What's new

Physical sciences posts

Blue is a Nobel colour

by , 17 October 2014 | 0 comments

What will make our future brighter? For thousands of years our lives have been lit by the Sun, by stars, by fire. Electricity brought new types of lights, ones we can summon at the flick of a switch. Not all lights were created equal. Some lights use more energy than others to create a glow….

Continue reading Blue is a Nobel colour

Crystal clocks and atomic ticks

by , 29 August 2014 | 0 comments

One of our readers requested an article about time keeping devices, and it’s a great time for the topic. Scientists set a new record in clock precision early this year with an atomic clock that ‘ticks’ 430 trillion times in a single second. Most wristwatches and wall clocks today use a quartz crystal to keep…

Continue reading Crystal clocks and atomic ticks

Star power on Earth

by , 8 August 2014 | 1 comments

Can we power our homes with the process that powers stars? Nuclear fusion offers to do just that, and scientists are looking for ways to harness this energy with experiments that run hotter than the Sun. The Sun is heated by fusion – a process where the nuclei of two small atoms, such as hydrogen,…

Continue reading Star power on Earth

Light’s whispers

by , 13 June 2014 | 0 comments

A whispering gallery of light has made the world’s most sensitive thermometer yet. This thermometer sets a new record in precision. Made by an Australian team of researchers, it is three times better than the previous record holder, and can measure temperature differences of just 30 billionths of a degree. This is the smallest change…

Continue reading Light’s whispers

Jelly lens for your smartphone Activity

by , 2 May 2014 | 0 comments

Caution: This activity uses boiling water, children must be supervised by an adult. You will need Gelatine powder (plain, no flavouring) Boiling water Flat plastic lids A glass or container Teaspoon Small bowl Measuring spoons What to do Measure two teaspoons of boiling water into the small bowl and sprinkle a quarter of a teaspoon…

Continue reading Jelly lens for your smartphone

Mini microscope

by , 2 May 2014 | 0 comments

You can now turn your phone camera into a microscope with a rubbery lens the size of a lentil. Costing only a cent, it could help track skin diseases and farming pests. See this activity to make your own with jelly. It was found by accident. “I was actually trying to use a mould [casting]…

Continue reading Mini microscope

Know your temperatures News

by Jasmine, 1 April 2014 | 0 comments

Panda eating ice cream.

Written by Matthew Dunn Illustrated by Alex Hallatt −273.15 °C Absolute zero Absolute zero is, unsurprisingly, the lowest temperature possible. When things get colder, their particles slow down.

Continue reading Know your temperatures

Deep sea divers News

by Sarah, 14 February 2014 | 0 comments

Argo float going into the sea.

Written by Neha Karl Is it a fish? Is it a boat? No, it’s a robotic float – ready to dive deep and collect information about the ocean! The ocean covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and plays a big part in controlling global weather.

Continue reading Deep sea divers

Aurora origins News

by Pat, 8 November 2013 | 0 comments

Aurora over a winter landscape.

On a dark night, far from the Equator, you might be lucky enough to spot an aurora: a shimmering, colourful glow in the sky. This natural light show has captivated people for thousands of years. While it is mostly associated with cold, dark nights near the poles, auroras have a much brighter, warmer origin: the…

Continue reading Aurora origins

What a corker! News

by Pat, 4 October 2013 | 0 comments

Cross-section of cork bark.

Written by Sarah Kellett Bottles of champagne may send corks sky high, but spacecraft take cork as far as Mars. Their success depends on it. Cork reached new heights as part of the protective aeroshell that insulated the Mars Rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity from the intense heat of entering the Martian atmosphere.

Continue reading What a corker!