Betelgeuse, Gamow, and a Big Red Horse

There has been a lot of talk recently of Betelgeuse possibly going supernova this century or not...

Climate Change, the Walrus and the Carpenter

I have recently watched two videos on climate change by Sabine Hossenfelder.  The first one...

A Very Large Hadron Collider?

Frontpage image: Illustration of spherical explosion (kilonova) of two neutron stars (AT2017gfo/GW170817)...

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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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Hasn’t it been cold lately! Here in the South of England, so far we have only had about a week of days going down to –5°C around sunrise, but our news bulletins have been showing conditions in North America.  Even Tallahassee has been down to —8°C (data: Accuweather)

I used to listen to Alistair Cooke’s Letter from America, and I am reminded of  conversation with a New York Taxi Driver, on a cold and windy day, beginning with the driver:

Not all that much to do with Hank’s recent blog about the Galileo document that isn’t, but a note about how Einstein could be somewhat “pig-headed”, similar misunderstandings and new developments in contemporary fundamental physics.

Veritasium has come in for quite a bit of stick recently over his videos on electricity. However, recently I came across this one, entitled The Man Who Accidentally Killed The Most People In History. It contains so much history, most of which I already half knew, but now have a much clearer picture. I am sharing it here, not only because of its interest as regarding science and technology, but also because I would like to ask readers their opinion as regards whether the title is appropriate.

Elec-trickery? In the eponymous British children’s television, a magician called Catweazle finds himself transported from the 11th to the 20th century, and all sorts of things like motor cars, telephone (“telling bones” as he call them) and electricity (“electrickery”).  Now, in the 21st century, we find ourselves wanting to keep the power going without ever-increasing the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide, OK in the days of the dinosaurs, but the Sun was not quite so luminous then. So here are some informative videos I have watched recently on efforts to achieve this.

1  Thorium

Future of Thorium Reactors and Nuclear Energy

This video which appeared two weeks ago greatly surprised me, making me realize how little I know of what is known about these objects.

Recently I have watched a number of interesting series videos on the topic of nuclear physics, and its applications in peace and war.

China Is Building a Thorium Molten Salt Reactor – Here’s Why It Matters - YouTube

This is one of Anton Petrov’s videos which I follow to get news of what going on in science, especially astronomy. I have learnt quite a bit from this one, where in regard to history it comes across that The Oak Ridge Laboratory was working on thorium reactors, but because of the Cold War the funding was directed to fast breeder uranium reactors to produce plutonium for bombs.