Blog Archives

Problems can be opportunities to teach and learn

On March 13, 2015

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 […]

I am not a smart man

On November 17, 2014

“I’m a physicist”… “Wow, you must be clever!” This is an interaction most physicists would admit to having at some point. Physics is difficult: everyone knows this. We take pride in it. Ours is the most difficult subject, the most worthy; we are the scientific elite. We are confident about our standing in academia. But […]

The value of idealized models

On September 29, 2014

Every physicist has to know the joke about the dairy farmer. Seriously, if you don’t know it, you can’t call yourself a physicist. It really should be added to the IOP’s requirements for the accreditation of physics degrees. If you have such a degree, and none of your lecturers ever told you the joke, please […]

Perplexed by Pauli

On August 15, 2014

A rather pervasive meme claiming that nothing ever really touches anything else has been circulating on the internet for a number of years. I think, although I’m not entirely certain, that it may well have its origins in an explanation by a certain Michio Kaku. This type of explanation later formed the basis of a […]