Friday, April 17, 2020

Simple Electric Motor Experiment

This was the last lab that my students managed to do before all in-person classes were cancelled due to the coronavirus. They had to build a simple electric motor, making use of the concept of magnetic field created by a loop of wire, the concept of magnetic moment, and magnetic torque.

The final "proof" that they had successfully built the motor is to show that it will spin continuously, which looks like this:

It's a common experiment done in many General Physics labs, but it is still a cool exercise. The students certainly had fun doing it and they felt a sense of accomplishment when they see the spinning coil in motion.

I was just glad we managed to do it just before the shutdown.


Thursday, April 16, 2020

First Hint of CP Violation in the Neutrino Sector

The latest report on T2K results has been published[1], and it looks good for the upcoming long neutrino baseline experiment at DUNE and T2HK. The result may suggest that these two upcoming experiments may finally nail down CP violation in neutrinos, which will be a substantial advancement in our understanding on why there are more mater than antimatter in our universe.

The discovery of substantial leptonic CP violation would be groundbreaking. Its observation, together with evidence that a quantity known as lepton number has been violated (that is, not conserved), would provide strong circumstantial evidence for leptogenesis as the origin of the matter–antimatter imbalance.


[1] T2K collaboration, Nature v.580p.339 (2020).

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Making Physics Funny

Although Tom Gauld's cartoons do not actually focus on physics, he has included topics related to physics before. This NY Times article gives a brief interview and background on him, someone you would know if you read New Scientist frequently.

I decided to mention it here because the article included one of his cartoons that made me chuckle. I decided to include it here and make sure everyone is aware that this is credited to him. If he or his publisher object to this, I'll remove it.

It's pretty funny, though, because if you are involved in any kind of science forum or discussion online, this happens more often than you think.

And considering that our current President of the US thinks he's an expert in many different fields as well, I feel that I'm living in that Science Hell right now.