466 reputation
210
bio website blog.plover.com
location Philadelphia, USA
age
visits member for 1 year, 11 months
seen Apr 20 at 14:01

I am a physics ignoramus. I enjoyed three semesters of college honors physics, but only scraped through a semester of quantum physics by having my physics-major friend translate the physics homework into mathematics for me, then doing the mathematics parts, and having him translate the mathematical answers back into physics.

I am quite handy with mathematics, so this got me a passing grade, but I never did understand the physics, and my later revisits to the material didn't help.

I write a blog that often carries articles about science and mathematics. I have written a few blog articles about physics.


Apr
2
awarded  Citizen Patrol
Apr
2
comment Why does my kettle only make a noise when it is turned on
This question is not the same as Why is boiling water loud, then quiet?. That question asks why the water becomes quiet just before it boils, while it is still being heated; this one asks why the water becomes quiet after boiling when it is no longer being heated. These are completely different phenomena.
Mar
31
comment Why does paper become transparent when smeared with oil but not (so much) with water?
Did you mean “Wetting it will enable light to penetrate more”?
Mar
16
awarded  Nice Question
Mar
9
comment Why is Werner Heisenberg smiling?
I did more research on this and came up with some useful information about it, which I would have posted as an answer, but since the moderator had summarily closed it, I couldn't. On Math.SE, moderators avoid closing questions except in the most clear-cut cases of abuse or duplication, leaving other cases up to the community. I think that is a good policy which you would do well to emulate.
Dec
9
revised What is the theoretical upper limit on the rigidity of a material?
used the wrong word
Dec
9
revised What is the theoretical upper limit on the rigidity of a material?
added 55 characters in body
Dec
9
revised What is the theoretical upper limit on the rigidity of a material?
deleted 67 characters in body
Dec
9
asked What is the theoretical upper limit on the rigidity of a material?
Dec
1
comment Why is paper more frangible when it is wet?
This answer has changed my life. I now see hydrogen bonds everywhere and understand a great variety of phenomena that were mysterious to me before. For example, why does cereal get soggy after your pour the milk over it. Thanks.
Nov
22
comment Why don't metals bond when touched together?
I think the point about gauge blocks (also called Johanssen blocks) should be made more forcefully. These are metal blocks whose surfaces are ground so perfectly flat that two blocks will adhere if merely pressed together. Wikipedia says: “Wringing is the process of sliding two blocks together so that their faces lightly bond. Because of their ultraflat surfaces, when wrung, gauge blocks adhere to each other tightly. Properly wrung blocks may withstand a 75 lbf (330 N) pull”.
Nov
21
awarded  Notable Question
Jun
13
comment What is volume * mass be called?
I think you might do better to ask this on physics.stackexchange. If it has a name, they will know what it is.
May
29
awarded  Popular Question
May
7
awarded  Yearling
Dec
9
comment Is diffraction affected by interaction between photons and electrons?
@Eric: No. ${}{}{}{}$
Dec
9
revised Is diffraction affected by interaction between photons and electrons?
edited title
Dec
9
asked Is diffraction affected by interaction between photons and electrons?
Aug
20
accepted Why does a cuboid spin stably around two axes but not the third?
Aug
17
comment Why does a cuboid spin stably around two axes but not the third?
I wasn't going to touch the tag wikis because I am a physics ignoramus and honestly I have no idea whether there is some subtle distinction between "rotational dynamics" and "rotational kinematics".