Tagged: gravity

Anti-gravity - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Oct 28, 2009

There are some lovely physics demonstrations that get repeatedly wheeled-out for things like Open Day and visits from school groups. Things like holding a spinning bike wheel on a rotating chair (flip it over and you start rotating - conservation of angular momentum) and levitating a piece of superconductor above a magnet at liquid nitrogen temperatures.  But one thing that I've … Read More

Gravitational Waves - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Oct 20, 2009

One of my undergraduate students has been researching gravitational waves this year. Last Friday, he gave a nice presentation on the subject.Gravitational waves are one of the many examples of waves in physics. We are perhaps more used to waves on the surface of water, or waves along a guitar string, or electromagnetic waves (such as radio waves and light), and, … Read More

Approximately speaking - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Oct 08, 2009

Physicists are notorious for making approximations.  This character trait is the subject of many jokes - for example, one rather rambling one involving a physicist advising a punter on which horse to put his money ends with the line "Oh, didn't I tell you - my calculations assumed a spherical horse rolling through a vacuum."But approximations are useful things. The … Read More

Fishics - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Sep 24, 2009

Eco-systems are of course very complex things - the success of one species is linked to the success of another, which is linked to another, and all of which are linked to outside factors such as climate etc etc.  Now there is direct evidence of another degree of complexity in the ocean eco-system, namely that fish (and other swimmy things) … 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