I’ve been smelling a familiar smell recently, a dangerous and unpleasant smell that I sort of recognised but couldn’t quite place. An email from from the organisation I work for has finally jogged my memory, and I recognise it.

The email contained polite, measured lines to the effect “Whatever the government may or may not be saying at the time you read this, please don’t come back to work this week, if for no other reason than the fact that a big change like that takes time to prepare for.” 

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Stay at Home Festival

I just did a live Q&A with Hannah Fry, Helen Czerski and Robin Ince. If you watch it you can learn all kinds of stuff about quarks, champagne corks, charts & graphs, zero gravity flights and the dangers of trying to share screens on skype…

Also there’s a question about rainbows, here’s something I wrote about them once upon a time which might be of interest.

Check out other cool stuff at the Stay at Home Festival.


Posted in Particle Physics, Physics, Politics, Science | Tagged , , , ,

Margin of Error

We have achieved 100k COVID-19 tests in day hurrah! Bang the pots and pans and stuff.

There’s a certain amount of cynicism, with even the BBC fact-checking itself. Some of the tests are in the post, and several were on the same person. But there’s enough coverage in reality for the claim to be made (it doesn’t take much) and actually I find myself wondering about Matt Hancock.

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Posted in Politics, Science | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

URL right

I changed the title of my previous post, because I was worried it would mislead people, or at best look like a crap pun.


From the Guardian/Observer article linked below, poll by Opinium

It was originally called “A boost in testing times”. The potentially misleading — and entirely unintentional — pun here was that it could have made people think I had some information on speeding up COVID-19 tests, which I don’t, and which is too serious a thing to make clickbait puns about, frankly.

(The excellent and intended pun of course was the elision of the Lorentz boost of the Higgs boson in the measurement in question, the boost it gave to us testing the nature of said boson, and the boost to my morale of seeing a measurement I’d proposed more than ten years ago finally done.)

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Posted in Politics, Rambling, Writing | Tagged , ,