Physics Stop

A cracked window

Marcus Wilson Jan 08, 2021

On Christmas Eve, child number 1 spotted a crack in a window. It’s a double-glazed window, and inspection showed that the small, horizontal crack was in the outermost pane. It was perpendicular to the frame, about three-quarters of the way up one side. The origins are a mystery. It MIGHT have something to do with repeated encounters with footballs, tennis … Read More

The difference between science and engineering

Marcus Wilson Dec 23, 2020

I’m often asked what the difference is between science and engineering. Or, put another way, why did I find working in a ‘School of Engineering’ when I’m a physicist (i.e. a scientist) so difficult sometimes? (I now work in  ‘Te Aka Matuatua – School of Science‘ at the University of Waikato.) The two disciplines blur a bit at the … Read More

Scholarship Physics

Marcus Wilson Oct 16, 2020

It’s that time of year when school students become seriously focused on exams. This year has been messy for student learning, and has affected some students more than others, but the NCEA external assessments and the Scholarship exams are going ahead pretty-much as normal. I’ve taken some interest in the Scholarship Physics exams over the past years. Read More

Bad light stopped play

Marcus Wilson Aug 26, 2020

One of the top challenges for physics in the modern era, along with Climate Change and explaining Dark Energy, has to be fixing the problem of bad light*. (I’m talking cricket – what else?) It’s a quintessentially English problem. It’s not raining, the pitch is perfectly playable, the spectators (COVID-19 notwithstanding) are enjoying themselves, but the umpires bring the … Read More