Space Station Science (Physics World Link)

A laboratory is like a garden, where special conditions allow us to grow — experimentally stage — things that do not appear, or only rarely, in the wild, so that we can better understand the wild.  This doesn’t mean that things that appear in laboratories are abstract or unworldly; just the opposite!  (July 2014).

The Treiman Effect (Physics World Link)

The discovery process is often misportrayed as moving progressively from a solid base of what we know to guesses about what we don’t, tests of those guesses and new knowledge added to the original base.  A deeper process is at work in which each new result affects our assessment of the path we have been taking all along (July 2013).

Game-Show Experimentation (Physics World Link)

Why experimentation is not an idealized process that operates following simple rules and falsification (February 2013).

Historical Experiments in Astronomy (Physics World Link)

Four experiments in historical astronomy carried out during the 2012 Venus transit of the Sun (August 2012).

Atmospheric Tales (Physics World Link)

Why is the discovery of Venus’s atmosphere still controversial? (May 2012)

The Dark-Energy Game (Physics World Link)

A review of Richard Panek’s book The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality (April 2011).

Discovery With Statistics (Physics World Link)

Why is 3σ evidence and 5σ discovery? (August 2010)

An Experiment into the Nature of Scientific Discovery (Physics World Link)

Historians usually discuss credit after a discovery is made. But thanks to the fact that WIMP search results will roll in with increasing data from different sources in the next few years, historians have a unique opportunity to assess a discovery as it happens, allowing them to test models and assumptions (June 2010).

Priority Battles Over Dark Energy (Physics World Link)

A dozen years on, the priority dispute over the discovery of dark energy is still instructive (2010).

Call of the Wild (Physics World Link)

A former string theorist found what he wanted in science when he applied the tools of physics to fundamental questions in biology (July 2009)

Beauty and the Beast (Physics World Link)

The Large Hadron Collider – the biggest physics experiment of all time – can we call it “beautiful”? (November 2008)

Dark Energy (Physics World Link)

The competition between the two teams of scientists that discovered that the expansion of the universe is accelerating reveals how hard it can be to assign scientific credit (December 2007).