The amazing vacuum microwave

 Happy Easter everyone. Sorry for lack of blog activity – lots of marking has been building up that I’ve needed to get through.  Yesterday we experienced the vacuum-packing ability of a clip-container in a microwave. In this case, it was being used to cook some vegetables for Benjamin’s dinner. The veges were placed in the […]

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The power of steam

Over Christmas, we were staying with my wife’s sister and her family in Dunedin. Early one morning (sometime before I got up, anyway – that is my definition of early) a loud ‘bang’ came from the direction of the kitchen, followed by the sound of eight paws beating a hasty retreat. There are two young […]

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Undiscovery in physics

With the recent undiscovery of Sandy Island I’ve begun wondering what other things might be ripe for undiscovery. Wasps, for example. Wouldn’t it be great if we realized that there wasn’t actually any evidence for the existence of wasps after all. Their discovery had been just a mistake made by an entomologist back in the […]

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Back to work

It’s been great having time off work with Karen and Benjamin, but, as they say, all good things come to an end. So today it’s back to work, with my first class in about an hour and a half. I spent my final afternoon of parental leave probing the underlying geology of our driveway, trying […]

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Is it cold enough yet?

This week has seen some icy mornings in Cambridge – a reminder that we are sliding into winter. Our heat pumps have been going, especially first thing in the morning to warm the place up a bit, and the cat has relocated his primary sleeping spot from a chair by a window to a rug closer […]

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Virga

I learned a new word today: virga. It was used in a short article in one of the Sydney newspapers, discussing yesterday’s weather. Virga is simply precipitation that evaporates before it hits the ground, and we had some here yesterday. So it was raining, but we didn’t get wet. Virga can rapidly cool the air […]

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Mysterious power generation

One consequence of being a physicist is that you can’t go anywhere without seeing physics calculations that need doing. I’ve just been to our library hunting down books on the medical technique of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which was an interesting exercise in itself, since one textbook I found also has a chapter on homeopathy. […]

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