Archive for October 2nd, 2005

“2005 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Einstein’s three great scientific papers on relativity, light and matter.

Have you read them? Did you understand them?

If not, you are not alone. When asked who is or was the most famous scientist of all time, many people mention Albert Einstein. However, few people know what he did that made him so famous or realize what a great impact his ideas continue to have on our 21st-century lives. ”

The Chapel Hill Public Library (disclosure I am on the Board of Trustees) is presenting a series of talks by Dr. Henry Greenside of Duke the first of which was this afternoon. Dr. Greenside explains the Einsteinian concepts found in his 1905 papers so that most anyone can understand what wonderful surprising and important discoveries and suggestions they were and how they continue to influence our thinking and understanding.

Beginning with today’s talk on “Einstein’s Relativity Theories and What is E=mc2 All About?” (he spent most of the talk on the special theory rather than the general theory today) and following with two other talks. Sunday, Oct. 9 (3:00-4:30 pm): Einstein and the Photon Concept and Sunday, Oct. 23 (3:00-4:30 pm): Einstein and Atoms.

Sally, Tucker and I were there and took in the talk to our various capacities. Sally caught the talk and a following experiment with bending an electron stream using magnets with her digital camera. [photo 1] [photo 2] [photo 3] [photo 4] [photo 5]

Tucker is looking forward to next week’s talk about the properties of light and the dual nature of the photon. So am I.

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Fred has additional FaceBook observations, with measures to back them, on the ibiblog. This is a very lengthy and wise follow up on Freshman behavior in regards to privacy and disclosure.

One interesting fact that Fred points out: Of nearly 400 personal websites reported “Not one freshman reports using his or her UNC provided webspace.”

As I say in a comment there:

Just observing my students, I notice that reliance on UNC services such as mail and webspace has declined and in many cases vanished entirely.

We require that students have an ONYEN and that they recieve mail at a unc.edu address, but more often than not the unc.edu address is a forward to an account (yahoo, hotmail, gmail etc) that the student has had since high school or earlier.

Similarly, students with web space take advantage of a service that they have had before coming to UNC and expect to have after leaving UNC.

Why? In part because the Only Name You’ll Ever Need (ONYEN) is only temporary. It vanishes when you leave UNC and with it your email and website — and without forwarding of either.

Students — and other users — see their websites and email as more of less permanent (”I want my friends to find me” etc) and the UNC solution as transient.

[end of comment on ibiblog]

The virtual communites of UNC students are mostly privately managed by free email services, web hosting services, blogging services and photo services — as well as, and I don’t recall if Fred has measured this, Instant Messaging services. Of these services, UNC offers only email and limited web hosting.

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