One of the paybacks of being a scientist is that if you create some new thing or discover a new phenomenon, you get to name it. Biologists can name a new species after friends or family, experimenters enjoy finding clever acronyms to call their equipment, and astronomers have the opportunity to etch their choices into … Continue reading What’s in a name?
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
Units are important. Units are how we measure things. They are how we know whether a cop is going to write us a speeding ticket, whether we need to try harder at that diet we’ve supposedly been on since New Year, or whether the bloke who owns the petrol station has pulled a fast one … Continue reading More Favourite Units
30 things astronauts are not allowed to do in space. Inspired by the infamous Skippy List. I can only hope that one day I may have the opportunity to break any of these rules. 1. I am not allowed to fly around the cabin like Superman when I am supposed to be working. 2. The correct hull … Continue reading 30 Rules for Astronauts