Tagged: physics

The Great Eclipse of 1919 - Out of Space

Duncan Steel May 29, 2019

Measurements of photographs obtained during the total solar eclipse of 29th May 1919 were pivotal in demonstrating the veracity of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, turning him into a household name. The centenary of that event is now upon us, and well worthy of being remembered.  As I sit here typing on my keyboard, my favourite photo showing myself and … Read More

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