Tagged: science

Climate decisions in a car-reliant country - Unsorted

Marcus Wilson Apr 13, 2021

This is my first post for a while. I have been a bit overwhelmed by other work in the last several weeks, with teaching and other commitments, and the blog has sadly suffered. But I’m still here. This morning, while sitting in a car in the permanent traffic jam through the Waikato Expressway roadworks south of Hamilton, I was reflecting … Read More

Shorter stays in the ED thanks to COVID-19 - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Mar 29, 2021

Early last year the expected influx of patients with COVID-19 to emergency departments (ED) in New Zealand required rapid preparation.  Many questions needed answering quickly – such as, where will we put all the patients? How will we separate highly likely COVID-19 patients from less likely COVID-19 patients?  How will we allocate staff and keep them safe? One of the two most … Read More

A cracked window - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jan 08, 2021

On Christmas Eve, child number 1 spotted a crack in a window. It’s a double-glazed window, and inspection showed that the small, horizontal crack was in the outermost pane. It was perpendicular to the frame, about three-quarters of the way up one side. The origins are a mystery. It MIGHT have something to do with repeated encounters with footballs, tennis … Read More

The difference between science and engineering - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Dec 23, 2020

I’m often asked what the difference is between science and engineering. Or, put another way, why did I find working in a ‘School of Engineering’ when I’m a physicist (i.e. a scientist) so difficult sometimes? (I now work in  ‘Te Aka Matuatua – School of Science‘ at the University of Waikato.) The two disciplines blur a bit at the … Read More

Is science becoming artificially intelligent? - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Dec 09, 2020

Is science becoming “AI-led”, as some venture capitalists suggest? The short answer is no. A slightly longer response is that’s not the most important question to ask about the future of science.   A tool, not a solution DeepMind’s success in determining quite accurate 3D protein structures in a competition made headlines … Read More

When analogies are taken too far: Spacetime is bent, but it’s not quite a stretchy membrane - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Sep 30, 2020

Last week I was asked by some school students about the nature of gravity. What is it? Isaac Newton, and a whole pile of textbooks following him, treat gravity as an attractive force between two objects. It’s a force that is proportional to the product of the masses of the two objects, and is inversely proportional to the distance between … Read More