For those worried about their granite countertops

Chad Orzel provides a link to some expert commentary on radiation levels from counter tops (you shouldn't be too surprised to find out that there is nothing to worry about). Chad also takes the interesting position that perhaps the NYTimes should engage in doing science. After all, it would not be too difficult to carry a Geiger counter into a few homes and measure the radiation levels.

How Airplanes Fly

An article in Physics Today led me to a neat page on NASA's website about various theories of lift. It shows how many of the explanations common to popular literature are incorrect through a serious of java applets that let you see what is actually going on. Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool.

Paul Davies: Taking Sciene on Faith

Paul Davies' article in the nytimes has garnered a lot of commentary on my usual blog reading list. For instance, there is a lot going on in the comments at Dave Bacon's site and Chad Orzel has started more discussion.

For what it's worth, while I usually find Davies to be a bit suspect, I would agree that there is an element of science which requires faith. On a very basic level, the scientific method is based upon the belief that the universe is ordered by laws and that these laws can be probed by experiment. It requires belief that if one repeats an experiment one should get the same result. I have written about this before a long time ago.

Back-to-back issues of Nature

Some good news: two new papers from my lab (I am an author on both) will appear in the September 20th and 27th issues of Nature. In the September 20th paper we demonstrate a device which produces single microwave photons on-demand. The September 27th paper shows multiplexed read-out and control of two qubits coupled by a quantum bus. We also take some steps toward a two-qubit gate.

It is kind of funny that these papers will appear nearly simultaneously since the photon on-demand paper was submitted 5-6 months earlier.

My Opinion Exactly

Chad Orzel has a nice post that pretty much sums up my feelings on Richard Dawkins. Maybe some day I'll actually read The God Delusion, but having heard summaries of his arguments, it sounds like he says nothing new and that he severely misrepresents the nature of science.

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