Polish foods you must try

October 11th, 2014 by ajb

Here is my list of Polish food that I have enjoyed in Warsaw. In no particular order

Kashanka

blood

Polish blood sausage made with pig’s blood and buckwheat. It is like a cross between a haggis and a black pudding. It can be boiled, grilled or fried. Very delicious, I had one from a BBQ recently.

Biała kiełbasa

sausage

The domestic or common white sausage. To be found in every food shop in Poland. Best grilled or fired. The meat filling is more coarse than the typical British banger and contains cubes of fat. May not be the best for your waist, but you will enjoy it.

Ogórek kiszony/kwaszony

ogorek

There are (at least) two kinds of dill pickles in Poland. Ogórek kiszony are pickles preserved in wooden barrels. They are a little salty and the taste can change as they mature. I like the mature ones that have started to lose their colour. Very very popular in Poland.

The second kind ogórek konserwowy is preserved in vinegar. Also very good and nothing like the British gherkins that are far too sour.

Kapusta

cabbage

The word mean cabbage, though it commonly will refer to the Polish version of sauerkraut. It has a distinctive sour taste and does very well with any of the above. Generally I would say that it is more palatable that the German versions and that you should seek it out in the Polish section of the supermarket.

Sznycel (Kotlet Mielony)

meat

This is a flattened cutlet of port that is breaded and then fried. Very delicious and goes great with fries for lunch. They do a great sznycel in a restaurant near my flat.

Kaczka Pieczona z Jabłkami

duck

Roast duck with apples, it can also be served with a beetroot mash and a red berry sauce. This is my wife’s favourite. You really have to try this in a restaurant in Warsaw, I insist.

Befsztyk tatarski

beef

Polish style stake tartare, not to everyone’s taste, but here in Warsaw it is popular. It should be served with finely chopped ogórek, chopped preserved mushrooms and onions. Often it will also come with a small piece of fish to mix in and a drop of olive oil. I also like to add a little Maggi seasoning sauce to mine. I recommend it and you can buy packs of the tartare in the supermarkets in Poland to enjoy at home. That said, it is great for a starter in the restaurants here.

Bigos

bigos

Polish hunter’s stew, made with kapusta, various cuts of meat and sausages, mushrooms and dried plums. Very good and should be eaten if you get the chance. However, avoid the ready made versions in jars that you can find today. It is best eaten in a small restaurant in Warsaw.

That is just a flavour of the great food you can get in Poland. Maybe I should look at Polish deserts next week…

I’m blue da ba dee da ba die…

October 7th, 2014 by ajb
The 2014 Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura for the development of blue LEDs.

This year’s Nobel Laureates are rewarded for having invented a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source – the blue light-emitting diode (LED). In the spirit of Alfred Nobel the Prize rewards an invention of greatest benefit to mankind; using blue LEDs, white light can be created in a new way. With the advent of LED lamps we now have more long-lasting and more efficient alternatives to older light sources.

“The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics – Press Release”. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 7 Oct 2014.

Link
Nobel prize in physics 2014

Maths and Physics school on boating

October 6th, 2014 by ajb
The Bałtycki Instytut Matematyki is organising a “Math & Physics & Sailing Camp”, where the participants can learn about mathematics, physics and sailing.

The camp will be in near the city of Tricity, Poland, which is situated on Gdańsk Bay. The planned start date is 1st May 2015. Keep an eye on the webpage for further details.

Link
Math & Physics & Sailing Camp

Mathematical Physics IOP booklet

October 4th, 2014 by ajb
The Institute of Physics (IOP) has written a report that examines the relationship between mathematics and physics.

There is no completely agreed upon definition of mathematical physics, which is closer to mathematics that physics in most respects. The IOP report puts it like this;

Mathematical physics is best described as consisting of two parts: physical research that proceeds primarily through mathematical means and areas of mathematics that work to solve the problems posed by physics.

The Journal of Mathematical Physics define mathematical physics as;

…the application of mathematics to problems in physics and the development of mathematical methods suitable for such applications and for the formulation of physical theories.

The IOP booklet looks at a wide range of topics in mathematical physics from quantum mechanics, gravity & black holes, random matrix theory, solitons and topological insulators.

Link
Mathematical Physics: What is it and why do we need it?

Ever wondered how to calculate a given number?

October 2nd, 2014 by ajb
How you ever wondered what is special about your favourite number? As we all know, the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is $latex 42 = 2100/50 \approx sin(\pi 3/26)-sin(\pi 11/39)$ and can also be approximated very well by many other expressions.

By using the The Inverse Symbolic Calculator (ISC) you can take numerology to another level by finding closed expressions that well approximate the number (any truncated decimal) you think has some special meaning. It used a mixture of lookup tables and integer relation algorithms. The tables were first compiled by S. Plouffe.

Whatever you do please have some fun with it.

Link
The Inverse Symbolic Calculator
Simon Plouffe homepage

Weighted algebroids: theory and outlook for applications

September 25th, 2014 by ajb
I will be giving a talk at the “Seminarium Geometryczne” here in Warsaw on the first of October. The talk will be based my the recent work (arXiv:1409.0439 [math-ph]) with J. Grabowski and K. Grabowska.

Abstract
In this talk I will outline the theory of the recently discovered weighted Lie algebroids, which should be considered as a higher version of a Lie algebroid. We will then suggest how such structures can be employed in higher order Lagrangian mechanics. This is joint work with K. Grabowska and J. Grabowski.

Anyone who is interested is welcome to come along.

Link
Metody Geometryczne Fizyki

‘Banana skins are slippery’, say Japanese physicists

September 21st, 2014 by ajb
Banana Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai have won the 2014 Ig Nobel Prize in physics for their paper on measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that’s on the floor [1].

Bananas are my second favourite fruit, just behind Polish apples, so it is nice to see them feature in world-class physics research. More than that, slipping on a banana skip is the pinnacle of slapsick comedy and deserves more scientific attention.

Reference
[1] Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai, Frictional Coefficient under Banana Skin, Tribology Online 7, no. 3, 2012, pp. 147-151. (Available online here)

Link
The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize Winners

Nuclear theory research in the UK to be exanded

September 20th, 2014 by ajb
Flag A new nuclear theory group is going to be set up at the University of York. The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) will make a special funding award to set up the group and will provide funding to appoint a nuclear physics theory chair and PhD studentships. Furthermore, the university of York will fund a nuclear physics theory lectureship.

The need to expand the UK’s capability in theoretical nuclear physics was part of the Institute of Physics review in October 2012. For sure, although the UK has some good researchers in this field, the numbers of people in theoretical nuclear physics is small. One number that has been suggestion is that there are about seven permanent researchers in the UK working on theoretical nuclear physics.

The establishment of a new group must be welcome news for the UK nuclear physics community.

Link
Gap in nuclear physics research identified by IOP is to be filled.

Thyroxine levels while pregnant and offspring’s mathematics capability

September 20th, 2014 by ajb
Flag A study presented at the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology annual meeting in Dublin suggests that the thyroid function of pregnant women is associated with poorer mathematics skills in their offspring at primary school level.

Low levels of thyroxine are known to effect the mental development of the baby. The result of Dutch researchers’ study are that children whose mothers had low levels of thyroxine during pregnancy were twice as likely to have below average mathematics scores. Interestingly, language skills were not effected in the same way and there was no difference at the age 5.

Link
Maternal Hypothyroxinemia in Early Pregnancy is Associated with Poorer Arithmetic Performance in a School Test in Offspring at Age 5 Years, ESPE Abstracts (2014) P-D-1-2-253.

How to attract teen boys to mathematics?

September 14th, 2014 by ajb

Putting a porn star on the front of your textbooks could be one method…

porno

Link
Porn Star Accidentally Ends Up on Math Book Cover