Friday, May 24, 2013

"A Snapshot of the Inside of an Atom" at ScienceNOW

My first story for ScienceNOW in quite a long time, and it's a fun one. Scientists at FOM Institute AMOLF took a picture of the quantum wave function of electrons as they emerged from hydrogen atoms.

Wave function? AMOLF? Google the latter. As for the former, the wave function is the fundamental piece of quantum weirdness, something that physicists have tried to wrap their heads around for eighty or ninety years — and failed. For more, read the story.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Seeing the Forest for the Splotchy Green Blob

Lesson for today: statistics is hard. Specifically, it's hard to sort out real patterns from random noise, especially when you don't have a lot of data. Nonetheless, people sure do their darndest.