories that there would practically be nothing left if…