More strange quantum stuff

I have talked about some of the strange quantum mechanics effects before.  An example is the two-slit experiment. If we fire photons (particles of light) at a pair of slits, and then measure where they appear on the other side of the slits, we get a two-slit diffraction pattern – exactly what we’d get if […]

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Relative Velocity

Those of us who fly out of NZ reasonably frequently will have noticed how flight times differ significantly depending on whether one is travelling west to east or east to west. Take my recent flight to and from Perth, in Western Australia.  The Auckland to Perth flight was timetabled to last 7 hours 25 minutes, […]

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Expensoheat

We have now been in our ‘new’ house for four months. This one still does feel a little ‘new’, being only 5 years old. It even incorporates some radical features (for New Zealand): proper insulation, double glazing (though I note that the frames are still aluminium) and well engineered drainage from what otherwise would be […]

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Jigsaw puzzles

Last night I completed a project that’s been going for the last three months – a 1000 piece jigsaw. This one was pretty but particularly fiendish – being a street map of Paris. There’s not a lot of variation from piece to piece – green background with white streets, with limited clues.  There are river […]

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Back to the blog

Having had a rather extended half-time break from blogging I have some time to get it kicked-off again. And what better topic that the Football World Cup.  (Or, as it’s referred to everywhere except New Zealand, the World Cup.)   There are some great examples and analogies of physics that we can pull from this, but […]

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Amazing lenses

There is no denying it. I am middle-aged. The latest evidence is the progressive-lens glasses. I had tried to put off getting these for as long as possible (warning to you younger readers – they are not cheap!) but it was just getting too difficult without them. We pretty-well take for granted good vision, but […]

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Sycamore seeds and wind turbines

At the recent NZ Institute of Physics conference in Dunedin we heard about a wide range of different physics topics -measuring electrical forces; atomic frequency combs; why a highly gendered physics class is not a good thing and measuring forces with your phone.  One very simple but thought-provoking presentation was by Tim Molteno – on […]

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Incey-wincey spider…

….is about 2 cm long and lives behind the heat pump unit in the courtyard outside. She’s been out every evening since we got here. Can anyone identify her? She doesn’t appear to feature on Western Australia’s most deadly list (which, incidently, includes the white tail).  I’ve left it till after we’ve left to post […]

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