Monday, October 01, 2012

Quark Twain Shoots Lasers and Writes About It.

Quark Twain here, thrilled to join the Physics Buzz blog team as the new APS science writing intern. I hail from New York City via Swarthmore College where I enjoyed four years playing music and ultimate frisbee while studying Physics and English literature in the odd hours. Before landing at the Physics Buzz, I wrote about the proteins guarding the circadian rhythm and boa constrictor viruses among other hot biomedical research findings for the Bulletin and News at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

I got hooked on physics while doing time at the lab bench:

  1. Shooting lasers at nanodiamonds to study electron spins flippy-flopping.
  2. Building a super-resolution microscope to take pretty pictures.
  3. Vaporizing iron and silicon with an electron beam to create new materials for quantum computing.
Image courtesy of The Mark Twain House and Museum.

In homage to fundamental particles and the literary luminary, I have adopted Quark Twain as my blogger nom de plume. As you may know, Mark Twain was also a pseudonym for one Samuel Clemens, a 19th century newspaperman turned literati. Twain (Mark) chose this name from his days working on a steamboat on the Mississippi where the sailors’ shout, “mark twain,” meant that the river was 2 fathoms deep (about 12 feet). As it turned out, M.Twain himself dabbled in science and held patents for a self-pasting scrapbook and a strap that connected the collar and vest to replace those pesky suspenders. Should I be so lucky as to write about such inventions now-a-days.

For the scientific literati of Physics Buzz, as Quark Twain, I hope to make physics a bit more fathomable.

The Mark Twain House and Museum
Niemann, Paul and Kevin Cordtz. Invention Mysteries: The Little-Known Stories behind Well-Known Inventions.

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