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Murray Gell-Mann, a titan of physics in the 20th century, died last Friday at age 89.

He was probably best known for proposing the existence of, and naming, “quarks,” the elementary particles that bind together to form protons, neutrons, and other strongly-interacting particles. (The name comes from Finnegan’s Wake: “Three quarks for Muster Mark.”) For this work he received the 1969 Nobel Prize for Physics. But he made many other seminal contributions as well, and in the mid-20th century Caltech, where he and Richard Feynman were on the faculty, was arguably the leading center for theoretical physics in the world.

I never met him personally, though I saw him give talks on a couple of occasions. He was scrupulous in pronouncing names correctly, e.g., “Einshtein.” The joke was that Gell-Man had eight brains, and each one was smarter than you. Another story in which he makes an appearance: When his student Sidney Coleman (also a legend of theoretical physics) was applying for a job he wrote a letter that said, “Coleman knows more about quantum field theory than anyone in the world except Dick Feynman.” Feynman’s letter said, “Coleman knows more about quantum field theory than anyone in the world except me.” So Gell-Mann and Feynman agreed on at least one thing.

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Otterbein Physics Blog by Nathaniel Tagg - 3w ago

BAH! London 2019 - YouTube

I saw this in London. The video is timestamped for the winning presentation, but all of it was hilarious.

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Otterbein Physics Blog by Nathaniel Tagg - 3w ago

Here’s a list of companies in Ohio who have recently been hiring Physics Bachelor’s.

https://www.aip.org/statistics/ohio

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If you are a time traveler and learned about this talk from this blog post, please stop by and say hi to Prof. Robertson last Thursday!

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Thomas Jefferson’s copy of Newton’s Principia.

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Otterbein Physics Blog by Nathaniel Tagg - 3w ago

MicroBooNE collaboration meeting, July 2018.  In red: Brad Goff, Heather Tanner, Jiyu Li, and Nathaniel Tagg.

Heather and Brad did an awesome job presenting their summer work to the collaboration. The work was mentioned specifically in David Caratelli’s ops summary.   The group did great work this summer and I’m proud of all of us.

Nathaniel

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Otterbein Physics Blog by David Robertson - 3w ago

Some news of recent alumni:

  • Michael Highman ’17: Winner of National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
  • Jack Brangham ’12: Awarded PhD in Physics from The Ohio State University; currently a Process Engineer at Intel Corporation.
  • Evan Heintz ’16: Published his first research paper as graduate student.

Alums, we love to hear from you!  Let us know what you are up to!

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Otterbein Physics Blog by Nathaniel Tagg - 3w ago

Made extra special by the total lack of air conditioning. Hell is real, and it is physics. 

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Otterbein Physics Blog by Nathaniel Tagg - 3w ago

Lots of people gathered in the Quad today to watch the eclipse.  Lots of fun had by everyone.  Work crawled to a standstill in the name of SCIENCE.

We eagerly await news from the group that went south to see the Totality.  Did crickets start chirping? Did birds roost? Did cannibalism start before or after the plague of frogs?

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Nice public article from Brookhaven National Lab:
https://www.bnl.gov/world/

Our most recent paper on LarTPC noise: https://inspirehep.net/record/1600848/

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