Spooky Action at a Distance

Quantum mechanics is weird. To be a physicist you have to accept that the microscopic, underlying reality of nature looks and behaves very differently to the laws of physics we are used to in our every day lives. Many physicists struggle to accept this, including Einstein. Einstein disliked the fact that quantum mechanics, a theory … Continue reading Spooky Action at a Distance

Between a clock and outer space

We used a telescope and a high-precision laser system to beam an atomic clock signal through thin air. While we only sent the signal between buildings, this is the first step in developing a system able to beam these signals to satellites in orbit, with the ultimate aim of pushing our theories of the universe … Continue reading Between a clock and outer space

Natural anomalies: when animals get in the way of science

There is an old adage in the performing arts that you should never work with animals or children, though as a rule of thumb it seems to apply equally well to just about any profession. As an experimental physicist, I thought I had managed to steer clear of the troubles that working with animals and … Continue reading Natural anomalies: when animals get in the way of science

Facing the Music: science inspired album covers

Science inspires art and art inspires science. It is unfortunate that our society considers science and art to be at opposition, rather than equal parts in the complex experience that it is to be human. Einstein played the violin, Queen guitarist Brian May has a PhD in astrophysics, Brian Cox was a keyboard player before … Continue reading Facing the Music: science inspired album covers