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Ken Bloom | USLHC | USA

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From perfect to spiral

For those of you who enjoyed my fascinating discussion of the 2008 Review of Particle Physics, you will be happy to know that the small-booklet summary of the review has now arrived.  Remember that this used to be known as the “wallet card,” because you could in fact fold it up and fit it into your wallet.  The current version is nearly 300 pages, so that would be a little more difficult now.

But here was a little surprise:

This year’s booklet (left) is spiral-bound, whereas previous versions (e.g. 2006, center) have been perfect-bound.  It is also in a larger format, which makes it possible to have fewer pages than the last booklet, even though I would guess that there is more content.  I wonder what pushed the PDG in this direction.  I would have thought fewer pages (of larger surface area) would make it easier to perfect-bind a book, yet now we have a spiral.  (Seth, if you are visiting Berkeley, maybe you can track this one down!)

The big question for me, then, is what will become of the “Pocket Diary for Physicists” (right), which serves as a calendar (including birth dates of all-time great physicists) and telephone index.  It’s the same size as the old booklet, making it possible to fit them both into a little plastic cover that the PDG provided (also shown in photo).  Will that get larger too?  Will there be new plastic covers?

I know, pressing questions that will affect the fate of the universe.  But look, it was either write about that or about getting ready to teach one of the big sections of introductory electricity and magnetism starting tomorrow.  You might be getting an earful about that from me for the next four months.

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7 Responses to “From perfect to spiral”

  1. Harbles says:

    Does your institution have videos of your courses online?
    I have been recently getting into online learning with <a href=”http://freescienceonline.blogspot.com/” the free science online website. I find it fascinating.

  2. Ken Bloom says:

    The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a variety of online offerings, although I don’t know how much of it is video. You can learn more about it at http://online.unl.edu.

  3. Seth Zenz says:

    One of the people who does a lot of work on the PDG is in my group, and was here last week — but he might be back in Geneva by now! I’ll see if I can figure anything out, though.

  4. Colin Bembridge says:

    Off topic, but in response to Harbles, here is a treasure trove for those interested in Physics and Astrophysics Lectures and Talks. Most have a video version, although some are audio only, and all have reproductions of the slides used during the talks.
    It’s the Kevli Institute for Theoretical Physics in California, url is:
    http://online.itp.ucsb.edu/online/
    Another good source (may get better over the next couple of years since Neil Turok was appointed Director, and Steven Hawking a visiting Scholar), ia the Perimeter Instute in Woodstock Ontario Canada (45 min from my house !! Oh to be close to Greatness :)
    Url is:
    http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/Outreach/Public_Lectures/View_Past_Public_Lectures/

    I just have to say one more thing (sorry for the long post but the KITP site has consumed my interest for a long time now).

    Try converting the audio files to MP3, burning the talks to a disk and then listen to them while driving… you’ll get an excellent education in the most facinating topic ever. Lots of LHC related material, look for the Ayana Holloway talk on the KITP site, it was the most concise and informative talk on the topic that I have heard for a long time, everything you always wanted to know about the LHC but were afraid to ask. If there were a top ten list for these things, it would be right up there…

    Ken and Seth, please keep this site going, i’m here almost every day looking for new posts, its great to get an insiders view, even the stuff that seems mundane to you is interesting to many of us out here, this is the biggest experiment ever, and to be able to get a sense of what its like to be involved is facinating and just maybe historically useful.

    Cheers from the Great White North (-25c as I speak).

    Colin.

  5. Michael says:

    Hi Ken, I hope the teaching is off to a good start. Maybe you can find some starting points for lectures in the PDG booklet? It is both easier and harder than you might think!

  6. Harbles says:

    Just to keep a seven month old thread alive … lol.

    The CERN Summer Student Lecture Programme is a excellent source of informative lectures.
    Also the Colloquium lectures are very good.
    I can almost understand what you’re talking about now!

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