November 2008

Nanoplasmonics

November 22, 2008

Surface plasmon “Surface plasmonsubwavelength optics” [review article] W.L. Barnes et al., Nature, 424:824–830 (2003).Links to full article here. As discussed in a recent overview artlcle, optics meets nanotechnology in plasmonics, an emerging technology that exploits electromagnetic waves tightly coupled to metal surfaces. Light can be coupled into and out of surface plasmons, in which free-space […]

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Reflections on Popper on World Philosophy Day

November 21, 2008

Yesterday was World Philosophy Day (as proclaimed by UNESCO), and the celebration continues today in Palermo. This prompts me to consider what I most like about the views of Karl Popper, the scientists’ favorite philosopher of science. Popper discusses this in his essay, “Evolutionary Epistemology”, in which he argues that all knowledge develops from an […]

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Early 21st Century Medicine

November 21, 2008

After the nurse punctured my right arm, the IV drip of a sedative and an opioid analgesic (fentanyl) was supposed to keep me hydrated while inducing “twilight anesthesia”, a painless, semi-conscious state accompanied by amnesia. However, I recall observing the first half or so of the procedure, commenting on the high quality of the doctor’s […]

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Ecuadorian Conference Talk

November 15, 2008
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Molecular Foundry Seminar

November 14, 2008

On November 25th, I’ll be heading up north to give a talk at the Molecular Foundry, a nanotechnology research facility at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, just up the hill from the university. The talk will be on the topic I discussed in my post from a few days ago: Modular Molecular Composite Nanosystems Abstract: The […]

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Computation and Mathematical Proof

November 10, 2008

The Notices of the American Mathematical Society has published a special issue on “formal proof”, leading off with an article [pdf] on the where the field stands. I find this subject exciting because of its promise, not just as a tool in mathematics, but to solidify the foundations of the computational world. Inference Rules in […]

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Modular Molecular Composite Nanosystems

November 10, 2008

Framework-directed self assembly Researchers have amassed a wonderful collection of functional, atomically precise components with potentially useful properties — optical, electronic, chemical, mechanical, and so on — but they haven’t been assembled to make complex, atomically precise nanosystems. I think of this as the “circuit-board problem”: Functional devices are small, simple, and may have interesting […]

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