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I have had this blog for over a year, and I’ve not written anything here!

So, I have a short post that describes some of the information that should be here. I guess I’ll need to update this.


1. koantum - July 7, 2006

Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?

2. Gariel - July 28, 2006


I came across your site while searching the net for some quality biology and physics
websites. I think you did a great job with your site.

My name is Gabriel. I work for The European Federation of Biophysics Organisation (EFBF).

I would like to add your site to our usefull links page ( http://www.efbfweb.org/links.php )
and I was wondering if you can post a link with our website on your site .

For your convenience I send you bellow the code for our website:
Biophysics ORG

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll answer your
questions promtly.

We are Nonprofit organization .
Best regards,
European Federation of Biophysics
ETH Honggeberg
CH-8093 Zurich / Switzerland
Tel: +41-1-638-3453
Fax: +41-1-693-10 73 and 693 11 51

3. Noelle Ibrahim - September 7, 2006

Gordon Watts is a sweetie. I admired his article some time ago addressing Lawrence Summer’s comments and his views regarding the character of successful physicists.


4. Light Blue Touchpaper » Human Rights and Biophysics (strange similarities) - January 7, 2007

[…] and Biophysics) I turned up some remarkably similar emails reported on blogs (such as this one by Gordon Watts) which looked like […]

5. Les Wiley - July 24, 2007

Dr Watt:

I enjoyed your short story about the mechanic the fan blade and the 757 engine. I would like use this opportunity to make a comment.

I am a retired Delta Airline B757/767 Captain with many years at the controls of these aircraft. I would wager the fan blade in your engine had a “ding” and was not “bent”. I am not an expert on fan blades but I would wager one of these blades would shatter before they would “bend”. It is not uncommon for FOD (Foreign Object Damage) to put nicks and dings in the leading edges of fan blades. The manufacturer sets a limit to the size and the shape of a “ding” that is acceptable before repairs must be made. These guidelines are kept in a book called the “MEL” (Minimum Equipment List) which is an FAA sanctioned document that gives guidance to flight crews and maintenance as to how maintenance problems are to be handled.

Once found a “ding” in the leading edge of a fan blade is inspected to determine its size and depth, sharp edges are bad and templates are used to make the determination of severity. If the “ding” is outside of limits the blade will be repaired in the field or the engine returned to maintenance for repair. The mechanic can use a file to round out the “ding” eliminating the edges and any stress points in the blade. You are a physicist and would know better than I the physics behind stress fractures.

I have looked at rather large nicks and dings in fan blades over the years but have never had an airplane grounded or a problem with them.

If you want to see how bad it can get check out this set of pictures. How would you like to ride on this aircraft?

A380 Blade Off Certification Test. This would get your attention

Bird FOD ingestion on takeoff of a B757. A very professional crew. You do not want new guys on the flight deck when this happens.
Engine failure at takeoff rotation is the emergency every airline pilot trains for in every simulator session and also hopes will never occur especially at night or bad weather.

6. gordonwatts - July 24, 2007

Wow! This is an impressive story — and the video! Whew!!

7. Do Airplane Mechanics Ever Fly? « Life as a Physicist - July 24, 2007

[…] Check out this comment left by a retired 757/767 pilot on another post. Especially the pictures of the Chinese jet engine […]

8. Oogly - July 24, 2007

Say Gordo, Have you seen the LargeHardOnCollider.com? Pretty funny.

9. gordonwatts - July 24, 2007

A fellow came to give a talk at UW once — and mispelled Hadron in the title of his talk. On one caught it until it had been posted all over the department…. But I bet that is nothing compared to the way I’m currently butchering the French language!

10. Meredith Dill - March 28, 2008

Hi, Gordon,

It’s been what, 8 years since I worked in the HEP lab with you? I read that NYTimes article a while back and have been lurking ever since.

I’m working as a Human Factors Engineer in the Boston area now, but I sure do miss physics sometimes.

11. Ron - April 19, 2008

Hi Gordon,

Just signed up here myself I’ll get use to it eventually when I have some free time.

12. fourforces - May 27, 2008


Thought you might find this useful:


13. Michel - September 18, 2009


I like your blog It has some amazing subjects.

Well, I had this a bit off the wall Idea about particles and how they could form spheres when conjoined into the shape of an 8 and made a blog to explain it.

Perhaps you might want to have a look.

Here is the link: http://800millionparticles.blogspot.com/

It is not serious research, just a bunch of wild ideas.

kind regards,


14. William Lee - November 9, 2009

Our website Science.org is a informational databases and online news publication for anything and everything related to science and technology. We recently ran a poll asking our website users regarding what online informational resources they use to keep up to date or even to simply find great information. It seems many of our users have labeled your blog as an excellent source of Space information. We have reviewed your blog and must say, we absolutely love the information you have made available to the public and would love to make your blog a part of our top science blogs. After browsing your blog, our research team has decided to award you a Top science Blogs award banner.

15. Nattapon - June 29, 2010

hello all sorry for my emglish
i want to know the story about physicist job
what the general physicst do in a day ?
can somebody tell me the url or write it down here please.

thank you 🙂

16. Mike - July 20, 2010

Hi there Gordon,

I’m thinking to come to study a Masters in Computer Science (M2 Informatique) at the Lumigny campus at the university of Marseille – from skimming over your blog here I think you’re doing research there? – and thought to ask your thoughts or opinion of the college there?

I’m very much interested in coming to the south of France and have my best friends in Marseille, plus the campus looks very beautiful, so the missing piece is quality of the college?

Cheers for any responses!

17. pc - September 1, 2011

my parents are well off.. v’re a happy family.. I want to be a particle physicist in future.. so do you think the salary is quite good?

18. Bad Scientist - September 14, 2012


Nice blog, I liked the Higgs boson explanation, even being a physicist myself, having worked briefly on the messy hadronic decay of the W. I can see it is a good one for people not in the field.

Also, I wanted to ask to exchange links for blogroll (I have a small blog about science).

Otherwise, keep on blogging!


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