- I wrote an article for Aeon, "The superfluid Universe," which just appeared. For a somewhat more technical summary, see this earlier blogpost.
- I did a Q&A with John The-End-of-Science Horgan, which was fun. I disagree with him on many things, but I admire his writing. He is infallibly skeptic and unashamedly opinionated -- qualities I find lacking in much of today's science writing, including, sometimes, my own.
- I spoke with Davide Castelvecchi about Stephen Hawking's recent attempt to solve the black hole information loss problem, which I previously wrote about here.
- And I had some words to spare for Zeeya Merali, probably more words than she wanted, on the issue with the arXiv moderation, which we discussed here.
- Finally, I had the opportunity to give some input for this video on the PhysicsGirl's YouTube channel:
I previously explained in this blogpost that Hawking radiation is not produced at the black hole horizon, a correction to the commonly used popular science explanation that caught much more attention than I anticipated.
There are of course still some things in the above video I'd like to complain about. To begin with, anti-particles don't normally have negative energy (no they don't). And the vacuum is the same for two observers who are moving relative to each other with constant velocity - it's the acceleration that makes the difference between the vacua. In any case, I applaud the Physics Girl team for taking on what is admittedly a rather technical and difficult topic. If anyone can come up with a better illustration for Hawking-radiation than Hawking's own idea with the pairs that are being ripped apart (which is far too localized to fit well with the math), please leave a suggestion in the comments.
Friday, February 05, 2016
I'm back from my trip. Here are some things that prevented me from more substantial blogging: