My name is Aatish Bhatia. I graduated from Swarthmore College in 2007. I’ve since been living in New Jersey as a grad student at Rutgers University. The winding road to my Ph.D. has taken me from studying quarks and gluons to learning about genomes and studying evolution. In my free time I enjoy voiding warranties, learning to white-water kayak, and exploring the great outdoors. I’m also passionate about teaching and science education.

I write Empirical Zeal because I’ve always thought that science is wonderfully exciting. I cover the bits that blow my mind. What you’ll find here are summaries of new experiments, discoveries and big ideas from fields such as evolutionary biology, genetics, and physics.

If you like what you’re reading, post a comment, find me on twitter, email me at aatish+blog@gmail.com, or just enjoy the blog.

The masthead image is a picture of pollen grains from a variety of common plants, at 500x magnification, taken by a scanning electron microscope. To get a sense of how zoomed in this is, at this scale the length of your arm represents a millimeter. (The bean shaped structures that you see are 50 microns long, or 1/20 of a millimeter long.)

  • Great, great blog Aatish!

    • Aatish

      Thanks, Namita. Means a lot.

  • Prof. Aloke Kumar

    Aatish …. I know your parents from the Sunday magazine and The Telegraph days…. so I had a special interest to locate your Blog after I came to know about it from a post in twitters ….
    Great Blog …. informative … precise
    Keep it up ….

    • Aatish

      Thanks. And Welcome

  • Reached here from a tweet. Lovely blog. will bookmark it. Add some facebook , twitter widgets so that it can be shared easily.

    • Aatish

      Thanks! At the bottom of every post is a share button, which lets you link to facebook, twitter, and other stuff.

  • Su Bose

    Aatish LOVELY LOVELY LOVELY … You are foraging right up the same Valley of Wonder that I around in .. Will bookmark this .. but where is the FB like button so I get updates there? Looking below .. for it ..



  • Su Bose

    Aatish LOVELY LOVELY LOVELY … You are foraging right up the same Valley of Wonder that I wander around in .. Will bookmark this .. but where is the FB like button so I get updates there? Looking below .. for it ..



    • Hi Suj. Thanks! Finally figured out how to add the FB bar you mentioned. Best.

  • Biks Grewal

    Brilliant. You should expand this


    • Hi! Glad you liked it. And thanks for sending birders my way!

  • C Arun13

     Brilliant! 🙂

    • Coming from a man of so few words, I consider this high praise! Hope you keep reading.

      • C Arun13

        It’s compelling! Will have to keep reading! 🙂

  • Sitapriya Moorthi

    I am Sita,  I am your mothers friend Saroj’s niece … she gave me the link to your blog.  I myself am a sincere student of evolution  now for six years … Then again it is the most perfect theory… in more ways than one. Congratulations on a very interesting blog… diverse and uncomplicated!

    • Hi Sita! One of the nice things about blogging about evolution is that you don’t have to work too hard on catching people’s interest, the subject matter does it for you. 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying the blog, hope you check back often.

      • Marci

        You know, I’d agree that the subject matter does it for you… except you just blew my mind  with the color blue.  

        You work wonders with words.

  • very nice blog Aatish! I’ll be bookmarking this one…

  • Christian-abend

    You show my photo with the grand prismatic spring. If you like to show it you have to identify it with my sign “Copyright by Leto-A.”

    If you dont like to do this we have a problem and you have to cancel my photo from your site.
    Please give me an answer per flickr-mail

    Greetings from Leto-A.

    • Done. I usually link through to the author, and have an image sources attribution at the bottom of each post. Also if you think that ‘we have a problem’, I suggest that you read about fair use laws http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use. As I do not make any profit from this blog, I am legally entitled to use copyrighted material without permission for nonprofit education purposes.

  • Hi Aatish! I nominated you for a Liebster award on my site. It’s a way for bloggers to spread the word about other awesome blogs out there. I thought yours definitely deserved some more recognition 🙂

    • Hey Brooke! Thanks for the plug. I’ve really enjoyed many of your posts. Your blog is delightfully weird. 🙂

  • Paul Norris

    Hi Aatish,

    I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award!

    Here’s the post: http://animalwise.org/2012/01/03/liebster-award-and-nominees/.



  • Daniel Greene

    I’m just a blue collar husband and dad that didn’t get enough education when I was younger. I love the blog. It really is nice that the internet exists and that guys like me can learn from people like you. Keep up the great work!

    • Thank you so much for your very kind and humble words. It’s incredibly gratifying to hear that my writing is meaningful to you, and I’m sure that I could learn a whole lot from you as well. You are very much in the intended audience of this blog, so welcome, and thanks for reading!

  • Just got to your blog.. Kudos to minute physics. Absolutely Brilliant Aatish!! Will be looking out for more entries..

  • Jack White

    Congratulations for a wonderfull and well done blog. If ever you feel discouraged (it is a lot of work, I’m sure it can get stressful), just come back at the comments section and think of all the minds you helped grow. Thank you for doing it!

  • Eirik

    Hey, really love your blog! It’s great too read a blog about physics, and I especially loved your last post about solar air-planes. I think it’s great that you mixed social issues like our environmental problems with easy-to-follow math/physics. Keep up the good work 🙂

  • Hey Aatish, could you drop an “e-mail me new posts” widget in your right side-bar. Thank you

    • Hi Sabio. If you click the feed your emprical zeal button on the sidebar (it’s kind of small), it will send you to a page where you can set up email subscriptions. Thanks for subscribing, and my frequency of posting will be rising September onwards.

  • Carlos Barrera

    Technology Submission – Novel
    Rotary-Turbo-InFlow Tech – Featured Development


    Atypical InFlow Thermodynamic

    Technology Proposal Submission

    Novel Fueled Motor Engine Type

    *State of the art Innovative concept Top system Higher efficient percent.

    Have similar system of the Aeolipile Heron Steam device from Alexandria 10-70

    YouTube; * Atypical New • GEARTURBINE / Retrodynamic = DextroRPM VS LevoInFlow
    + Ying Yang Thrust Way Type – Non Waste Looses

    *8-X/Y Thermodynamic CYCLE – Way Steps:

    1)1-Compression / bigger

    2)2-Turbo 1 cold

    3)2-Turbo 2 cold

    4)2-Combustion – circular motion flames / opposites

    5)2-Thrust – single turbo & planetary gears / ying yang

    6)2-Turbo 2 hot

    7)2-Turbo 1 hot

    8)1-Turbine / bigger

    -New Form-Function Motor-Engine Device. Next Step, Epic Design Change,
    Broken-Seal Revelation. -Desirable Power-Plant Innovation.

    -With Retrodynamic Dextrogiro vs. Levogiro Phenomenon Effect. / Rotor-RPM VS
    InFlow / front to front; “Collision-Interaction Type” – inflow vs.
    blades-gear-move. Technical unique dynamic innovative motion mode.
    [Retrodynamic Reaction = When the inflow have more velocity the rotor have more
    RPM Acceleration, with high (XY Position) Momentum] Which the internal flow
    (and rotor) duplicate its speed, when activated being in a rotor (and inflow)
    with [inverse] opposite Turns. A very strong Novel concept of torque power

    -Non-waste parasitic looses system for cooling, lubrication &

    -Shape-Mass + Rotary-Motion = Inertia-Dynamic / Form-Function Wide [Flat]
    Cylindrical shape + positive dynamic rotary mass = continue Inertia kinetic
    positive tendency motion. Like a Flywheel.

    -Combustion 2Two continue circular [Rockets] flames. [ying yang] opposite to
    the other. – With 2TWO very long distance INFLOW [inside propulsion] CONDUITS.
    -4 TURBOS Rotary Total Thrust-Power Regeneration Power System. -Mechanical
    direct 2two [Small] Planetary Gears at polar position. -Like the Ying Yang
    Symbol/Concept. -Wide out the Rotor circumference were have much more lever
    [HIGH Torque] POWER THRUST. -Military benefits; No blade erosion by sand &
    very low heat target signature profile. -3 points of power thrust; 1-flow way,
    2-gear, 3-turbine. *Patent; Dic. 1991 IMPI Mexico #197187 All Rights Reserved.
    Carlos Barrera.

  • Nipun Ramani

    You know, I always wanted an Indian to enter the online education race. MinutePhysics, VSauce, Smarter Everyday, Veritassium. Respect from India.

  • Jay Mancini

    Aatish…..what a wonderful site……lots of fun and very educational
    I am a Professor of Physics at Kingsborough CC in Brooklyn & will definitely turn my students on to your blog!
    Thank you!