You do know I’m a science geek, right?
The only problem being, I know very little about actual science!
It’s a field – or rather, a collection of fields – for which I have no formal training, no math foundation, no research experience.
What I do instead is read obsessively – books, magazines, blogs, and the like. Since I can’t focus on every facet of science, I gravitate toward physics.
Jonah Miller is the single best source I’ve so far found for physics news and education.
If you’re as keen as I am to keep up with what’s happening in relativity, quantum mechanics, astrophysics, cosmology, and all things related – follow Jonah!
A great place to start is his blog, ThePhysicsMill.com. From there, you can sign up for his email newsletter or follow him on social media – Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. (I heartily recommend the latter.)
Want the inside scoop on gravity wells and waves? Black holes? Neutron stars? Our supposed ninth planet? Jonah’s there, and you’re along for the ride.
Jonah Miller is a graduate student at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario. He studies relativistic astrophysics and, as a member of Perimeter’s data processing team, helps other researchers make the most of advanced computing resources.
Considering the many irons he has in the fire, I don’t quite see how Jonah makes time to write for a general audience. But he somehow does, typically with one in-depth article per week. (More, if you count his in-between posts on Google Plus and other social platforms.)
Did I mention he’s really good at explaining this stuff – and making it fun?
Fair warning: The esoteric research Jonah writes about is some of the most cutting-edge, mind-bending stuff out there. In and of itself, it isn’t easy material.
Jonah makes it just about as easy as it can be made. Equally important, he does this without dumbing anything down. He puts things within reach, but you may still have to stretch to reach them. (God knows I do!)
He captures the joy of science, passing it along with passion and a sense of urgency. He writes with real empathy – something the best scientists have had in abundance (but many have not).
Jonah doesn’t just write stuff in a vacuum: He’s also the most accessible scientist and science journalist I’ve yet met. Got a question? Ask him – on his blog, on Google Plus, by email – and like as not he’ll do his best to answer it. Or he’ll find someone else who can.
These thoughts inspired me to compose a poem, entitled “Physicst Jonah Miller”. Consider it my way of saying “thanks” for the many things he’s helped me understand:
In shrill, empathic joys –
Jiminy! The scholar’s lip.
Cheapish trim, jolly sin,
Silly jam and ethnic ship.
What does this poem mean? I have no idea! Its main and possibly only point is that if you look closely, each line consists of letters that rearrange to spell “physicist Jonah Miller”.
Yes, I’m big into anagrams. For some reason, however, I never had tried my hand at anagrammatic poetry, an old wordplay standby. This is my first foray.
And perhaps Shrill, Empathic Joys might even make a great title, many decades from now, whenever Jonah gets around to writing his autobiography.