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

Rock Star Engineers

2018 has been declared the Year of Engineering in the UK and this week is National Engineers Week in the U.S. (Australian Engineering Week is coming in August.) Around the world engineers and educators will be using these events to bring the important contributions that engineers make to our society to public attention, and encourage … Continue reading Rock Star Engineers

Great Australians — Lawrence Hargrave

We Australians excel at remembering and celebrating our sporting heroes, from cricketers to particularly successful race horses, but are not so good at celebrating the great people who helped build our civilization, particularly when those builders are Australian. Today, I want to celebrate the birthday of an Australian aviation pioneer, Lawrence Hargrave. Aviation Pioneer Lawrence … Continue reading Great Australians — Lawrence Hargrave