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Archive: Physics Stop April 2011

Gravitational Waves

Marcus Wilson Feb 12, 2016

The big breaking physics news is the detection of gravitational waves. These waves are distortions in space-time, caused by a large mass doing something spectacular (two colliding black holes in this case)  that propagate across the universe and create tiny changes in space when they reach us. The commentary here describes what goes on. Essentially, things change … Read More

The world’s most beautiful equation

Marcus Wilson Jan 25, 2016

Don’t miss the BBC poll on what is the world’s most beautiful equation. Are you a fan of Einstein’s field equation, or does the Riemann zeta-function hold you in raptures? There’s some great commentary on the twelve candidates here.  How did I vote? Well, that would be telling, but the fact that my very first publication … Read More

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Weighing magnetic properties

Marcus Wilson Jan 12, 2016

It’s a New Year and there are lots of things to do at work before the students get back in any numbers. There are still summer students and research students here, and in the last couple of days I’ve been working with a summer student on getting a new piece of equipment running for our Experimental Physics paper – … Read More

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Tip or slide?

Marcus Wilson Dec 18, 2015

We had our departmental Christmas lunch on Tuesday, outside in the campus grounds. We had some lovely sunshine, but the wind did rather spoil things. I’ve certainly got used now to living in a very wind-free place – a fresh breeze is something quite unsual here. We were hanging on to our paper plates, but didn’t expect to have … Read More

On the track at the Avantidrome

Marcus Wilson Dec 14, 2015

Yesterday I finally managed to achieve one of the things on my ‘to do’ list that’s been sitting there for about a year – attend a ‘Have a Go’ session at the velodrome in Cambridge. For those that don’t know it, it’s New Zealand’s new (which means about two years old) world-class velodrome and now ‘home’ to New … Read More

And the Nobel Prize in physics goes to…

Marcus Wilson Nov 27, 2015

…the United States of America, of course. Hamish Johnston, editor of physicsworld.com, has put together a neat little piece looking at where Nobel physics laureates start and end their days. There’s no surprise on the net migration front – a huge flow from everywhere to the US. What Johnston’s graphic doesn’t indicate is when the award winner migrated … Read More

Gender stereotyping and physics

Marcus Wilson Nov 20, 2015

The Institute of Physics (IOP) has recently released “Opening Doors: A guide to good practice in countering gender stereotyping in schools” (You can access the report here and read some commentary at a recent IOP conference here.) Although funded jointly by the Government Equalities Office (now I’m sure such a thing didn’t exist when I lived … Read More

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