July 4, 2005

Obscure Physics Humor

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at July 4, 2005 7:28 AM

One of today's lecturers on Andre'ev reflection: "If we were cosmologists we'd call it 'Andre'ev hijacking'."

[For the non-physicists in the audience: this is a joke about the tendency of cosmologists to give colorful names to phenomena. Condensed matter types are more understated. Andre'ev reflection is a process in which an electron crosses the interface between a metal and a superconductor, and takes along ("hijacks") another electron so as to pair up properly in the superconductor. The hijacked electron leaves behind a hole moving in the opposite direction, which looks like a reflection of the original electron.]

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That is very cool to know. Now if I can only figure out how to work it into a book....

Posted by: Dad | July 4, 2005 9:04 AM

This was a very useful explanation for me (though I'll probably forget and have to ask you to remind me). I've seen the buzzword in some articles and didn't really know what it was.

As for cosmologists, they've certainly got the PR game down. There are way too many string theory, M-theory, etc. articles in the paper relative to other physics topics (and topics in other sciences). Of course, I did my own bit with discussing "monkeys" ranking football teams instead of "random walkers", but that's a separate issue. :) It got the point across, so it was a good move.

Posted by: Mason | July 5, 2005 1:26 AM
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