Antimatter at 1

This little blog passed its first birthday a few weeks ago (a few posts go back to March 2008, but they were actually written in May!). It’s been a very useful experiment and the year certainly went by quickly…

The blog was suggested by our head of research as I’d been writing articles on science for the public in newspapers and magazines for some time. It started life as an online science diary, but I found it useful to broaden it to include posts on introductory concepts in cosmology for our students and renamed it Antimatter. During the year, it has become much more widely read than expected with about 200 hits per day. That’s about a thousand readers per post which is probably a good outreach for a teacher…

Most the traffic comes from being listed on well-known websites such as INTERACTIONS. ORG (the international particle physics website), Particle Physics Planet and the American blog NOT EVEN WRONG (thanks Peter!). I recommend all of these websites; the interactions website is a particularly useful resource as it gives a daily list of new posts on particle physics/cosmology on blogs around the world.

I note from WordPress that 112 posts have been posted on Antimatter so far; that’s an average of 2 per week which feels about right. It does take time to write the posts, but there are definite benefits for any science writer. As well as good writing practice, the blog has led to a good few public speaking engagements, newspaper profiles, magazine articles ( in Physics World) and interest from a literary agent (more on this later).

Cover of Print edition Volume 22 Issue 5

I enjoy writing the cosmology articles, but the most challenging posts are probably the lecture reviews; not many bloggers do this but I think it’s a useful service. It’s great practice to try to summarize someone’s lecture, put in appropriate links, pics and slides and send them a copy for approval, all within a matter of hours. It’s also a nice way of establishing contact with other physicists worldwide.

So I think I’ll keep posting for a while. About my only regret is the comments section – apparently a low number of comments is normal for a ‘tech” blog. Instead, readers tend to contact me by email. Which drives me mad…


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2 responses to “Antimatter at 1

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