Tagged: physics

On the Shoulders of Giants? - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Mar 16, 2019

Isaac Newton is often thought to be the inventor of the apparently self-deprecating phrase ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’, but he was not: actually it had been in use for over 500 years before he repeated it in 1675. Of more significance is that Newton wrote it in a letter to … Read More

Harry Hindmarsh Atkinson: obituary - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Jan 27, 2019

Harry Atkinson in 2012 (courtesy William Tobin). Harry Atkinson was one of those able New Zealanders who went overseas to study, fully intending to return one day to these shores to live, but due to their great success in their adopted homelands never did so. A physicist by training, he moved into science advice and administration in Britain and … Read More

The physics of maiming a child (repost because of “those” scooters) - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Oct 26, 2018

Dear Driver, When you backed out of a driveway and did not even see how I swerved around behind your car to avoid T-boning you, how dare you have the temerity to tell me you were careful!  I was 7 feet tall, dressed in bright yellow and traveling at no more than 10 km/h.  Perhaps a simple lesson in physics … Read More

The difference between an engineer and a physicist - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Oct 20, 2018

As a researcher who has recently published an article in the elegantly-named journal ‘Biomedical Physics and Engineering Express’ (in other words, biology, medicine, physics, engineering all in one) it’s clear to me that the boundaries that we often like to use to define ourselves are rather blurry. I am a physicist (yes!) but also, at times, I have to drift … Read More

Black holes aren’t totally black, and other insights from Stephen Hawking’s groundbreaking work - Guest Work

Guest Author Mar 20, 2018

Christoph Adami, Michigan State University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Mathematical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking was best known for his work exploring the relationship between black holes and quantum physics. A black hole is the remnant of a dying supermassive star that’s fallen into itself; these remnants contract … Read More

I’ve always wondered: why is a green screen green? - Guest Work

Guest Author Mar 15, 2018

Lincoln Turner, Monash University and Russell Anderson, Monash University This is an article from I’ve Always Wondered, a series where readers send in questions they’d like an expert to answer. Send your question to alwayswondered@theconversation.edu.au I’ve always wondered why is a green screen green in TV and film making, as opposed to blue or white or … Read More

Remembering Stephen Hawking - Guest Work

Guest Author Mar 15, 2018

by Jean Balchin Yesterday I was incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of world-renowned cosmologist and pioneer in theoretical physics, Stephen Hawking. Here are a collection of tributes to the great man.  Professor David Wiltshire, Theoretical Physicist, University of Canterbury, comments: Stephen Hawking. Wikimedia Commons. “Stephen was the most courageous person I have known. He had … Read More

Opinion: Let’s celebrate the Humanities more - Guest Work

Jean Balchin Mar 06, 2018

Recently, there has been a great deal of hullabaloo on my Facebook timeline as people squabble over whether so-called ”hard” subjects like calculus and physics are inherently better and more difficult than the alternative, ”soft” subjects like English, drama and photography. Filip Vachuda, Onehunga High School’s academic runner-up for 2017, began ”DuxGate” when he wrote he missed out on dux … Read More

How fair is it for just three people to receive the Nobel Prize in physics? - Guest Work

Guest Author Jan 24, 2018

Caroline Wagner, The Ohio State University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. The Nobel Foundation statutes decree that “in no case” can a Nobel Prize be divided between more than three people. So it may not raise many eyebrows that the 2017 award in physics went to just … Read More

Science Tank | Schrodinger’s cat & the double slit experiment - Guest Work

Guest Author Jan 11, 2018

In 1935, an Austrian physicist named Erwin Schrödinger published his “Schrödinger’s Cat” thought experiment to explain superposition (a quantum mechanics principle stating that something exists in all possible states until it is directly observed or measured, at which point it exists only in one of its possible states). Erwin Schrödinger, staring intently at you. Wikimedia Commons. The thought … Read More