It’s been a hot week for science. Thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope, an algorithm created by 29-year old PhD graduate Katie Bouman, and a lot of hard work, humanity got its first photo of a black hole – M87 in the galaxy Messier 87, some 55 million light-years away. It wasn’t made with visible … More The science behind the awesome black hole photograph
Every so often I see something on Facebook asking you to name which super-powers you’d most like to have.That’s actually pretty cool, because – you know, super-powers. We all know what these are – invulnerability, invincible strength, teleportation, telekinesis, flying, being magnetic, telepathy, X-ray vision, squirting spider-web from your wrist and doing Tarzan swings with … More What five super-powers would you most like to have?
One of the things the Star Wars franchise isn’t particularly known for is the ‘science’ part of the science fiction calculation. I’m talking about everything from visible bolts of laser light that move at about 130 mph (ie: 0.00002 percent of light-speed) through to one-climate worlds, space ‘fighters’ that manoeuvre like First World War dogfighters, … More Science silliness with Star Wars: The Last Jedi
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!
My short science book Explaining Our Weird Universe 1: cool stuff about time, black holes and quantum magic, is published today. I’m very pleased to have been able to write this. It’s an introduction to the way physicists see the universe just now – a series of short essays exploring some of the weirder concepts … More Explaining Our Weird Universe 1 – out now!
A reminder that my short book Explaining Our Weird Universe 1: cool stuff about time, black holes and quantum magic, is being released on Kindle on 17 September. You can pre-order it right now on Amazon It’s a short book, collecting together six short essays explaining some of the cooler and weirder realities of our … More Three days until ‘Explaining Our Weird Universe 1’ is unleashed!
I have exciting news. My short book Explaining Our Weird Universe Volume 1: cool stuff about time, black holes and quantum magic, is being released on Kindle, initially, on 17 September. Already the pre-sales have outstripped previous records for my books on Kindle release. In it I explain – ‘for the rest of us’ some of … More Explaining Our Weird Universe Volume 1 – cover reveal!
It’s intriguing how we always talk about stuff like radio, microwaves, light, x-rays and the rest – as if all these were different things. Well guess what – they’re not. They’re all exactly the same thing. Electromagnetic energy. That’s it, really. Well, there are differences – as we’ll see in this post. But in terms … More Explaining the electromagnetic spectrum in less than 550 words
How fast is time? If you’re trapped in the office or enduring a maths class or something dull you’d no doubt tell me it drips past. Just as you’d also tell me it moves damn fast if you’re enjoying the latest Star Wars movie. But that’s personal perception of time. To physicists, no matter how … More Einstein’s cool way to make time go slower
This week’s landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was a landmark in space history – not because the comet apparently bore a passing resemblance to the Kardashian backside that was competing for place in the news, but because surface gravity on 67P is about one millionth Earth’s. You don’t land so much as drift in and try like hell to stay there. Add to that the … More Why this week’s comet landing is way better than celebrity butt-fests