Monday, March 22, 2021

Getting My COVID Vaccine This Week

Being under 65 years of age, and with no major health issues (knock on wood), I was not eligible to receive the COVID vaccine in my area during the first 2 waves of its distribution.

But suddenly, it was announced by our state that starting Monday (today), higher-education workers will be included in the expanded criteria to receive the next vaccine distribution. So, after scrambling to find an appointment, I will get my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine this coming Friday, and then the second one later in April. All I can say is : PHEW!

There is certainly a push by the school to get things back to almost normal, in the sense that many of the classes are starting to be offered in person or in a blended/hybrid modality. Certainly classes that have a significant laboratory component are the ones that will probably start to be offered in person. I definitely would prefer to have the vaccine before I have to come in to the campus, so getting the vaccine now is a major peace-of-mind aspect of this whole thing.

It is certainly looking more certain that I may have to ditch my Zoom pants on most days and have to start dressing up again when I teach my classes this Fall! 😀😁


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Tripple-Layer Mask Blocks Secondary Atomization of Cough Droplets

I had already posted several physics papers on the efficacy of masks, even single-layer ones, in reducing the airborne aerosol. Now comes another paper that deals with how cough droplets actually can break up into smaller-sized droplets that may pass through single and double-layered masks, especially when moving at such high speed from a cough.

It turns out that having a mask with 3 layers or more might be the most effective here (I wonder at how many layers will we will of suffocation? :)) The new research is to be published in Science, and you can get the paper at the link to read to your heart's content.

A review of this paper can be found here. It is fascinating to read that expertise in the study of jet engines are being leveraged in studying the dynamics of this problem. But do you think people who don't believe in wearing masks to reduce the virus transmission will buy any of this? They believe in smartphones and jet engines, don't they?


Wednesday, March 03, 2021

English And The Language Of Physics

I love reading articles like this where the history of how things become the way they are now is revealed.

This Symmetry article tells the story of how English became the language of physics and why it became dominant in the publication of physics articles and journals. It has almost nothing to do with science, but everything to do with politics, social upheaval, and world events. If Germany didn't have the Nazi coming into power, we probably would be doing physics in German, or if the Soviet Union didn't close off the interactions of non-Soviet scientists, we'd be sharing ideas in Russian as well.


Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic On Physicists

We, physicists, are people too (shocking, I know!). The impact of isolation, stay-at-home and work-from-home orders, and the cancellation of experimental work, in-person conferences, workshops and others do have academic, emotional, and psychological impacts on this group of people

This Physics Today article looks at such an impact on the physic community, and how they are dealing with it.

How are YOU dealing with it? Are you back on campus, in your lab, or in your office? Or are you still working from home?