Physicsstop back in business

I have been rather conscious of my looonnnnggggg absence from the blogosphere. That really is down to other commitments getting in the way, and then falling out of the habit of blogging.  Hopefully this will be a restart. I have a good opportunity here – I have just started a period of study leave (what […]

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A blatant plug for the NZIP2015 conference

There's no hiding my conflicts of interest here. I'm on the New Zealand Institute of Physics 2015 conference organizing committee. I'm also the NZIP treasurer. And I'm a staff member at the host organization.  So, to contribute to the New Zealand physics community's biennial event  in Hamilton on 6 – 8 July, click on this […]

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Hawking radiation in the lab

A highlight of the recent NZ Institute of Physics conference was the Dan Walls medal talk given by Matt Visser. Matt has been working on general relativity. That's not desparately unusual for a physicist, but Matt has been successful in working on some of the crazier aspects of relativity and getting it published – wormholes, […]

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Dispersion in water waves

 I’ve been perusing YouTube looking for good videos illustrating wave packets – which are bunches of waves containing different wavelengths. I want to come up with a good illustration for a second year physics paper on introductory quantum theory. This contains a lot of ‘wave’ things. Here’s a nice one I’ve stumbled on. It shows […]

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Mega- and nano-everything

 While generally speaking I’m very pleased to hear physics words appear in everyday conversation, I would prefer for them to be used approximately correctly. ‘Exponentially‘ is a case in point – it gets used for something that keeps getting bigger, regardless of how exponential it really is.  So, while ‘nanotechnology’ is a good word to […]

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Seeing circular polarization

Physicsworld magazine is doing a ‘special feature’ this month on animal superheroes – those with rather unusual physical abilities. The best of the lot (in my subjective opinion) is the featured-on-the-cover mantis shrimp. Not because of its ‘dactyl clubs’ that can produce a force of 700 N, but because of its eyesight. The mantis shrimp […]

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Mossbauer Spectroscopy

While waiting for my aged computer to boot-up on my return to work this morning, I was skimming through November’s Physics World magazine, and noted an obituary to Rudolf Mossbauer. He is best known in the physics world for observing ‘resonance absorption’ of gamma rays, and then developing the technique of Mossbauer spectroscopy. When a […]

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