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Binary Gender — Mud across the Atlantic

I have recently been enjoying a bit of cross-Atlantic mud-slinging with some of our most prolific...

Dance of the Planets

Yesterday (8th) I took this photograph of Venus and Mercury from the grounds of Reading University...

Brain like a Jelly?

A news release from Heidelberg, In Search of the Origin of Our Brain, treats us to these two picture...

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Robert H OlleyRSS Feed of this column.

Until recently, I worked in the Polymer Physics Group of the Physics Department at the University of Reading.

I would describe myself as a Polymer Morphologist. I am not an astronaut,

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When is a Metal not a metal?  At high pressure, of course!

Pumpkin warning: to be read before midnight.

http://arxiv.org/abs/0903.5321
I  often like to watch Dog Whisperer, and am fascianated by how a very small dog can often dominate a much larger one, simply through being of higher “energy”, as Cesar Millan calls it.  Watchers of that programme can see that this works across species too, as Cesar trains owners not to let their dogs dominate them, but to take over as human “pack leader”.  Now comes an interesting example of this working between related rodent species.
Sparks ahoy!

Sparks ahoy!

Mar 28 2009 | 1 comment(s)

Recently, walking through the grounds of HASYLAB at the German Synchrotron DESY (we are NOT a Daisy!) I was reminded of my favourite book on radio, namely The Science of Radio, by Paul J.

"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent."


Thus spoke Sir Winston Churchill, in the company of President Harry S. Truman, on March 5, 1946, at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri.

But this Iron Curtain was not a single boundary, but two fences (mostly) separated by a furlong or so (5 furlongs = 1 kilometre) with a no-man’s-land in between.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and as I prepare to mount my plastic pulpit I will take as my text the introduction to Chapter 5 (Complex Numbers) of A Survey of Modern Algebra by Birkhoff&Mac Lane.  This is a classic and accessible work, first published in 1941, which brought to the American-speaking world what was previously locked up in Van der Waerden’s Moderne Algebra (1931).  The chapter opens with the definition of a complex number and the field C [1], and then continues: