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What are the Physics/Astrophysics blogs you regularly read? I'm looking to beef up my RSS feeds to catch up with during my long commutes. I'd like to discover lesser-known gems (e.g. not well known blogs such as Cosmic Variance), possibly that are updated regularly and recently.

Since this is a list, give one entry per answer please. Feel free to post more than one answer.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by dmckee Jun 27 '13 at 2:25

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
I'm curious as well :-) (as if my RSS feeds list wasn't overwhelming already) –  Malabarba Jan 20 '11 at 20:11
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I'm making this community wiki since it's basically making a list, there's no one correct answer. –  David Z Jan 20 '11 at 21:25
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There are some members of this community that write scientific blogs. It would be great if people present their blogs themselves - everyone who contributes to this site deserves some publicity. –  gigacyan Jan 20 '11 at 22:02
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To be honest, I was almost tempted to close this at first, because the Stack Exchange people harp on having uniquely answerable questions so much. But I figured that if we're trying to build a site that will attract intermediate-level physics students and their ilk, this is fantastic information to have here. Plus I would have loved to have access to a list like this a few years ago. –  David Z Jan 21 '11 at 3:05
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@gigacyan I went ahead and wrote myself a fairly long introduction. Hopefully a couple other people do the same so I appear less of a narcissist. –  Mark Eichenlaub Jan 21 '11 at 7:47

24 Answers 24

The Reference Frame

it is the only one that is challenging.

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I vote for this one too, even if Motl is not always right, his comments are always deep, thought provoking and worth reading. –  Philip Gibbs Jan 22 '11 at 13:53
    
Best blog I have seen for technical threads. –  Gordon Jan 23 '11 at 18:47
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But a bit disturbing for the climate science denialism. –  Colin K Jan 25 '11 at 17:34
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@Colin K - Here we go. I wish people would stop using "denialism". No one who is not a moron denies climate change. It is the GIGO quotient of the models that is distressing. The recent NASA report halved the climate sensitivity (of CO2 doubling effect.) Climate modelling has to be massively non-linear, so its predictive use is like casting horoscopes at this point. Lets leave climate "denialism" off this blog along with "alarmism". –  Gordon Feb 2 '11 at 2:43
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Found the TRF a few weeks ago and am a fan. Lubos gives excellent , clear "memos" on physics and frontier news in high energy experiment and theory. His responses are a bit acerbic at times so watch your step if you comment :) . –  anna v Feb 2 '11 at 6:55

John Baez's Stuff

It is more mathematics, but a lot of physics/mathematical physics related "stuff" also.

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I liked this also but John is taking a sabbatical at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore. His new blog is johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com –  Gordon Jan 23 '11 at 18:51

Cosmic Variance

Science, Technology, and The Future

NOTE It would be great if someone who knows the blog well would write a few words about it. Just give a little more detail of what it's about. 3 sentences is more than enough. This is community wiki, so most people can edit it freely.

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oops just noticed the parenthetical comment in the question. Oh well, I stand by it. –  Jeremy Jan 21 '11 at 1:38
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I split your answer into separate entries, so people can vote accordingly. –  Malabarba Jan 21 '11 at 2:31
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I read cosmic variance, and am spurred to comment on some of the entries, but there are times that I feel they are promoting ideas in physics that are somewhat pointless and are more science fiction. The arrow of time is an example. –  Humble Jan 21 '11 at 10:30
    
Can someone describe this blog with more than 5 words ? –  Frédéric Grosshans Jan 21 '11 at 16:18

Resonances

Another best place for detailed reports on new particle physics discoveries (and rumours)

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In my view by far the most informative (for scientists, not the general public) and carefully written physics blog. –  Thomas Feb 16 '13 at 19:32

My personal blog is

Arcsecond


It's not exclusively physics. Since it's a personal blog, it's about whatever interests me at the moment. When I do write about physics, the level is usually undergraduate (since that's my education level). I usually update in irregular bursts.

Some example posts:

Physics

Viete's Formula and Spinning Pizza

Uses simple physics to derive Viete's Formula

$$\frac{2}{\pi} = \frac{\sqrt{2}}{2}\cdot\frac{\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2}}}{2}\cdot\frac{\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2}}}}{2}\cdots$$

Fucking Geomagnetism, How Does That Work?

Response to Cosmic Variance's essay on Insane Clown Posse's "Miracles" video.

Bounce, part 2

Why won't a ball bounce higher than it's dropped?

Math

The Power Tower

What is $\sqrt{2}$ taken to the power of itself, over and over?

Answer, Lemming

A very cute puzzle from Ravi Vakil's "A Mathematical Mosaic".

Memoir

Why I Rode a Bicycle 200 Miles The Other Day

Pulse

Essay

'Simple' Isn't 'Easy'

Humor

Have You Ever Noticed A Panda Is Just a Fat, Slow Zebra?

Why I Don't Drink Soda

A Review of Reviews of Racism and a Very Sexy Reimagining

Comic

Sine Error: Spare Me

Sine Error: Tricked You!

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great blog! :) –  Platypus Lover Jan 21 '11 at 7:49

US LHC Blogs

A number of US scientists who work on the LHC explain various topics in physics. One particularly good series of posts is titled "Let's Draw Feynman diagrams!"

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Uncertain Principles

Chad Orzel is awesome. Good stuff on AMO and sci-fi.

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and he is a member of Physics.SE –  gigacyan Jan 26 '11 at 8:43

A Quantum Diaries Survivor

The best place for detailed reports on new particle physics discoveries (and rumours)

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Starts With a Bang

Similar in tone and style to Cosmic Variance with entertaining in-depth posts on various subjects in astrophysics and cosmology, including an excellent 8 part series on the history of the universe called "The Greatest Story Ever Told"

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Ellipsix Informatics

Since a few other people have posted their own blogs, I thought it wouldn't be inappropriate for me to do the same. This is my personal website, not a dedicated physics blog, but the posts I make about physics and/or information technology are the current "main attraction." The posts are based on whatever I happen to be thinking about when I have time to write something. Mostly I like to focus on applications of physics to everyday life (i.e. situations that would arise outside a lab).

Probably the best posts are the ones about Mythbusters episodes, e.g.

I also have an associated Twitter account where I post assorted physics/astronomy-related links.

https://twitter.com/ellipsix

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Dot Physics

This deals with popular topics from the perspective of an actual physicist (so, a lot of rants about instances when non-specialists get things wrong, and occasionally praise for when they get it right). It won't strain your brain, but I always find the posts to be fun to read, and pretty insightful.

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I stopped reading Dot Physics after this post: wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/some-quick-comments-on-learning In general, I think it's repetitive, facile, and sometimes completely incorrect in obvious ways. (see scienceblogs.com/dotphysics/2008/12/…) –  Mark Eichenlaub Jan 21 '11 at 6:33
    
Repetitive I agree with. There's only so much physics that can be discussed in a way that's accessible to nonspecialists. If by facile you mean it's easy to understand, then sure, but I count that as a positive attribute. And as far as being wrong, of course that's something to be avoided, but I think it's silly to insist on 100% correctness for a blog. You could never write anything interesting if you didn't take the risk of being wrong once in a while. –  David Z Jan 21 '11 at 8:00
    
@David I agree with you on being wrong and taking risks, but I was upset because although lots of people explained Rhett's errors in the comments, he remained obstinate. (By "facile" I meant more along the lines of "lacking depth", as, in my opinion, exemplified by the "comments on learning" I linked.) Anyway, I think Dot Physics might be good for some people. It's frequently cute, and there's clearly a lot of effort in it. It's not for me, though. –  Mark Eichenlaub Jan 21 '11 at 8:14
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@David I also removed the down vote because I realized another part of the reason I don't like Dot Physics is that I was one of the people trying to explain to him why he was wrong once, and I didn't like his response. I think my judgment was too personal to extrapolate to claiming that other people are unlikely to enjoy the blog (which is what I interpret a downvote to mean in this thread). Now, are you going to plug yourself soon? –  Mark Eichenlaub Jan 21 '11 at 8:16
    
@Mark: fair enough, I suppose. I didn't have time to follow that entire discussion on DWFTTW so I missed out on a lot of the responses to the comments. As for plugging myself... I guess I can put something up but I don't think my personal blog is much to get excited about. I take a lot of inspiration from Dot Physics so I'm sure my writing suffers from a lot of the same problems. –  David Z Jan 21 '11 at 8:23

The Hammock Physicist

Ok, time for some shameless self-promotion:

Like most science blogs, this blog focuses on an interested lay audience. I try to explain common misunderstandings, often by elucidating the physics with simple models and (animated) visuals. See for instance 'Fibonacci Chaos', 'God, Godel, Gravity' and 'Less Is More'.

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Ars Physica

Although mostly in brazilian portuguese (pt_BR — even though in the days of Google Translate i don't know how big a problem this actually represents ;-), it's a collective effort including high energy theorists and experimentalists, condensed matter theorists, and neuroscientists.

So, the topic selection is quite varied, and so is the level of presentation: from popularization pieces all the way to full fledged research.

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AstroBetter

Tips and Tricks for Professional Astronomers

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Symmetry Breaking

an excellent general physics blog created by Fermilab and SLAC.

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The Big Blog Theory

This is the blog of UCLA physicist David Saltzberg, who is the scientific advisor to the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The science (derived from the episodes) is simple. But you still can find some interesting stuff.

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Of Particular Significance

Matt Strassler's blog on particle physics. This is aimed at being accessible to the public, but he incorporates a lot of graphs and a decent amount of technical detail. The site gets updated almost daily with either general articles about particle physics, or news of recent developments.

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Skulls in the Stars

Exceptional for its extremely clear, basic-level introductions to phenomena in optics I would otherwise never have heard of, and for interesting historical posts resulting from digging around in the archives of old journals and scientists' personal letters.

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Astronomy Cast

this is actually a podcast, not a blog, but it is still fantastic. Two hosts, one a blogger, one an astrophysics go over various topics in astronomy, physics and cosmology. I particularly liked the "History of Astronomy" series, but the posts on current discoveries are just as good.

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Cocktail Party Physics

Jennifer Ouellette, spousal unit of Sean Carroll, organized this and has some of her female friends writing guest blogs on rotation. The topics are mostly physics with a discursive and historical slant, and are at popular level. Jennifer is an intelligent English major who writes science well. I threw this in both because the writing is good, but also hopefully to attract more females to physics stack. Now that I have disclosed my motivation, my real favorite blog has to be The Reference Frame for its virtuoso physics improvisations by Lubos.

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Condensed Concepts is a great blog, and the only one I've found that deals with Condensed Matter Physics directly. I would be interested to hear if there are others.

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Why I hate physics
Congratulations Marty Green.
Give me (us) more, pls.

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Technology Review, arXiv blog

The newest and most interesting posting from arXiv with summary and figures.

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Phys.org

It's specific but easy to read.

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