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Jesse Silverberg
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Jesse Silverberg is a PhD student in the Physics Department at Cornell University studying the biomechanics of plants, cartilage, and all things squishy. When he’s not running experiments in lab, he can be found backpacking through various corners of the world or at home watching re-runs of Star Trek.

Entries by Jesse Silverberg

Soft Matters With Larry Bonassar

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 3:29 PM

Q: What do the movies The Terminator, Starship Troopers, and Blade Runner have in common (besides being cult-classic sci-fi flicks)?

A: Each movie foresaw the use of artificial human tissue. The Terminator wore it (bad for his targets). The Troopers were healed with it (good for...

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Soft Matters With Paul McEuen

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 8:03 AM

The most common mistake I see young graduate students make when courting a prospective research group is undervaluing social chemistry. Though it's easy to be overwhelmed by the opportunity to work for a scientific rock-star, experience shows that a 50/50 balance is far healthier. By this, I mean 50% of...

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Soft Matters With Jim Sethna

(0) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 7:31 PM

Why does science work? Why is math so unreasonably effective at describing the physical world? For that matter, how can simple equations predict the behavior of really complicated things?

Seriously, think about it for a minute. Newton's laws (for example, force = mass x acceleration) mathematically describe the motion...

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Soft Matters With Carl Franck

(2) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 3:45 PM

Lasers vs. Clones

Subatomic Particles vs. Super Bugs

Time Travel vs. Extraterrestrial Life

That's right. It's the age old clash between physics and biology. Both sides claim the right to some really cool science, but for cultural (and mathematical) reasons they just can't seem to get along.

Well, that's...

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Soft Matters With Itai Cohen

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 4:39 PM

Okay, I admit it. I'm a sci-fi nerd. Star Trek, Spider-Man, and just about any movie with giant robots blowing things up -- I love them all. But as a physicist and a fan-boy, I visibly cringe when the token scientist is (1) a crazy egomaniac, (2) a socially awkward...

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Mosh Pits, Heavy Metal and Physics

(3) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 7:10 PM

Heavy metal and physics: could there be a more unlikely combination?

As it turns out, there's a lot of surprising physics going on in mosh pits at heavy metal concerts, as shown in a recent study by group of physicists from Cornell University.

In case you've never...

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Plant Roots: When Biology Is More Than Biology

(1) Comments | Posted October 8, 2012 | 6:08 PM

Lately, I keep having the same conversation over and over:

Curious: "So, what do you do?"

Me: "Oh, I'm a Ph.D. student in physics."

Curious: "Wow, that sounds hard. Do you do quantum mechanics?"

Me: "No, I study plant roots."

Curious: "Wait, what? What are you studying that for? Aren't...

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