Rhett Allain speaking at Cornell University in 2012.
|Fields||Physics, blogging, science communication|
|Institutions||Southeastern Louisiana University, Wired Magazine|
|Alma mater||North Carolina State University, Benedictine University, University of Alabama|
Dot Physics Website
Rhett Allain is an American 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.
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. Recently, he has analyzed the physics behind the Angry Birds Space video game and behind a now-debunked video which purported to show a man flying with home-made wings. He has also criticized television shows, including Fight Science, that perform poorly controlled experiments which are presented as scientific.
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". 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?".
Allain describes himself as "a slacker by night", 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. Of his Wikipedia biography, Allain has said that it "is brief — but again not wrong". 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.
- Faculty home page, Southeastern Louisiana University
- Discover magic of science with everyday physics | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper
- Thier, Dave (2012-04-02). "Professor Analyzes the Physics of Angry Birds: Space - Forbes". Forbes.
- 'Bird man' hoaxster comes clean on Dutch television (Wired UK)
- Allain, Rhett (2012-03-21). "Analysis of the Human Birdwings". Wired.
- snopes.com: Human Bird Wings
- "Fight Science = Bad Science". Dot Physics. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
- Allain, Rhett. "Physics and directly downwind faster than the wind (DWFTTW) vehicles". Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- Fisher, Adam. "One Man's Quest to Outrace Wind".
- "Rhett Allain, Wired Science". Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "Rhett Allain, Southeastern Louisiana University". Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "Should Students Use Wikipedia?". November 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "An Analysis of Fister's Line-Drive Head Hit". October 26, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-02.