Author Archive

Mr Petrie

Science Department Technician (Physics)

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Raspberry Pi 2 + Quantum Physics = One Camera Shy Computer

The new Raspberry Pi 2 mini-computer has a problem: it’s camera shy. Or at least only when it’s flashed. If a camera’s flash is directed at the tiny-yet-powerful computer it reboots. But how can light force a computer to reboot without any kind of sensor or camera to detect that light? As the BBC reports […]

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

What if the Earth had rings like Saturn?

Imagine that the Earth had a belt of rock, ice and general space-debris encompassing it like the colossal gas giant, Saturn. What would it look like? How would it appear to us mere mortals down here on the surface? Having a Moon that waxes and wanes and occasionally makes for pretty moonlit nights is one thing […]

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Broken Photon

A group of physicists at Glasgow University  have demonstrated that the speed of light is not quite so fixed as it’s believed to be. Read about their impossible discovery in this BBC News article.

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

The Fourth State of Matter

Solids, liquids and gases aren’t the only states of matter ‘things’ can exist in as this brief article explains, and it’s more abundant than you may think.

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The ‘Philae’ has landed!

Yesterday history was made when the ESA’s robotic lander, Philae, successfully landed on a comet after having travelled through space with the spacecraft, Rosetta, for over 10 years. This has never been done before and represents a major progression in our space-faring technologies. Philae‘s mission is to examine everything about the comet’s composition and physicality. […]

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

DIY Musical Instruments: Clarinet

You can make musical instruments out of almost anything. See how a humble carrot can be turned into a surprisingly well-sounding clarinet! Source: link

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Which lands first: the chicken or the egg?

Galileo’s famous experiment recreated and explained using a chicken and an egg.

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Separating cells using sound waves

Researchers have discovered a useful way of separating cells using sound waves which could be used by doctors to catch tumour-spreading cells circulating in the bloodstream of cancer patients. X. Ding, Z. Peng, S.-C. S. Lin, M. Geri, S. Li, P. Li, Y. Chen, M. Dao, S. Suresh, T. J. Huang. Cell separation using tilted-angle […]

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The Rochester ‘invisibility’ Cloak

A new ‘invisibility cloak’ – the Rochester Cloak – named in a very round-about way after our very own fine city, has been developed at the University of Rochester, NY. Read more here on CNET, where you can also find a video showing how the cloak works and instructions on how to make your own!

Monday, September 29th, 2014

If the Earth was a cherry tomato…

An interesting infographic taken from a childrens’ book  about space (linked) showing the relative sizes of the planets in the solar system in an easy-to-understand way. Source: Explore