Tuning the level September 24, 2008Posted by dorigo in personal, physics.
Tags: physics outreach
As much as I try to write physics in this blog in a way that is understandable for most readers (or at least for those willing to sit down and try to understand), I frequently end up with posts that are too technical, too detailed, and of too little interest to outsiders. My usual formula for a physics post is to introduce the matter for everybody, possibly lingering around very down-to-earth explanations, before delving in the technicalities; however, that is sometimes easier said than done.
Lately I have been receiving erratic input from independent sources about the level of my posts being a bit too high. Today, for instance, a reader who studied Physics for two years before leaving Academia said he understood just about 40% of my recent post on the Vista-Sleuth algorithm. That is too bad, since this site has as main reason for its existence the attempt to do some outreach on experimental particle physics. So I really want to make an effort in the direction of simplifying the posts, but of course I cannot restrain myself to non-technical discussions in all cases. So I need to implement some visual tool to enable readers to decide quickly whether a post is for insiders only or for everybody. I am thinking at different styles of text, or text color. Another way could be to give a rating with tiny Einstein icons next to the title – but such luxuries are not available to standard users of wordpress stuff. Any suggestions ?
I would also like to use this occasion to invite all readers who happen to read through my physics posts (those describing physics analyses) to rate them in the comments thread, pointing out at the places where more clarity could have improved the text. Am I asking for too much ? Probably I am, but I know there are a few among you that are willing to help.