Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Physics for taxi drivers, good radiation, and a lucky break for astronomers

01.12.2004


As the UK prepares to celebrate Einstein Year in 2005, a physicist from Bristol University is looking for stories that can be used to tell taxi drivers what physics is all about. Sir Michael Berry, whose own father was a London cabbie, thought of the idea after failing to give a taxi driver a clear explanation of what it is that physicists actually do. Berry realized that physicists need a stock of good and convincing stories that show how physics affects people’s lives. Looking back, he now wishes that he had told the driver how physics has democratized music, by creating the laser, which allows music to be played on a CD almost anywhere. Berry also wishes that he had said how physics has led to GPS navigation devices - the first consumer product to take advantage of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The best stories will be published in a future issue of Physics World.



Radiation – how much is good for you?

Anti-nuclear activists have always argued that even a tiny dose of radiation is bad for the human body. But according to a radiation biologist at Washington State University in the US, that view may be wrong. Antone (Tony) Brooks, who is involved in a low-dose research programme sponsored by the US government, says that the impact of small amounts of radiation is much more complicated than previously suspected. They have a cocktail-like mixture of beneficial and harmful effects that can, on balance, be harmless below a certain threshold. As Robert P Crease explains, this change of view could have huge social and economic consequences.


“Lucky Break” makes ground-based telescopes as good as Hubble

Cambridge astronomers have breathed new life into a technique that they claim allows ground-based telescopes to generate images as good as those from the Hubble Space Telescope. The technique, known as “Lucking Imaging”, counteracts the effect of turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere and could be ideal for taking images over a wide field of view. According to Craig Mackay, Lucky Imaging could be used to study dark matter - the non-luminous substance that is believed to make up most of the matter in the universe. Until now it has only been possible to use the technique to take images of relatively bright objects such as Mars.

Also in this issue:

o Decision time for ITER fusion project
o Ink-jet firms join forces to study drops
o Drama, tragedy and gravitational waves
o 20 years of quasicrystals
o Superconducting quantum bits
o Christmas books -- from Copernicus to Champagne
o 2004 Quiz of the Year

David Reid | alfa
Further information:
http://www.physicsweb.org
http://www.iop.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

nachricht Magnetic moment of a single antiproton determined with greatest precision ever
19.01.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>