Of Particular Significance

Some Upcoming Speaking Events, One Tomorrow

Picture of POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 05/14/2024

Three events coming up!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 15th, in the town of Northampton, Massachusetts, I’ll be speaking about my book — specifically, about why and how the relationship between ourselves and the universe is not what it seems. The event will be held at the Broadside Bookshop at 7pm. If you’re in the Pioneer Valley, please come by! And let your friends in the area know, too.

Next, on the night of Thursday, June 6th at 6:30 pm, I’ll be at the Boston Public Library on a panel entitled “Particle Physics: Where the Universe and Humanity Collide.” The other members of the panel will be

  • Katrina Miller, PhD – a Chicago-based science reporter & essayist who has written for, among others, the New York Times and Wired magazine
  • Sarah Demers – Professor of Physics at Yale University and a frequent science communicator

This is a public event for a general audience, arranged as part of the 12th Annual Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference. This event will be live-streamed. More details to come.

Finally, I’ll also be speaking about my book on Monday, June 24th at The Bookstore in Lenox, MA. Stay tuned for details on this as well.

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3 Responses

  1. I’m not sure where this should go, so it goes here.
    I received a copy of “Waves in an Impossible Sea” and got to page 26 where I find
    “… a plane can take off because it’s the air rushing over the wings that provides the lift ”
    Neither a pilot nor a physicist I am, but the link below says this is a phib.


    The convincing item for me is this: The popular explanation also implies that inverted flight is impossible. It certainly does not address acrobatic airplanes, with symmetric wings (the top and bottom surfaces are the same shape).
    I looked this up last year because a friend is teaching his 13-year-old granddaughter to fly his small plane. That set me to wondering if she knew about lift.
    John Hultquist
    rural Kittitas Cty, WA
    {100 miles east of Seattle}

    1. Questions like this can be asked here: https://profmattstrassler.com/waves-in-an-impossible-sea/waves-in-an-impossible-sea-commentary-and-discussion/got-a-question/ I’ll answer it here, but may move the question over later, if you don’t mind.

      You are absolutely right about the physics. But I was deliberately careful in my wording. I did not say that the air rushing over the wing provides the lift via Bernoulli’s principle and the usual phib about faster air flow over the top of the wing. I simply said “air rushing over the wings…”

      Indeed, the air, as it rushes over the wing, becomes turbulent, and that complexity is essential in the story of how the lift is actually created. I didn’t want to get distracted by that point — it is irrelevant to the principle of relativity, which was the focus of that discussion — so I deliberately used a phrase that is correct but avoids the question of how lift is generated.

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