## Computer models

For the last couple of days, I’ve been engaged with a student of mine on a computer-modelling problem. Specifically, it’s an electromagnetic problem, working out how the electric field behaves between an array of electrodes. It’s a useful thing to do, because the outputs of the model will help guide future experimental work, and help […]

## Trouble brewing

Following Germany’s destruction of England and now Argentina, I’m getting distinctly worried that Professor Tolan’s probability theory  is about to be proved correct. It will be a sad day for mathematics if he starts saying ‘told you so…’

## The context doesn’t change the laws of physics

No, I didn’t stay up to watch the New Zealand v Slovakia game last night. Based on the grand sample size of one match each, NZ is as good as England. Not sure who that compliments / insults, though for you UK readers (I know there are some), the public reaction here to a 1-1 […]

## Does the future affect the present?

Well, my comment on Naked Short Selling has certainly sparked a bit of discussion (for readers on sci.waikato.ac.nz/physicsstop you’ll need to look at the sciblogs hosting of the blog, http://sciblogs.co.nz/physics-stop/ ).  There’s the reasonable question asked as to whether letting people trade in things they don’t yet possess (basically anticipating the future – letting the future, […]

## 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 […]

## A computer isn’t a replacement for your brain

As part of one of our research projects, one of my students has just acquired a set of tiny electrodes, set into plastic in a grid-like pattern. We’ll use this array to measure the electrical conductivity of various fluids. We don’t need 60 electrodes, about 4 would do nicely, but the particular company concerned makes the electrode arrays like […]

## Making sense of those numbers

A couple of weeks ago I had a cholesterol test.  (That involves taking a blood sample, and I was relieved that this time I didn’t faint.)  I collected my results from the doctor’s surgery earlier this week. The nurse handed me a piece of paper, with lots of numbers on, and provided me the reassuring comment […]

## Another exponential decay example

In the last couple of weeks, my wife has been having a go at making sourdough bread. One of the defining characteristics of this bread is that it doesn’t use yeast – at least, not directly. The idea is, to start it off  rising, you leave it outside for a while, and allow lots of […]