Tagged: experiment

A computer isn’t a replacement for your brain - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Apr 30, 2010

As part of one of our research projects, one of my students has just acquired a set of tiny electrodes, set into plastic in a grid-like pattern. We'll use this array to measure the electrical conductivity of various fluids. We don't need 60 electrodes, about 4 would do nicely, but the particular company concerned makes the electrode arrays like this, so that's what we've … Read More

Mobile phone physics - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Mar 19, 2010

Just occasionally, I have a crazy thought regarding a physics demonstration.   This is one that I'm thinking about inflicting on my third year electromagnetism class.  We've been discussing the way electromagnetic waves travel (or rather, do not travel) through electrical conductors. Basically, conductors allow electric currents to flow in response to an applied electric field (in simple terms this just means applying a voltage). Read More

Heat transfer within edible objects - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Mar 08, 2010

The veggie-juicer in our kitchen will happily take fruit, such as apples and oranges. Apparently, in the case of the orange, it works best if the fruit is cold (but not frozen) throughout. So here's the question my wife asked me last week: If I have an orange at room temperature, and want to cool it to fridge temperature … Read More

Just what did Rutherford get up to? - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Mar 01, 2010

This story, reported by Hamish Johnston, is interesting. Did Rutherford leave something nasty lurking in his lab in Manchester? What mutant lifeforms are slowly evolving at the back of his old filing cabinet? Is Coronation Street safe? What hideous organism is about to eat its way out of the building and destroy half of North West England?  Horror movie and … Read More

Interesting but useless fact - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Feb 03, 2010

According to the fount of all knowledge  -  Wikipedia ;-)    - the only three countries not to have adopted the System Internationale units are Burma/Myanmar, Liberia and the United States of America. I can't help thinking that there is something deeply significant about those three countries falling into the same group, but I can't quite put my … Read More

Remember your units - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Feb 01, 2010

As any physics student knows (or should know), units are important things. By 'unit' I mean a measure of the kind of quantity you are dealing with. So if it's mass, then a kilogram, a gram, an ounce, etc are all units;  if it's distance, then kilometres, light-years, feet are all units.   Units are essential - it's not very helpful … Read More

Say goodbye to the drill… - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jan 27, 2010

Here's a nice piece of applied physics research that will excite a significant minority of the population - specifically those who dread going to the dentist. Personally, I have never had any issues with drills (needles are a different story), but I know lots of people who do.The proposed method uses cold plasmas to kill off bacteria-infected dentin that would … Read More

Useful origami (and wine bottles) - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jan 18, 2010

Here's something silly and not-quite-entirely-useless for a Monday morning.Think of a deformable material (something solid but something you can squeeze, stretch, dent, etc). Maybe a bean bag, lump of plasticine, football etc. It might or might not return to its original position after you let go of it, but that doesn't matter. Think what happens if you squeeze it.  It … Read More