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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Pumpkin warning: to be read before midnight.
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 | 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:

To the historian, English is a fascinating language.  Unlike most of the languages of Europe, it underwent an almost complete makeover following the Norman invasion (1066 and All That).  As a result, although or basic words and grammar are basically like German and especially Dutch, the lion’s share of our vocabulary is from French and Latin.