Weighing magnetic properties

It's a New Year and there are lots of things to do at work before the students get back in any numbers. There are still summer students and research students here, and in the last couple of days I've been working with a summer student on getting a new piece of equipment running for our […]

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Lenz’s law – at 3 tesla

When I was at school, and introduced to magnetic fields in a quantitative sense (that is, with a strength attached to it), I remember being told that the S.I. unit of magnetic flux density (B-field) is the tesla, and that 1 tesla is an extremely high B-field indeed. Ha! Not any more. Last Friday night […]

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Managing ignition timing

I've just been at a great lecture by Peter Leijen as part of our schools-focused Osborne Physics and Engineering Day.   He's an ex-student of ours, who did electronic engineering here at Waikato – and graduated just a couple of years ago.  He now works in the automotive electronics industry. That's an incredibly quickly growing […]

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Seeing in the dark

No, nothing to do with carrots and vitamin A I'm afraid.  With dark evenings and mornings with us now :(, Benjamin's become interested in the dark. It's dark after he's finished tea, and he likes to be taken outside to see the dark, the moon, and stars, before his bath. "See dark" has become a […]

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Notation notation notation

Physicists and engineers have a particular fondness for using symbols for things. Thus, the speed of light becomes 'c'. Planck's constant is 'h'. And so forth. Not content with the latin alphabet, they have commandeered the greek one too: The Stefan-Bolztmann constant is  'sigma', the permittivity of free space is epsilon0 (the greek letter epsilon […]

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