Measured Against Reality

Friday, January 25, 2008

Physics Dorkiness + Politics = Awesome

I just have to share this fun bit of Physics dorkiness my friend overheard:

Holy shit, I just overheard someone here at SLAC say, "The democrats are separated by hyperfine structure."

Hyperfine structure is a splitting of the Hydrogen atom's energy level degeneracies by the interaction of the electron's dipole moment with the proton's. It's an incredibly weak effect, a jump between energy levels split this way gives off a photon with energy on the order of 10^-6 eV, which is quite small. The joke being that the Democratic candidates are damn near identical.

What's better about the joke is that it would have totally gone over my friend's (and my) head just a few weeks ago


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