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The planet that ought not to be there

On April 7, 2014

At the end of March, the international scientific journal Nature published a paper announcing the discovery of a new dwarf planet in the outer reaches of our Solar System. This made a lot of people very excited. It also made a lot of astronomers very confused.

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Physics Focus: Our first year

On April 3, 2014

It’s our birthday: Physics Focus first began publishing a year ago today. Since then, we’ve run 78 articles from 27 different writers, and attracted more than 500 comments from readers. We’ve covered everything from supernovae to storytelling, and from nuclear to nonsense. Here are some of the highlights from our first 12 months.

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The vacuity of ‘excellence’

On March 20, 2014

This post has been simmering and in gestation for quite a while. This week, however, a number of documents arrived in my inbox to finally catalyse me into putting pen to paper. (Literally. I wrote this out long-hand before editing while typing it up. If you think that it’s vitriolic and ranty now, you should […]

Where are the scientist politicians?

On March 4, 2014

The other night I attended a talk in Cambridge given by the local Liberal Democrat MP, Julian Huppert. The talk was entitled ‘Science in Politics’, and so, being a scientist who wants to see more of them in politics, I was greatly looking forward to it. After all, how often do we get to hear […]

What are exams for? On measuring ability and disability

On February 28, 2014

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assert that equality of opportunity is a good thing. Gone are the bad old days when jobs and privileges were determined at birth. No longer do you have to be an aristocrat or wealthy land-owner to study science: Michael Faraday broke that mould. Nor is […]