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Chad Orzel
Works at Union College
Attended University of Maryland, College Park
Lived in Schenectady, NY
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Chad Orzel

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Whoa, my book is on Brainpickings...
 
The Central Mystery of Quantum Mechanics, Animated. How a lineage of scientists pieced together the puzzle revealing the dual nature of the universe. http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/07/03/chad-orzel-quantum-physics/ 
How a lineage of scientists pieced together the puzzle revealing the dual nature of the universe. Ever since Heisenberg stood on the shou
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Some quasi-philosophical musing prompted by a much-linked piece at NPR on "the agony of ignorance," contrasting that with the excitement of people at the Convergence conference at not knowing stuff... yet.

My original title was "The Ecstasy of Ignorance," but the editor liked this better, and I'm not going to argue about titles.
While some scientists fret over questions we might not be able to answer, others are excited by the vast opportunities for future discovery.
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New post picking up on a question asked at dinner at the Convergence meeting last week: What's the point of doing experiments whose outcome is never really in doubt?
There is joy and beauty and value in experimental physics, even in cases where there's basically no chance of a fundamental breakthrough.
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One great application of re-doing experiments is to pick up changes. The land rising around Stockholm has been documented since the 1700s, since the exact same plot of land has been used to train cartographers yearly.
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A wrap-up of sorts from my trip to the Convergence conference (though I'll do a few posts next week picking up on various little things that came up), tying together the final panel discussion and some of the earlier talks.
The search for exotic physics described at Convergence consists largely of "looking where the light is," like the old joke, but clever physicists continue to find ways to put up more lights.
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I'm currently in Waterloo, Ontario at a physics conference, impersonating a journalist. Here's a quick overview of yesterday's proceedings.
A report on the first day of talks at the Convergence conference, looking for structure in the mathematics of the universe, spooky quantum interactions, and when correlation can imply causation.
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It's Fathers' Day, which means it's a great morning for really cute backtalk. 
Act I: STEELYKID and THE PIP: Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! DADDY: Aww, that’s sweet. So, what are you going to make me for breakfast? STEELYKID and THE PIP: What? DADDY: It’s father’s day, right? So you guys should be cooking breakfast for me. STEELYKID and THE PIP: No!!!! THE PIP: We can’t cook breakfast for…
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Hooray for kids! SecondSon and I will be installing traditional Father's Day graphics cards in the kid computer together. Because that's a traditional thing, right? 😉
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Chad Orzel

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Nature News ran an opinion piece decrying the too-soon posting of preliminary results in physics. My response is that physicists should take a tip from economists, who long ago made their peace with big news stories about incomplete data like this morning's jobs report.
Physicists worried about preliminary results being overturning need to take some lessons from economists.
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Economics is a faith-based system of philosophy. Not a science.
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At Convergence, Savas Dimopoulos spoke about low-energy searches for new fundamental physics, and made a pitch for creating an institute dedicated to housing those kinds of experiments. I take a look at the pros and cons of that idea.
Savas Dimopoulos suggested at Convergence that we should build a specialized facility for low-energy searches for exotic physics, an idea that touches on a lot of aspects of how modern science gets done.
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SteelyKid's first-grade art class sent home a portfolio of stuff. since I was taking pictures of it anyway for documentaion, I might as well post them here so you can see what sorts of things they do in first grade art these days..
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Aww, these are pretty great! In particular, I really dig the cave art. When the Monsters were around that age, their school offered a service where you could have their favorite artwork made into a 3x5 fridge magnet. I cherish them.
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The Tuesday program at the Converge conference included talks at pretty much every scale of physics, from elementary particles to the universe as a whole.
The second day of talks at the Convergence meeting had a bit of everything, from dark-matter particles, to cold atoms, to supermassive black holes, to the entire universe.
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What a clever diagram!
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A post from yesterday looking at the True Lab Stories experimental physicists tell each other about funny lab disasters. 
And then there was that time we were gathering data until our apparatus exploded....
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I continue to be a little freaked out when I write something about an author and they notice it. Even now that I've written multiple books myself, and know how this feels from the other side...

I really did enjoy the Greywalker books a lot, in no small part because of the figuring-out of the magic system. So, yeah, go read those if you haven't already.
 
I'm floored. Physics professor and pop-science writer +Chad Orzel has mentioned me and my Greywalker novels in an article about Magic in the World of Science published earlier this week at Forbes.com. I'm one of only three women (JK Rowling and Kelly Link being the others) noted in the article, and it's a very complimentary article about fantasy writers whose magical systems embrace or work within the real, science-based world. It also mentions a few guys.... ;)
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Have him in circles
12,975 people
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Work
Occupation
Associate Professor, Union college Department of Physics and Astronomy
Employment
  • Union College
    Associate Professor of Physics, 2001 - present
  • Yale University
    Postdoctoral Associate, 1999 - 2001
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Schenectady, NY - New Haven, CT - Rockville, MD - Komae, Japan - Williamstown, MA - Whitney Point, NY
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Introduction
Chad Orzel is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, NY. He is also the author of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog (Scribner, 2009), a popular-audience book explaining quantum mechanics through imaginary conversations with his dog, Emmy.
Education
  • University of Maryland, College Park
    Chemical Physics, 1993 - 1999
  • Williams College
    Physics, 1989 - 1993
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Gender
Male