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Comment That is not a very big research grant. (Score 1) 62

It's a five year grant. In my field, that would be barely enough funding to hire one postdoctoral researcher and one graduate student to do the research. That's assuming no equipment or supplies are needed. Typically health insurance and overhead cost a lot.

Comment Early college was not invented by tech companies. (Score 1) 174

Before the great depression, instead of going to college after completing high school, students went to college when they were ready. The expectation to stay in high school until the age of 18 was created to shrink the workforce and artificially reduce the unemployment rate. Not long after, Robert Maynard Hutchins, President of the University of Chicago, began promoting early entrance to college for students who were ready.

The first dedicated college was SImon's Rock College, where entering students are typically about 16 years old. They earn a Bachelor's degree in four years. 78% of graduates go to graduate school. (I was one). The current wave of early colleges started about ten years ago. They are imitations of Simon's Rock. Several of them are run by former Simon's Rock staff. Some of the start-up money came from the Gates Foundation, which is not exactly the same as Microsoft.

In my view, the purpose of early college is to create an environment where young people are free to learn. For me, this was a big improvement over high school.

Comment Re:Use of suggested reviewers is terrible (Score 1) 186

Editors have subject specialities, and (hopefully) read a lot more papers than authors do. Typically they are senior academics, while authors are usually students. Editors are picked from among the most successful authors. So actually the editor should know better than authors.

Comment Use of suggested reviewers is terrible (Score 1) 186

Aside from fraud, this practice does not lead to good reviews. When I am asked to suggest reviewers to the editor, I am not able to suggest my friends, because they would not be able to provide objective reviews. Therefore, I must suggest a reviewer who I do not know much about. If the editor simply follows my suggestions, nothing has been done to ensure the reviewer is an expert in the field. Editors' primary responsibility is to know who the appropriate reviewers are. They should not cede that responsibility to authors.

Comment Actually we do get some benefits (Score 1) 153

I got free health insurance and several minor fringe benefits in graduate school. As a postdoc, I get a number of subsidized benefits. The details of the benefits vary from program to program. The thing that early career scientists do not get in my experience is a retirement benefit. Graduate students also do not get social security.

Comment Re:I thought the distinction was arbitrary already (Score 5, Informative) 59

Matter has mass. Light has no mass. That's a pretty significant distinction. A polariton's mass can change continuously as a function of energy from zero to about twice the electron mass.

The summary is a little odd. A hole is not a charged vacancy. A vacancy typically refers to a fixed (at low temperatures) location where an atom is missing in the lattice of a crystal. A hole is a mobile positive charge with mass similar to the electron mass.

(Recently finished my PhD studying polaritons and vacancies.)

Comment phonon is a widely accepted term (Score 5, Informative) 100

When the summary puts the word in quotes it implies it is not the standard term for a quantum of sound, which it is.

Measurement of single phonons is actually well established. I have done it several times. The paper actually describes a piezoelectrically coupled superconducting qubit, which is pretty cool.

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