Rhett Allain

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Rhett Allain
Rhett Allain.jpg
Rhett Allain speaking at Cornell University in 2012.
Residence Hammond, Louisiana
Citizenship United States of America
Nationality American
Fields Physics, blogging, science communication
Institutions Southeastern Louisiana University, Wired Magazine
Alma mater North Carolina State University, Benedictine University, University of Alabama
Website
Dot Physics Website

Rhett Allain is an associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University and the author of the Wired magazine science blog Dot Physics. He received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 2001 and works in the field of physics education research.[1]

In his blog, Dot Physics, Allain discusses physical concepts, answers questions related to physics and math, and debunks questionable physical claims. Many of his posts are supported by experiments, calculations and models.[2] Recently, he has analyzed the physics behind the Angry Birds Space video game[3] and behind a now-debunked[4] video which purported to show a man flying with home-made wings.[5][6] He has also criticized television shows, including Fight Science, that perform poorly controlled experiments which are presented as scientific.[7]

In 2008 Allain rejected the concept of sailing dead downwind faster than the wind as a violation of conservation laws, stating that "this is the same situation as people trying to make energy from nothing".[8] When the concept was demonstrated to work in practice by the Blackbird in 2010, Allain didn't offer further explanations and merely noted: "If it works, does it matter what I say?".[9]

Personal[edit]

Allain describes himself as "a slacker by night",[10] and one crowdsourced resource for evaluating his work performance rates his overall quality as a professor as a 3.0 on a five-point Likert scale.[11] Of his Wikipedia biography, Allain has said that it "is brief — but again not wrong".[12] In one published article by Allain, he apologized that he "might have done something confusing" in using the same notation to describe two different velocities in a calculation.[13]

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