The Physics Detective Part Two — The Investigation Begins

This week’s installation was about 100 times funnier than last week’s. As a result, I now have the enthusiasm and motivation to see this story through to the end — and bring this twisted tale of deceit and murder to YOU, the physics-loving Proven By Science reader! (even though I fear I am the only one reading this)


What did I tell you about that Russian postdoc? I thought the technician’s comments were very revealing … she was having an affair with Jaeger, I just know it!

I want to know what kind of laser they were using. I imagined that they were using a laser with fast pulses and high peak power, but with low average power. In other words, not something that would burn through flesh (it would maybe burn through a piece of paper if focused). And the guy who wrote Part 2 is a metallurgy and material science prof, so he would surely know what types of lasers would be capable of drilling a hole in a man’s head. Either he’s suspending laser physics reality for the sake of having a conveniently placed murder weapon, or there’s a lot more to be learned about the composition of that experimental setup.

They’re setting it up to make Trotman, the technician, look guilty, but a) that’s way too obvious, and b) the guy is just a technician — he knows how to operate the lasers, but doesn’t know laser physics. For instance, if a — I don’t know, let’s say a RUSSIAN POSTDOC IN A SPURNED LOVERS RAGE — decided to switch or alter the lasers somehow, then he might not have suspected that anything unusual was afoot.