Fine Structure

Finals Week Recap

Finally almost done with finals. Which means that we're back on the blog train for five weeks of uninterrupted blogification. I'm excited, actually, as I have a couple interesting items planned.

But, before we get too far into next week, this week has been a busy one and a terrible week to not blog on account of finals. When we left off, CDMS was rumored to be announcing data that revealed Dark Matter. Yesterday was the day that those parallel result talks were given and, while the results were intriguing, it wasn't quite as clear cut as everyone hoped it was. Essentially, there were some events that looked like interactions from WIMPs - more than expected - but it can't be stated definitively that they were dark matter. Much of the talk was a discussion on the next generation CDMS detector and how that will be designed to look in the same places. They had to use a spherical cow slide to lighten up the audience. I hate that joke.

A video, strangely reminiscent of the last planetarium show at the California Academy of Sciences, about the scale of the known universe. Kottke posted it. It looks pretty good in HD.

The LHC is quiet for the winter. Electricity is too expensive this time of year. And no one wants to go to work in the cold.

NASA: Obama wants to ditch the smaller rockets of the Ares program, concentrate on doing the heavy lifting with a new launch vehicle (no sense of if this is going to be the heavy Ares design or something based off a different platform) and encourage private companies to shuttle humans to and from space (Or just to space, a la "To Serve Man"). Oh, and the government is going to give NASA another $1B in 2011 to do it. Awesome. Excellent. And this probably deserves a closer look.

Symmetry Magazine for December is out. No chance to look at the contents closely yet.

Chad Orzel's book, How to Teach Physics to your Dog, is out. Or at least in stock at Amazon, which is out enough for me. If you recall, I reviewed it.

Still plenty of stuff to do before the end of the day, so I'll leave you with this for now.