Where the smart money is…

Mark Twain is reputed to have said on investment choices "Buy land – they’re not making it anymore". There’s got to be a good deal of truth in that – it’s hard to see that there will be a decreasing demand for land on a global scale in the next century (though there are perhaps […]

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Going Naked

I’ve been reading about Naked Short Selling, following Germany’s decision this week to ban it. What the financial world gets up to is rather interesting, to say the least.  For those who don’t wish to read about it themselves, my summary is this:  Short-selling is where you borrow something, then sell it, buy it back […]

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What spin would you like with that?

I’ve been trying to avoid commenting on the recent mobile phone and cancer study (since everyone else is) but something I’ve just read has rather irked me so I’m going to do it. So we have a study that’s just been published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. As with other high interest scientific research, […]

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Stunning Physics

Sorry about the gap in activities – I had something unexpected come up which was rather more important and urgent than writing blog posts. More or less back online now. A couple of weeks ago we had our University Open Day, at the University of Waikato. This covered the whole university, and, of course, our […]

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Things that don’t like water

So, my class of students (well, at least one of them) have done the calculations and think that a centimetre of water is enough to shield a mobile phone from communicating with the nearest mast.  Only one way to find out.  I’ll bring along a bucket, lots of glad wrap and waterproofing materials to tomorrow’s […]

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Mind games for physicists

Here’s a gem of a paper from Jonathan Tuminaro and Edward Redish. The authors have carried out a detailed analysis of the discussions a group of physics students had when solving a particular problem. They’ve worked hard (the researchers, as well as the students) – the first case study they chose was a conversation 45 […]

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Mobile phone physics

Just occasionally, I have a crazy thought regarding a physics demonstration.   This is one that I’m thinking about inflicting on my third year electromagnetism class.   We’ve been discussing the way electromagnetic waves travel (or rather, do not travel) through electrical conductors. Basically, conductors allow electric currents to flow in response to an applied electric field (in simple terms […]

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