It seems to me that by our everyday standards, hyper-extreme physics of the Einstein variety is magic – abstract, nonsensical and absurd. To me it’s like dada art. And that also isn’t surprising, conceptually. Setting aside the fact that both dada and Einstein came from Switzerland, the turn of the twentieth century brought the great … More Extreme physics as dada art – really!
Arthur C. Clarke’s A Fall of Moondust (1962) impressed me for lot of reasons when I first read it. The book still does – not least because, seven years before the first Moon landings, he predicted (a) that the only life found on the Moon would be bacteria retrieved from human-built probes, and (b) the … More The writers who predicted the future
It’s funny how things change. These days allergies are well understood as a genuine medical matter, they can affect anybody, and they can also be fatal if we’re not vigilant. What’s more, allergies seem to be getting more prevalent in western society. That’s totally turned around from when I was a kid. Back then, allergies … More Why are allergies becoming an epidemic?
One of the reasons I got interested in physics as a kid – and still am today – is because of the way sound works. In physics terms, sound is simply a succession of alternate compressions and rarefications of the air, carrying energy which moves our eardrums. What does that mean? The first point is … More Making waves – the physics of sound
Have you ever noticed how, more often than not, pictures of ‘early humans’ in action often show them walking somewhere. And the pop-image of our evolution, unscientific though it actually is, has much the same imagery. Part of that is because there’s empirical evidence that ancestral humans did walk a lot, and various tracks have … More The endless human journey…
The passing of Stephen Hawking marks the end of an era. He was an extraordinary man and an exceptional physicist – one of the greats, standing alongside Einstein, Bohr, Newton, Heisenberg and a small and select handful of others. He was also an exceptional human on many levels, offering wisdom and insight into much about … More The legacy of Stephen Hawking
We’re in the middle of yet another revival of 3d movies at the moment – and I can’t help thinking they look a bit rubbish as 3d. Just like they did the first time round, over 60 years ago. Back in the 1950s, TV was going to kill the movies stone dead. Yup, movies were … More So this is why 3D movies never take off