I spent the weekend of June 16-19 at Carleton College. The occasion was my 50 year class reunion, for which I was a member of the gift committee, which in turn was a part of the overall planning committee. Mia (my wife) and I had a room on the third floor of Watson Hall, “3rd Watson” was how we would have referred to it back in the day. I don’t know if the current students refer to campus locations like that. I lived on “6th Watson” my senior year.
Tag Archives: carleton
Electrons and Positrons
I have known about Electron–positron annihilation for at least 52 years, from my course in Atomic and Nuclear Physics at Carleton College in the spring of 1970 if not before. The reaction is
e– + e+ → γ + γ
I had always assumed that the inverse reaction
γ + γ → e– + e+
was also possible because of time reversal symmetry. Apparently so had everyone else, but it has only recently been observed: Matter arises from light? We finally know the answer to this question!. Even now there is a caveat about “virtual” as opposed to “real” photons.
The Lifetimes of Programming Languages
I started programming computers in February of 1967, when I was a junior in high school. After dropping out of grad school I began a 41 year career in information technology in January of 1977. I have seen a lot of computer languages come and go. So I read 5 Programming Languages You Won’t Likely Be Using by 2030 with some interest. The only one on the list I had ever used was Perl. It was kind of fun, but I did not get very attached to it 🙂
Meanwhile, some much older languages live on. Last year COVID-19 demonstrated how much the financial world still depends on COBOL:Continue reading
Reading Notes: April 2021
Lars Celander, How Carriers Fought: Carrier Operations in World War II. “An in-depth analysis of aircraft carrier battles in WWII and the evolution of carrier operations—from technology and strategy to life among the crew.” The book covers US, Japanese, and British carrier use in the war. Very much about the nitty-gritty of how things got done, with a lot of quantitative analysis. “Carriers evolved into ‘eggshells armed with hammers,’ destined for short but interesting lives.” One thing I had not previously appreciated about the 1942 carrier battles in the Pacific (Coral Sea, Midway, Eastern Solomons, and Santa Cruz) was the longer range of the Japanese search planes. Highly recommended for those with an interest in WWII naval and air history.
Scott Carpenter, French Like Moi: A Midwesterner in Paris. An American college professor buys a condo in Paris and, though fluent in French, learns how different Parisians and Midwesterners really are, through one story after another. This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. Thank you to my fellow Carleton College (where Scott Carpenter teaches) alumni for suggesting it.
Monday Night Irish Class, June 19, 2017
Irish Class, June 19, 2016
Rang Gaeilge, 19ú lá Mí na Mheiteam 2017
|Aithníonn fear na h-olna dhíol fear na h-olna cheannach.||The wool seller knows (recognizes) the wool buyer.|
|graftha = grafadh||grubbing, hoeing|
|fiadhaigh = fiach||hunt(ing), chase, chasing|
|gaoithe = gaoth||wind|
|Tá trí saghas fear ann, fear grafta, fear fiadhaigh, agus fear gaoithe.||There are three sorts of man,
the worker, the pleasure-seeker, and the windbag.
Stoics: Myth and Reality
The virtues of old technology
GOP’s “inane” war on science
Plasma physicist congressman takes on the denialists
I met Rush Holt back in 1970, when we were both undergraduates at Carleton College, majoring in Physics.
Measurement and Uncertainty Smackdown. With America being ruled by the Innumerati of all political persuasions anything that helps simple quantitative reasoning is worthwhile.
The basics of this I learned in High School Chemistry (Thank you, Mr. Wheeler) and my first two years at Carleton. Of course, back then (1967-70),
….there is no reason that students in introductory courses couldn’t do the monte
was not quite so obvious.