Dark Matter and statistics

While I was on holiday, news broke (e.g. see the piece in The Guardian) about the possible detection of WIMPs.  Weakly Interacting Massive Particles are what many physicists think makes up ‘dark matter’.  (What is dark matter? – basically, if you analyse the way galaxies move, you discover that the amount of matter you can ‘see’ […]

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Rainbows

The sun poked out from behind the clouds on my way in to work this morning just long enough to produce a beautiful rainbow for a few seconds. Not sure when we’ll next see it. I guess most of us studied rainbows at school, but I’ll throw in a couple of physics words with this […]

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Fog

Well, what does one expect living in Waikato? Four days of gorgeous spring weather in a row is a bit much to ask for. So the fog was back this morning, and with it the idiot car drivers who don’t put their lights on. Why? Do they want to die? A white car with no […]

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Blue sky

I’m still working on the problem of why is the sky blue?  Now, I’ve already told you its because the short-wavelength blue light is scattered more than the long-wavelength red light, but why are short wavelengths scattered more than longer ones? In words suitable for a blog. I could do some maths to show you […]

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Science Fair

For those in easy reach of Hamilton Gardens, the NIWA Science Fair is well worth a visit. I spent a considerable portion of yesterday looking over the exhibits – which mostly consist of posters describing children’s science projects.  It is wonderful to see that, despite the perpetual moanings in the media, there are children out there who are interested […]

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Blue squid

Did anyone see Saturday’s ‘Country Calendar’ on TVOne? In case you didn’t, it followed a group of long-line tuna fishermen on their fishing trip North of North Cape. They were testing out a method for detering albatross from trying to take the bait (squid) from the hooks – a decision often fatal for the albatross. The method […]

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Who turned out the lights?

I feel it would be inexcusable to let a total eclipse of the sun pass without comment on a physics blog. This is especially true since I am one of the lucky people who have seen a total eclipse – in my case the 1999 eclipse that scythed across Europe. There will no doubt be millions […]

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