Improving gender balance in physics

The Institute of Physics has just released a report on recent interventions designed to improve the uptake of physics at 'A'-level by girls*. Although there have been considerable efforts in the UK to improve the gender balance over two decades, there has not been any substantial change – about 20% of a typical A-level physics […]

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Bell ringing

Only a week more to go in Perth. Time here has gone so quickly. It’s then off to UK for Easter to see my family before returning to Waikato. On Saturday we had a tour of the bell tower on the waterfront. It’s a great looking structure (in my opinion) – and houses the original […]

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The indeterminate cheese flake

A couple of days ago I arrived 'home' to discover our local ant colony at work. There's a nest located somewhere in the bushes at the front of our temporary home, and the occupants have become rather adept at raiding our kitchen. Anything left on the kitchen bench is fair game for the taking. Ants […]

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Physics is a science. Or maybe not.

A couple of hours ago I gave a talk to the 'education group' in the Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Western Australia. Broadly speaking, the audience was a group of physicists and engineers who are interested in education. I recycled a talk that I'd given a couple of years ago […]

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Weather records

I came across the following on the BBC website  "Australia's summer broke 205 records…" It draws from the recent Climate Council report. The BBC article doesn't list them all 205 of them, but does pull out the most impressive – the hottest summer on record for Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra,  and the wettest on record […]

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Blowing potholes

As part of our trip southwards last week, we visited one of the many caves scattered across the Margaret River region. The immediate impression on entering the 'Jewel Cave' is its vast size. It's hard to estimate just how big the main cavern is, but as a rough guess maybe 100 metres by 50 metres […]

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The Perth climate

A quick glance at some climate statistics will tell you that Perth in February is hot, sunny and dry. The mean maximum temperature is 31.7 C for Perth city, with a mean of  7 days going above 35 Celsius, and 1 day going above 40  Celsius. February rainfall is impressive, by its absence.  The mean […]

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