April 5, 2007

Bubble Theory still holding up

Cocktail Party Physics writes about bubbles today -- in the context of physics. Of course, like most casual observers, she misses the larger sociological ramifications of bubble-related science, but I can hardly blame her. The fact that women are drawn to astronomy in greater numbers than physics as a result of the unconscious pull of bubbles is, like most paradigm-shifting theories, not yet widely accepted (though all my female astronomer friends strongly approve). Anyhow, she has an excellent post that goes into many of the aspects of bubble-theory in physics. I believe, however, that many of them would be closer to the engineering/material-science side of things (are bubbles a material?) and pail in comparison to the amount of research conducted on bubble-related astronomy topics. As a way of demonstrating this I conducted a simple arXiv search for "bubbles" and looked at the number of papers about astronomy to those in the other fields of physics. It wasn't even close. Of the first 100 papers returned, 81 were about physics, they broke down as follows:

48 Astrophysics
14 String Theory
22 Condensed Matter (including 4 on DNA)
7-10 Other (a few that were mostly math)

So my theory is still solid, considering that the vast majority of bubble research is happening within the field of astronomy and the vast majority of females, 100%, (especially female astronomers) like bubbles.