April 10, 2006

Colloquium Blogging: Silly Edition

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at April 10, 2006 6:05 PM

Today's colloquium was Steve Chu, Nobelist and director of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, giving an account of his biophysics experiments. However, rather than report on this I'm going to share a thought I had in the middle of the talk. At one point he was describing a standard optical tweezers technique in which ribosomes are engineered to stick to a tiny glass bead, which can then be manipulated with a laser beam. I was thinking there was something familiar about this, and I realized you could make a game out of it in which you have a biological sample with lots of components designed to stick to the bead, and then roll the bead around with the laser beam to pick them up... yes! Optical Trap Katamari Damacy!

On the other hand, I don't think the King of All Cosmos would be impressed by a 3 μm katamari.

Tags: Colloquia, Games, Physics, Science

The thing you collected most of is:

1) Ribosomes
2) Quarks
3) Stationary

My, the Earth is full of things...

Posted by: Josh | April 10, 2006 6:16 PM

"Yeah and when I finish rolling up everything I'm gonna smoke it."

"It's cool, man. Chill out. The King abides."

I love overcompensating.

If you rolled up the internet, what would it create in the sky? A blogosphere? Nay, perhaps a porn star.

Posted by: Lemming | April 10, 2006 8:59 PM

(sadly, a googlefight between "porn" and "blog" leave "blog" a clear winner: 2e9 to 1.4e8)

Posted by: Lemming | April 10, 2006 9:08 PM

Another option would have been to cite Shell Silverstein's "Great Smokeout" (approximate title), in which Shell tells of the dangers of being the roller when there's nothing left for the smoker to roll.

Aloso, the porn star pun is a major groaner.

For what it's worth, a recent BEC experiment in Chu's lab (results published in PRL on 10/05 and on the arxiv around 04/05, right after all my job interviews) showed a certain type of solution experimentally that I had previously predicted and constructed analytically. (Sadly, that lab doesn't seem to know about my paper, having been inspired by a different one that came out basically exactly [more precisely: within one day on the arxiv; I don't remember which was first] the same time as mine that has numerical work on that stuff but no analytical construction.) Such is life. I do, however, look fondly on the days when I discussed those wavefunctions in talks and the atomic physics people in the audience wondered if it was something that could be observed experimentally. :)

Posted by: Mason | April 10, 2006 9:36 PM
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