User:Matt McIrvin

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I'm a programmer in Massachusetts, though my academic training was in theoretical particle physics. About a decade ago, I wrote most of the Black Hole FAQ referenced in the featured entry on black holes; this was actually part of the Usenet Physics FAQ, which is one of the best online sources for unraveling frequently-encountered puzzlements about physics.

On Wikipedia[edit]

I'm fairly new to Wikipedia and just learning the ropes. I started in September 2004 as an anonymous contributor at IP 24.247.149.53 with some small-scale edits concerning old-timey motion picture devices.

My first big contribution under my own name was a series of expansions and repairs I did on Antiparticle; I then did some work on Path integral formulation, with much entirely new writing, much material that I imported from the former article on "Functional integration (QFT)" (mostly by Phys), and a diagram. Both of those articles still need some work, but I hope I improved them.

I think I'm getting better. Lately I helped greatly expand Asymptotic freedom in celebration of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, which went to Gross, Wilczek and Politzer for discovering asymptotic freedom. That led to a major expansion of Color charge (though now I wonder if it was entirely wise; almost all of the subject matter overlaps with five or six separate articles elsewhere in Wikipedia; but it's still nice to have it in one place—maybe the ultimate answer will be to reorganize a lot of the material on quarks).

Recently I fulfilled what seems to have been a long-standing demand of several people, me included, and wrote a real article on Renormalization, replacing the previous redirect to Renormalization group, which really wasn't enough. My bid to make it a featured article was unsuccessful because it was too abstruse; I see the critics' point and hope someday to rectify this, but it's a difficult task—as others have remarked, what's really required is a specific feat of science popularization that, to my knowledge, nobody has ever successfully achieved, in print or online.

Lately I've been less ambitious, mostly beefing up various articles on Saturn (planet) and its moons as pictures and data from Cassini-Huygens come in.

External links[edit]

My Web site

My LiveJournal weblog