Physics Stop

Why does time go forwards?

Marcus Wilson Mar 10, 2015

Further to my last post, here's a very accessible discussion on some of the physics related to 'the arrow of time'. Maybe, just maybe, Benjamin has the right idea after all... http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150309-why-does-time-only-run-forwards   … Read More

The arrow of time

Marcus Wilson Mar 02, 2015

Benjamin is now two-and-two-thirds, or near enough. As ever, his grasp of physics continues to improve.  In the last few weeks, he has been picking up the idea of time.  We have a large (more accurately, LARGE) analogue clock on the wall of our lounge. He's watched me take it off the wall, change the battery and move … Read More

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Seeing spots before my eyes

Marcus Wilson Jan 23, 2015

"Doctor, Doctor, I keep seeing spots before my eyes" "Have you ever seen an optician?" "No, just spots". The concept of seeing an optician floating across my field of view is a scary one indeed. However, the concept of seeing spots doing the same is one I'm coming to terms with.  I had a talk … Read More

Modes of a square plate

Marcus Wilson Jan 15, 2015

Alison has drawn my attention to this video. It demonstrates vibrational modes of a square plate by using sand. At certain frequencies, there are well defined modes of oscillation, in which parts of the plate 'nodal lines' are stationary. The sand will find its way to these parts and trace out some lovely pictures.  Vibrational … Read More

The changing face of professional institutions

Marcus Wilson Jan 12, 2015

I'm sure many readers will know that one of the hats I wear is the treasurer of the New Zealand Institute of Physics. NZIP is the professional organization for physicists within New Zealand. Its aim is to promote the interests of physics and physicists, at all levels, within the country. In addition to counting the beans, the … Read More

Virtual labs: Are they virtually as good as real ones?

Marcus Wilson Dec 03, 2014

I've been reading a paper by Majorie Darrah and others (full reference below) on the use of 'virtual labs' in Undergraduate Physics. At Waikato (along with lots of other universities) our first year physics students carry out laboratory sessions to help them learn physics concepts and practical skills. If you are someone who has run a first-year laboratory class, … Read More

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