Tagged: light

Bending light - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson May 30, 2010

   Here's a nice picture I took a couple of years ago at Auckland Airport, looking over Manukau Harbour. Can you work out what's happened to the Waitakere Ranges? I'm in the middle of teaching a group of 3rd years about some of the ways that light doesn't travel in straight lines, as part of their unit on computer modelling … Read More

The invisibility cloak - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Mar 22, 2010

Yes, the headline writers are at it again, talking about those crazy scientists designing invisibility cloaks. As usual, the articles I've seen in the papers (e.g. the front page of The Waikato Times) and popular internet sites are high in 'Harry Potter' and 'Star Trek' and low in science.Research into this kind of thing is not new, but it has … Read More

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

Rainbows - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Dec 03, 2009

The sun poked out from behind the clouds on my way in to work this morning just long enough to produce a beautiful rainbow for a few seconds. Not sure when we'll next see it.I guess most of us studied rainbows at school, but I'll throw in a couple of physics words with this comment that you may not have … Read More

Fog - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Sep 08, 2009

Well, what does one expect living in Waikato? Four days of gorgeous spring weather in a row is a bit much to ask for. So the fog was back this morning, and with it the idiot car drivers who don't put their lights on. Why? Do they want to die? A white car with no lights in fog is really … Read More

Blue sky - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Aug 31, 2009

I'm still working on the problem of why is the sky blue?  Now, I've already told you its because the short-wavelength blue light is scattered more than the long-wavelength red light, but why are short wavelengths scattered more than longer ones? In words suitable for a blog.I could do some maths to show you that's the case, but … Read More