Sucking Worms -- a Firefighting Mystery from the History of Physics

Dr. Trevor Lipscombe
The Catholic University of America Press
CUA Press

Wed, March 27, 2024 - 4:00 PM

tl-2.pngLong-dead leading scientists often leave "Easter Eggs," or hidden challenges, in their writings: neat observations that can lead to publications in pedagogical physics journals today, centuries after the observations were first noted. All we need to do is to read their actual writings, rather than synopses of them, to discover these gems. Similar, though different, is to read historical accounts on any topic of interest, looking for the physics that may lurk beyond.

Trevor Lipscombe comes from London, England, and earned a bachelor's degree from Queen Mary University in London, and a doctorate from Oxford University -- both in theoretical physics. He is coauthor of "Albert Einstein: A Biography", which was translated into 10 languages. His book "The Physics of Rugby" (University of Nottingham Press) was ranked as one of the Top Ten physics books of the year by Physics World magazine, and his recent book "Quick(er) Calculations" (Oxford University Press) was one of three finalists for the Prose Award of the Association of American Publishers for best book in popular science and mathematics. He edited Saint John Henry Newman's novel "Loss and Gain" for Ignatius Press' Critical Editions, and has also edited a critical edition of Arthur Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" stories, for the same publisher. Most of his physics articles deal with pedagogical physics, and have appeared in the American Journal of Physics, the European Journal of Physics, or The Physics Teacher. 

This talk will explore how historical events, such as the Sucking Worm, can transform into current-day physics publications.

Refreshments served at 3:45 PM

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