Search found 33 matches

by mattreece
Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:29 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2011 thanks and discussion
Replies: 88
Views: 25888

Re: ACF Nationals 2011 thanks and discussion

In theoretical calculations, this quantity gives a direct measurement of the QCD vacuum angle. Because CP is a violated symmetry, according to the CPT theorem a nonzero measurement of this quantity would imply the existence of a corresponding time-reversal violation such that CPT is conserved. Yeah...
by mattreece
Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:20 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2011 thanks and discussion
Replies: 88
Views: 25888

Re: ACF Nationals 2011 thanks and discussion

However, the neutron EDM has deep physical significance: namely, if the neutron EDM is non-zero, then there exists a T-invariance violation that compensates CP violation and makes CPT a conserved symmetry. The way you've phrased this looks really problematic to me. Would you mind posting the questi...
by mattreece
Tue May 18, 2010 12:07 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Writing science questions: sources and topics
Replies: 10
Views: 1648

Writing science questions: sources and topics

While editing the science for ACF Nationals, Susan and I noticed some fairly widespread problems with questions that were submitted, so we want to offer some suggestions. An earlier thread ( http://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=8822&p=159369#p158855 ) covered some similar issues, and...
by mattreece
Tue May 11, 2010 10:09 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: MUT 2010: General discussions and thanks
Replies: 43
Views: 4508

Re: General discussions and thanks

I went through an entire semester on special relativity without hearing the term "rapidity" and question its notability--there are better hard parts that test SR knowledge, not vocab. I've gone through an entire graduate career in cosmology without hearing that term. When I looked it up, I recogniz...
by mattreece
Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:56 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Science
Replies: 109
Views: 8773

Re: Science

Assuming I'm looking in the right place, "This effect is invoked in the baryon mass prediction of the chiral bag model" is fine. But more detailed versions of it have appeared in packets in the past, and I would guess more people in quizbowl will know it from that than will know what the chiral bag ...
by mattreece
Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:43 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Science
Replies: 109
Views: 8773

Re: Science

For whatever it's worth (not much), I've never heard of the Laporte rule, though of course I know what a selection rule is. Maybe it's something chemists know more than physicists do. I'm pretty sure I could poll a random sample of 50 particle theorists under the age of 35 and find at most 10 who kn...
by mattreece
Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:02 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Winter discussion
Replies: 83
Views: 11131

Re: ACF Winter discussion

To further derail this thread, I should point out that gluons are also massless gauge bosons (well, at least theoretically they're massless; experimentally their mass isn't as well constrained as the photon's). Yes, I hate to derail the thread, but you're probably right that the question should be ...
by mattreece
Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:18 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Winter discussion
Replies: 83
Views: 11131

Re: ACF Winter discussion

edit: as long as I'm at it, I'd like to note that my question on the electromagnetic force mistakenly identified the photon as the only massless gauge boson. This is incorrect, as the graviton is also predicted to be massless. The text should have described it as the only massless, spinless gauge b...
by mattreece
Sat Apr 29, 2006 7:42 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Underwhelmed
Replies: 141
Views: 124436

grapesmoker wrote:Matt Reece once made the suggestion that people should write good questions on interesting things
Yes, I'm sure I should get all the credit for that vacuous statement.
by mattreece
Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:13 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Underwhelmed
Replies: 141
Views: 124436

I enjoyed the barbershop question, although I think that people would be better served by questions on better known bands than "Arctic Monkeys." But everyone knows that the Arctic Monkeys have the fifth best British album of all time , right? The Beatles barely make the top ten, so the Arctic Monke...
by mattreece
Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:29 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Regs discussion
Replies: 66
Views: 31315

To be slightly more clear: given a map f: X -> Y it is usual to speak of an inverse map f^{-1}: Y -> X when one exists. It is less usual to call the map f^{-1}: 2^Y -> 2^X, which always exists, an inverse, but it the notation f^{-1} is always used for it. So to this extent I would say the phrasing i...
by mattreece
Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:25 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Regs discussion
Replies: 66
Views: 31315

"More generally, a function is said to have this property if and only if the composition of it and its inverse is the identity function." Actually, this looks OK (but awkwardly phrased) to me, properly interpreted. Namely, given a map f: X -> Y, and a subset Z of Y, f^{-1}(Z) is generally used to de...
by mattreece
Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:39 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Penn Bowl/Sword Bowl blew ass
Replies: 79
Views: 47747

But exp(iS) is the weight. Your example of a sum of x^i is not analogous, as x^i have intrinsic numerical values. A path has no intrinsic numerical value -- the closest thing I could come up with would be the proper time -- but it is assigned a value, or "weight" if you will, based on the action. (T...
by mattreece
Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:29 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Penn Bowl/Sword Bowl blew ass
Replies: 79
Views: 47747

And I negged on that question because of this. Second example: in one of the bonuses there was a question on path integrals. It said that this is a 'weighted sum of paths'. This is incorrect, it is just a sum of paths. This error is less serious, and much more easily forgiven, but is still annoying...
by mattreece
Sun Dec 04, 2005 11:02 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Question-writing pet peeves
Replies: 21
Views: 21752

Re: Question-writing pet peeves

The opening of the Adagio in this work is quoted near the end of the Largo, while the Scherzo combines both of the previous movement's themes in a coda. I know you already said that sentence needs work, but I think it's pretty contentless as written. The rest of your question looks fine to me, but ...
by mattreece
Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:10 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Question-writing pet peeves
Replies: 21
Views: 21752

Re: Question-writing pet peeves

1) Booker Prize Lit. PLEASE STOP DOING THIS. Most of the books that have won the prize are too recent for us to appraise their overall significance to the literary canon (and moreover, almost nobody on the circuit has read them). How recently are you talking about? Surely Midnight's Children or The...
by mattreece
Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:48 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Technophobia Discussion or Monologue, Really
Replies: 56
Views: 52229

Similarly, I never said it was "confusing or misleading." I'm glad we cleared this up. My point was that it wasn't very good. I also don't know what "homochirality" is, so may be you or someone else could enlighten us. But either way, the giveaway on this question implies that the answer is "chiral...
by mattreece
Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:22 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Technophobia Discussion or Monologue, Really
Replies: 56
Views: 52229

Matt, I can't believe you liked this question? You want to be told that a "hand" is more stable than its "mirror image" in the middle of the question? Peace. Don't put words in my mouth. I said nothing about whether it's a good question or not. My point is that you are criticizing it as if it is a ...
by mattreece
Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:43 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Technophobia Discussion or Monologue, Really
Replies: 56
Views: 52229

This has zero chemical information in terms of mechanisms and structures. Are we even talking about the same chirality? Have you looked at what a chirality question usually involves? What are you talking about? The question is clearly asking about situations where nature prefers one chirality over ...
by mattreece
Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:01 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Biology in the modern QB era.
Replies: 37
Views: 37239

Mostly I agree with what Seth and Selene have said. Harder questions on answerable things are good, questions on completely unknown things are bad. Simple enough, in principle. But in the interests of helping to calibrate what is gettable and what is not, I have some questions. Similarly, with the A...
by mattreece
Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:26 am
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Biology in the modern QB era.
Replies: 37
Views: 37239

Is the situation for biology and physics questions really so different? Some will recall that I was criticized for writing a tossup with the answer "S-matrix," which is a fundamental concept that should be introduced in any undergrad quantum mechanics class. It was pretty much universally agreed tha...
by mattreece
Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:17 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Governor's Cup
Replies: 21
Views: 10269

"dupont Manual (Manyo is alternate way of saying manual)"

People still do that? Wow.
by mattreece
Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:51 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Thomas Jefferson wins third straight HSNCT
Replies: 65
Views: 31717

duPont Manual (Lexington, Kentucky)

You mean Louisville.
by mattreece
Tue May 17, 2005 6:07 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: The Definitive Greatest Players List
Replies: 18
Views: 25785

I get the feeling that the A. and Z. who compiled this list, whoever they may be, are somewhat out of touch with the circuit of today. I don't intend this to seem mean-spirited, but I believe a lot of these rankings are based on somewhat scanty evidence gathered hastily from select tournaments. For...
by mattreece
Fri May 06, 2005 9:18 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Lab techniques in quizbowl science
Replies: 5
Views: 3632

I mostly second what Ryan Westbrook says. Quizbowl shouldn't reflect curriculum, as I've said a number of times. For that matter, in physics what one does in a lab for a course often bears almost no relation to what actual experimentalists are doing. (Though it might bear some relation to what they ...
by mattreece
Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:57 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Recent bans
Replies: 11
Views: 6393

So, unless I missed something, what's the big deal? I didn't notice anything particularly offensive being posted, and somewhat offensive things are posted on this forum all the time. The only complaint I've really seen is that Pericles (or others posting under the account) annoyed people or that peo...
by mattreece
Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:39 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: A blast from the past ...
Replies: 46
Views: 34697

What do you have against splitting infinitives, Pericles? To recklessly impose such rules on language is just dumb.
by mattreece
Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:55 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: ACF Nationals aftermath/discussion
Replies: 50
Views: 55917

Jeff, I had in mind a small distribution for this "intellectual history" category -- certainly not enough to start subdividing it into history of science, historiography, and so on in each packet. So sure, I would think historiography could fit in there, but it wouldn't come up very often, particula...
by mattreece
Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:06 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: ACF Nationals aftermath/discussion
Replies: 50
Views: 55917

Andrew, I don't want to "try to mount a general argument which would explain why history of philosophy, history of literature, etc. also have no place in the game," because I think that's clearly not right. It's also clearly not right that history of science has no place in the game. On the other ha...
by mattreece
Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:37 am
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: ACF Regionals Commentary
Replies: 51
Views: 51024

Maybe I can sum up my former posts as follows: Write good questions about interesting things. Don't write about boring things, and don't avoid writing about interesting things just because other people write shitty questions about them. I see no reason any of that should be controversial, so I think...
by mattreece
Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:29 am
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: ACF Regionals Commentary
Replies: 51
Views: 51024

I think it is easier to write a lazy, boring particle physics question (especially a bonus) than any other kind of physics question, but I am convinced that it is entirely possible to write a complete set of non-particle physics questions which are pyramidal, accessible, and start with clues physic...
by mattreece
Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:06 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: ACF Regionals Commentary
Replies: 51
Views: 51024

Anyway, huzzah for real quantum mechanics, and down with particle physics. My brief dissent (I don't feel like writing a detailed discussion of what I think constitute good physics questions at the moment): Dude, particle physics is real quantum mechanics. Also, the Landau pole is both. :-) Yeah, I...
by mattreece
Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:16 am
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: SCT commentary
Replies: 67
Views: 64929

I can't say too much, since I was playing on Div 2 questions (at the Canadian SCT where there were only a handful of Div 1 teams). I didn't realize I was playing on Div 2 questions at the time, probably through my own lack of attention. As a result, I was continually surprised by what I was hearing....