Tagged: electron

The Faraday Suit - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jul 11, 2011

Annette Taylor has sent me this link.  Rather than turning off a high-voltage power line when you work on it, you just wear one of these special anti-electricity suits.Of course, there's nothing hi-tech about them (at least, not conceptually). If you put one of these on, you are in your personal Faraday Cage, and the electric … Read More

Diode Flavours - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jun 14, 2011

A week or so ago, I had an exciting poster session with my second year solid-state physics class. Their main assignment for the term was to prepare, in small groups, a poster on a particular flavour of diode. My intention here was to get the students to learn about the underlying physics of a solid-state diode. Rather than simply tell … Read More

The physics of slugs - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson May 19, 2011

At Tuesday night's Cafe Scientifique, we had a very entertaining discussion, led by Mike Wilson from AgResearch, on that most cute and cuddly animal, the slug. Let's face it, in terms of looks and popularity, the slug doesn't have a lot going for it, but it's certainly a very interesting creature.I learnt a fair bit about its biology, but the most … Read More

Three heads are better than one - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson May 09, 2011

It's often surprising how different people can bring different approaches to the same problem, but in a way that gets you moving forward. I experienced a good example last week. A PhD student has been tangled in a nasty net of circuit analysis, trying to understand how a particular circuit does what it does. I've been helping him out on … Read More

Superconductivity turns one hundred - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson May 03, 2011

There's a fair bit in the physics magazines at the moment on superconductivity. http://Physicsworld.com  has some interesting articles, for example this one by Ted Forgan and an interview with Frank Wilczek.Superconductivity has its hundreth birthday this year. In 1911, in Leiden, Netherlands, Heike Onnes and Gilles Holst discovered that mercury lost its electrical resistance at … Read More

Elecmystery - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Apr 29, 2011

I'm beginning to wonder how I've ever found time to do the nearly 400 entries that this blog has accumulated over the last two and a half years.   It's Friday already and I've only done one entry this week, on top of not much last week either.One of the highlights of electricity is the two-way switching circuit.  This … Read More

Correlation or no correlation? - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Mar 25, 2011

Here's an example of how easy it is to see things that don't exist. It's from a real piece of research (mine). As  way of background, I've been doing some work with computer models of neurons in the cortex (NB this isn't artificial neural networks, which were all the rage in the 1980/90s). Broadly speaking, I've been looking at … Read More

Physics discoveries - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Feb 15, 2011

I've been thinking a bit more about the comment I made yesterday that there used to be a time that physics discoveries were made by people but now we just need to build a machine to do it (the LHC). The major science discoveries, almost by definition, are unexpected and can be very serendipitous. The discoverer wasn't out there looking for … Read More

What’s CERN twittering about? - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Feb 14, 2011

A quick skim of CERN's Twitter site, www.twitter.com/cern tells me that the LHC is going to be pootling on for the next two years at 3.5 TeV per beam, before it is prepared for running at 7 TeV, starting hopefully in 2014"...[This] gives the LHC’s experiments a good chance of finding new physics in the next two years..."There … Read More

Negative Resistance - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Nov 16, 2010

I was having a conversation last week with a student about negative resistances (in an electronics context). These are just as they sound - to send a current from terminal A to terminal B you have to apply a higher potential to terminal B than terminal A.  Sounds backwards?  Yes - it is. That's why the resistance is negative.It's not … Read More