Earthquakes and Polarized light

I had to get up early last Saturday to catch my flight back home from Dunedin to Hamilton, via Christchurch. My fears of sleeping through the alarm clock proved irrelevant as I was supplied with a rather more violent variety courtesy of plate tectonics underneath Christchurch. (Dunedin is a long way from Christchurch – given […]

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Infra-red and heat

Here’s a bit of physics that’s coming up in my lectures – what’s the connection between heat and infra-red?  You’ve probably seen imagery from ‘thermal imagers’ or infra-red (IR) cameras, usually on police shows, taken from a helicopter as it follows a suspect fleeing down some alley-way at night.  You’ll see that ‘hot’ things (like […]

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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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