Physics Stop

Dark Matter and statistics

Marcus Wilson Jan 14, 2010

While I was on holiday, news broke (e.g. see the piece in The Guardian) about the possible detection of WIMPs.  Weakly Interacting Massive Particles are what many physicists think makes up 'dark matter'.  (What is dark matter? - basically, if you analyse the way galaxies move, you discover that the amount of matter you can 'see' with conventional techniques, … Read More

Large, heavy objects

Marcus Wilson Jan 13, 2010

Our cat got the shock of his life a couple of days ago when the washing machine got up and chased him out of the room. It's not often that inanimate objects start walking on their own accord. Poor cat is probably so traumatized he'd never set foot in the laundry again except for the fact that's where his food … Read More

Ice and the freezer

Marcus Wilson Jan 11, 2010

Last Saturday I got around to doing one of those long overdue jobs in the house - defrosting and clearing out the freezer. There are numerous reasons why this was a good idea - it's not just about getting rid of the food that has been there rather too long, but also about making sure it works properly. There was probably about … Read More

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The importance of physics

Marcus Wilson Jan 06, 2010

It is sometimes hard as a scientist to maintain a broad focus. It is very easy to get obsessed with your pet project and forget the equally important stuff being done by scientists and others elsewhere. Just because you find your research extremely interesting and you can see lots of uses for it, it doesn't necessarily follow that others will … Read More

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Back to the long-neglected blog

Marcus Wilson Jan 05, 2010

Well, I'm back in at work now after three weeks and four and a half thousand kilometres.  Pleased to discover that in my absence the house hadn't burnt down, there had been no floods and Christmas presents hadn't been stolen.So it's now back to trawling through three weeks' worth of emails, catching up with how student projects have developed in … Read More

Simple Machines

Marcus Wilson Dec 26, 2009

There's a lot to do while driving.   Look at the road - watch the speedo (98 kmh - OK there), watch the road - look in mirrors - check fuel gauge (half - OK there) - watch road - watch that car at the intersection ahead - check temperature gauge (where it should be) - eyes on road - glance … Read More

The We(s)t Coast

Marcus Wilson Dec 23, 2009

Back online briefly - blogging is a bit tricky from campsites - not all of them have wireless broadband connections yet - particularly on the West Coast.For those non-New Zealanders, 'West Coast' refers to the west coast of the South Island, which I have now driven the length of. Or as much as is accessible by road, anyway. Having done … Read More

LHC happenings

Marcus Wilson Dec 15, 2009

A couple of weeks ago the Large Hadron Collider became the world's highest energy particle accelerator, reaching a beam energy of 1.18 TeV. It also breaks the 1 TeV barrier for the first time, taking the record of the Tevatron at Fermilab, near Chicago.The equipment is gradually being 'tuned up' and hopefully we will see some very interesting things … Read More

Summer holidays…

Marcus Wilson Dec 12, 2009

It's summer (well, on paper anyway) which means holiday, which means blogging will certainly ease off until the new year. I'll try to get the odd post up now and then so you don't feel neglected, but please don't expect three or four a week. Happy Christmas and New Year. Read More