I moved house just recently. It’s a lovely location with views over hills and moors. More specifically, in the distance, we have a panorama that is largely Dartmoor. Geologically, as you are most likely aware, we are talking a solid granite base, which occasionally erupts into the rugged and beautiful raised tors. So, somewhere under […]
“It’s all down to Isaac Newton now. It’s down to the laws of physics.” As the world waited to hear whether a refrigerator-sized probe had landed on a comet’s surface, European Space Agency senior science advisor Mark McCaughrean spoke to the live webfeed in Germany. “If Isaac’s friendly to us, we’ll have a great landing,” […]
If you were to ask a stranger the question “What is a medical physicist?” in the early 1900s, you would be greeted with a blank or confused expression. Today (based on anecdotal evidence) that reaction has not evolved. But ask them who Marie Curie is…
I am the exception in my family: I’m a scientist. There have been many professions within my family but none in the sciences. Nevertheless, many of them are fascinated by science and it was my father’s enthrallment with the sciences that began my passion into the world of discovery. As a result, I am used […]
Today marks 45 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left the lunar surface. Apollo 11’s lunar module Eagle lifted off from the Sea of Tranquility at 5:54pm GMT on 21 July 1969. This first lunar landing mission certainly stands out among the ten manned Apollo flights, so much so that it’s easy to ignore […]
Despite a science that suggests the design, manufacture, testing and modelling of soccer balls is a fairly precise activity, when it comes to kicking the thing around a pitch it may as well behave like a rapidly deflating balloon.
In about a month’s time, 32 teams of players from around the world will converge in Brazil for the biggest event (at least in terms of viewership) in the history of sport. Two groups of eleven players will assemble in various combinations, creating 64 separate matches. The final match may draw a worldwide viewership of […]
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.
Graphene hit the headlines a decade ago with its remarkable properties and single-atom thickness. But can we turn hyperbole over the “wonder material” into exponential economic growth?
Earlier this month NASA announced that the International Space Station (ISS) had been granted a life extension. On track to end operations in 2020, it will now keep humming until 2024. It is, on the whole, good news: we may not realize it but research done on the ISS trickles down to benefit us Earth-bound […]