Category Archives: Geometry

Secrets of the Bubble Chamber

A picture collage showing the Gargamelle bubble chamber and the Smurfs archvillain sorcerer, Gargamelle.What Do Gargamelle and Picasso Have in Common?

Nope.  Nothing to do with the arch-nemesis of the Smurfs or with an avant-garde artistic masterpiece, unlike the top picture appears to suggest…  Actually, the Gargamelle on the left is at CERN and takes its name after the giantess in the works of satirist François Rabelais: she was Gargantua’s mother!  The Gargamelle is a historical ‘bubble chamber’ detector however… Continue reading Secrets of the Bubble Chamber

Once in a Blue Moon…

A photograph showing a blue-tinged Moon in 2012.One of a Rare Status Update

Apparently, the phrase “once in a blue moon”, in the sense of something that occurs very rarely, dates back to 1824.  I will check this out as soon as I have time… Continue reading Once in a Blue Moon…

60-Second Hilarious Adventures in Astronomy

A slide picture from 60 seconds in Astronomy, showing English astronomer on holiday. Image: The Open University12 Short Videos about the Physics of the Cosmos

The Open University has teamed up with “geek chic” comedian David Mitchell to release a series of 12 short animated YouTube videos about the Physics of the Cosmos: “60-Second Adventures in Astronomy”.  A real treat.  And it’s educational!  If you have only 60 seconds, you can now learn everything we know about matter, energy, life, the Universe and everything…

Continue reading 60-Second Hilarious Adventures in Astronomy

Rainbows, Rainbows Everywhere!

A photograph showing a rainbow over Glasgow Southside in 2004. Image: NaturPhilosophieRainbows: Technicolor Symphonies in the Sky

Rainbows are one of Nature’s most gorgeous optical spectacles to behold, brightening up clouded skies with an ephemeral palette of colours when the light falls just right…  Continue reading Rainbows, Rainbows Everywhere!

Constant Matters

Pi_NumberPhysical Constants (SI Units)

Avogadro Constant N_{A} = 6.022 \times 10^{23} mol^{-1}

Bohr Radius a_0 = 5.29 \times 10^{-11} m

Boltzmann Constant k = 1.381 \times 10^{-23} JK^{-1}

Charge on an Electron e = - 1.602 \times 10^{-19} C

Gravitational Constant G = 6.673 \times 10^{-11} Nm^{2} kg^{-2}

Magnitude of Acceleration due to Gravity g = 9.81 m s^{-2}

Permeability of Free Space \mu_{0} = 4 \pi \times 10^{-7} T m A^{-1}

Permittivity of Free Space \epsilon_{0} = 8.854 \times 10^{-12} C^{2} N^{-1} m^{-2}

Speed of Light in a vacuum c = 2.998 \times 10^{8} m s^{-1}