• Member Since 28th Oct, 2012
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Particle Physics and Pony Fiction Experimentalist

More Blog Posts320

  • Friday
    Finland, Cruise Ships, and Bioluminescent Algae

    Just returned from a week in my current favourite country Finland, where I went to a ShowScience workshop in Turku. I was travelling with a large suitcase full of physics toys. Just the basics: cloud chamber, silicon detector, radioactive objects, Lego kits, LHC posters; as well as an electron, proton, positron, Z boson; up, down, top, bottom, strange and anti-charm quark plushies; and laptop

    Read More

    23 comments · 128 views
  • 2 weeks
    Rainbow Lasers

    In Spring Breakdown:

    Rainbow Dash: I'm talkin' rainbow lasers!
    Sunset Shimmer: Is that a thing?

    Fascinating question...

    Read More

    9 comments · 151 views
  • 2 weeks
    Felicia the Fermilab Ferret

    Nice to see this long overlooked player in particle physics research now getting the recognition she deserves:
    Why Physicists Tried to Put a Ferret in a Particle Accelerator

    11 comments · 105 views
  • 3 weeks
    The Art of Polar Vortex Explanation

    New story out now. Check it out here:

    EPolar Vortex
    Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle seek to track down the causes of extreme cold weather at the Cloudsdale Weather Factory.
    Pineta · 4.6k words  ·  37  0 · 299 views

    Read More

    1 comments · 127 views
  • 4 weeks
    Put It To The People March London Tomorrow

    If British politics were an Equestria Girls film, we would now be at the scene where the Prime Minister has transformed into a megalomaniac winged demon, and is now hovering above the Palace of Westminster, sending out shots of dark magic while cackling with laughter, yet frustrated with people’s efforts to thwart her evil plans.

    Read More

    35 comments · 313 views

I won something! · 10:42am February 24th

This post is excessively self-congratulatory. Should I try to be as cool as Rainbow Dash?

Or should I declare myself the Greatest and Most Powerfullest physics-themed pony fanfiction writer in Oxford University?

The news is that the university have recognised my awesomeness and presented me with an MPLS¹ Impact Award.
¹ Mathematical Physical and Life Sciences

This is a pretty big thing. They go to young researchers who have had a big impact in their research fields, those who have launched successful spin-off companies, or done amazing things saving endangered species and such-like. There is also a Public Engagement with Research category, in which I have received an award for my work “to engaged new online audiences with particle physics through the use of fan fiction, and engaged local audiences through science stalls”.

It was nice to see they focussed on the My Little Pony bit at the award ceremony.


It’s rather cool that my wacky hobby is the thing that has had the most recognised impact in my career. Read the reports here from the MPLS Division, Oxford Physics, and Hertford College (who are evidently fans of Cherilee).

The talk I gave on SciComm with FanFiction back in July is also now online (it seems this was put up in September but nobody told me then)

Where to go from here? Having got this level of recognition, I am in a very good position to launch something new and get University support. I have spoken to staff at Oxford IF Festival who seemed very positive at the idea of doing something with ponies. And as this award included a not-insignificant financial bonus, I am now able to, err, I don’t know, commission lots of fanfiction or something. I need to come up with a plan. Expect further posts where I will brainstorm ideas. Except I now have two incredibly busy weeks of teaching and other tasks before the end of term... And there is a small issue that my country is on track to self-destruct at the end of March...

Acknowledgements are in order. A big thanks to everyone on Fimfiction who has viewed / commented on my stories and blog posts. This does matter when assessing science communication projects (it’s a problem at festival stalls that I can talk to hundreds of people, but unless some of them fill in a feedback form, I have nothing to show at the end). Also thanks to my boss and my other boss (who is interviewed here) for letting me spend my time on this stuff; to Michaela, who told me I had to apply for this; and everyone else in the Oxford SciComm community who has supported me.

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Comments ( 34 )

Congratulations! :yay:


Congratulations indeed! Thanks for continuing to bring together the bizarre behavior of a universe that seems simple on the surface but gets increasingly bizarre and fascinating the more one dives into it... and Equestrian magic. :raritywink:

Congratulations. :pinkiehappy:

I love how the book sticking out of your head says, We Have No Idea.:derpytongue2:

I still find it impressive after how many centuaries of complex numbers, the Wave Equation is wrriten as if the Real and Imaginary parts of the vector are totally seperate and unique entities. That, and its not written as an Euler Vector. Then again, Ive only looked at working through a solution to Complex only, and tried analyzing whats needed for Quaternion and Octonion, and ran away at things related to number of intermediate steps appearing to try and replicate Grahams Number.

Any fool can come up with a function that has a solution that can be shown but canot be proven, but it takes someone like you to explain to us fools, what that functions for and why. :yay:

Look, I have an apple, and an apple, so thats an apple and an apple. I give you an apple, and I have an apple, thats an apple and an apple. Now, I throw my apple away, so we have an apple, but I dont have an apple. What have I got? :rainbowderp:

That's really cool! :yay: Loved the talk, too :)

Author Interviewer

wowwo :O

This is beyond amazing. It shows that Equestria has a fundamental impact on this world, when Earth's scientists acknowledge it and think about it. I am increasingly excited about what you do and I can't wait to see where it goes from here.
Who knows what the future holds for you? Maybe you will come up with a solution for multiverse travels and build the first working portal to Equestria! :pinkiehappy: :scootangel: :heart:

That is brilliant mate !!


You've done yourself proud and you've done a service to the Brony community - showing the world that we are not all basement dwelling horsefuckers.

Not my field of study, but Physics has always been a love of mine.

HOLY CENSORED! Congratu- wait, others have already used that word. I must, as per my not-duty, devise a new word through the tried and true-ish Pinkie Pie method!


Wait... Okay so I'm not great at making up new words to say congratulations. So including, I wish you a warm and fuzzy day filled with good cheer.

5019254 5019257 5019266 5019271 5019277 5019287

I try my best with particle physics. But Equestrian magic?

Yes, Daniel Whiteson and Jorge Cham’s guide to the unknown universe does have a rather more eye-catching spine than the Field Guide for Science Writers.

Curiously after the ceremony I was asked by someone in the audience about the equation on the bottom left. To which we do have an answer from the Art director Rebecca Dart:

The standing wave equation looks like it spells "Luna", that's why that's in there.

I guess fan fiction is our portal to Equestria.

Teaching bronies about physics is easy compared to teaching academics about the bronies.

Congratulations! That's amazing and I hope you come up with some good ideas.

Dude, nice! That's super cool!

That's wonderful! Congratulations! :pinkiehappy:

That's awesome! Nothing's more rewarding than getting recognized professionally for your recreational habits! Congrats!

That is pretty awesome. As was the talk. Congratulations.

Congratulations. Your work in blending fiction with science education has been a real inspiration to me, and I'm so happy that it's being recognized.

Site Blogger

That is so awesome! Congratulations!

That's amazing! Congratulations!

Many congrats! That's an awesome achievement, and it being pony-related just makes it even cooler!

That's awesome! I look forward to see where you go with this next! (And if you're looking to commission some science fanfiction, I'd be happy to help...)

Good on you! That's an excellent feather to have in your cap.

Briliant! Congrats!

The news is that the university have recognised my awesomeness and presented me with an MPLS¹ Impact Award.
¹ Mathematical Physical and Life Sciences

Dammit, Oxford! Mathematical, Life and Physical Sciences! You had one job! ONE JOB!

Seriously though, that's awesome, and congrats :pinkiehappy:


I guess fan fiction is our portal to Equestria.

A portal for our mind it is, yes. I was talking about a physical portal however, to physically be there. Make the dream happen! :heart:

I would suggest they change the name, except knowing how many committees it takes to change the name of a single exam paper, I doubt I have the longevity to see it through.

Late to the party, but I wanted to say congratulations, that really is awesome. You've won people over to the Pony side, with excellent science! :twilightsmile:

Don't know if I ever pointed this out to you, but the original host of PBS Spacetime also liked to use ponies for his illustrations. Gave me a real kick to see this.
Do Events Inside Black Holes Happen? (YouTube)


Exactly. :P

All the Congratulations is giving me Eva flashbacks. :P

This is pretty cool though.

Being a fan of both ponies and science (separately, at least initially), I think it's cool that you've been recognized in such a way for merging them.

I think I have read all of one story of yours so far; your name has been one of few in the back of my mind as 'people whose stories I should read'. Arguably, for the educational value as well, but I haven't yet read enough of your work to know for myself what that is. :derpytongue2:

Regardless, I'm looking to wrangle my schedule a bit so that I have at least semi-consistent reading time. If that works out, then I have some catching up to do.

For whatever it's worth, this news is "the last straw" – rather than the main reason – that I'll be following you for.

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