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What would happen to you if gravity stopped working?

Posted on 13 Feb 2016 in Journalism, Physics

We have all experienced the force of gravity. It is what happens to you when you jump up into the air. Disappointingly for anyone with ambitions to be Supergirl or Superman, we tend to fall right back down to the ground. But what if we could switch gravity off? Image: Charlotte May Godfrey

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What is a ray of light made of?

Posted on 31 Jul 2015 in Featured, Journalism, Physics

Light is one of those things that we don’t tend to understand. If you were to zoom in on a ray of light, what would you see? Sure, light travels incredibly fast, but what is it that’s doing the travelling? Many of us would struggle to explain. Image: ilovepics11

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If birds in a truck fly, does the truck get lighter?

Posted on 15 Jan 2015 in Featured, Journalism, Physics

It’s an urban myth that had US TV show Mythbusters weighing a truck full of pigeons on a scale and getting them to fly. Now it seems there’s some truth to the idea that a truck driver carrying a cargo of birds can lighten the load by making the birds fly. Image: Lentink

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Mind maths: Five laws that rule the brain

Posted on 6 Feb 2013 in Featured, Health, Journalism, Neuroscience

How could an equation ever hope to capture something as complex as the human mind? In a sense we’ve long been describing the brain with numbers – 86 billion neurons, 1200 cubic centimetres, 1400 grams. But you might expect that more ambitious attempts to explain the brain with mathematics would be doomed to failure – some neuroscientists beg to differ. Image: A Health Blog

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Colliding atom clouds bounce like billiard balls

Posted on 20 Apr 2011 in Journalism, Physics

No matter how long you gaze at the clouds in the sky, you’ll never spot them behaving like those in Martin Zwierlein’s lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bizarrely, when two of Zwierlein’s clouds collide, they bounce off one another like billiard balls. The feat could aid our understanding of some of the most enigmatic systems in the universe. Image: Velo Steve

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