Tagged: experiment

Dark Matter and statistics - Physics Stop

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

Small Transistors - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Dec 09, 2009

How often do you get attracted to an article somewhere because of its outrageous headline, and then discover on reading the article that its headline, if not an outright lie, doesn't quite represent what the article is actually about?This is one that got my attention earlier this week on physorg.com.  The headline "Scientists build 'single-atom transistor' " certainly … Read More

Bring on the computer - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Nov 09, 2009

To err is human, but to make a real mess requires a computer. Whether it is sending out a gas bill for ten million dollars, or sending a letter to the parents of a one-hundred-and-four year-old woman reminding them that she is due to start school, the rise of the computer has certainly opened up new avenues for getting things … Read More

Beyond cornflakes - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Nov 02, 2009

This is something that Aimee Whitcroft at the Science Media Centre in Wellington drew my attention to - thanks Aimee.Most of us who have ever eaten breakfast cereal will probably be familiar with the phenomenon whereby the larger flakes of whatever-your-favourite-breakfast-is tend to be at the top of the packet, whereas the smaller flakes tend to accumulate at … Read More

Magnets attract, right? - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Oct 27, 2009

Here's an example of some physics that doesn't quite seem to work out.Magnets attract iron. Yes? So what happens when you place a drop of ferrofluid (which is basically an oil whose molecules have been laced with iron atoms) on the surface of water and lower a maget towards it.   The oil will flow on top of … Read More

The scientific method - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Aug 28, 2009

This morning we had a school group visit us from Whakatane - about 30 year 10 students (14 and 15 year olds) - they carried out some activities in Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Physics. I led them (as two groups) in a physics activity involving catapults.After doing the boring bit (talking about how energy is transferred from one form to … Read More