We’re all doomed, says Evan

No wonder it’s called the dismal science. BBC economics editor Evan Davis has looked into his crystal ball, and on his blog forecast hard times ahead. Incisive analysis and persuasive argument? No, more poring over entrails and hunch, by the look of it, which means there is at least a 50% chance that Davis is […]

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Blackheath Morris Boxing Day Tour 2007

Christmas Day was a bit of a washout for residents of southern England, but on Boxing Day (St Stephen’s to non-Brits) the sun showed its face, and the air was crisp and clear. An excellent day for Morris dancing, as the Blackheath Morris side went on its traditional Boxing Day tour. Three pubs were visited: the […]

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Schengen Zone expands – Brits left behind

At midnight tonight, nine new European countries will join the Schengen zone. Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic will become part of the passport-free area, joining 13 existing Schengen members, which include non-EU states Norway and Iceland. Switzerland and Liechtenstein – neither of which are in the EU – plan […]

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e-Petitions against threats to UK scientific research

There are to my knowledge two e-petitions on the prime minister’s website protesting the reported cuts in funding for physics and astronomy research in the UK. See here for my take on how the decision will impact on my former colleagues in solar-terrestrial physics. The first petition, which is coordinated by the UK’s astronomy community, […]

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William Thomson – 100 years beyond absolute zero

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of William Thomson, aka the 1st Baron Kelvin. Thomson (1824–1907) was a distinguished Scottish physicist, engineer and entrepreneur, and is known today for the temperature scale named after him. When you hear of the term “absolute zero”, this is zero Kelvin (0 K), which is equivalent to –273.15°C. […]

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Wireless goes nano – the world’s smallest radio

Two competing groups of engineers and applied physicists recently reported on the development of radio receivers based on single carbon nanotubes. The development could lead to integrated nanoscale wireless systems with a number of industrial, medical and other applications. First came Chris Rutherglen and Peter Burke from the University of California, Irvine, with a paper […]

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Evolution and the nanoworld

With all the talk of self-assembly in nanotechnology, a group of German researchers has been looking in detail at the mechanism of molecular self-selection. The group’s findings give direct insight into the evolution of inanimate objects into living entities, and could prove useful in the development of new catalysts and surface applications. Scientists in the […]

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Buckyballs form by shrink wrapping

The word ‘Buckyball’ may be part of common language, but so far there has been little understanding of how these nanoscale cages of carbon atoms form. Scientists at the Sandia National Laboratories and Rice University have now shown how it is done with the aid of a video and computer simulations. Buckyballs are known to […]

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