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

Gravitational Waves are Not the Ultimate Test of General Relativity

Last year’s ground breaking gravitational wave detections generated some of the widest media coverage of a scientific discovery to date. Many articles and reports described the detection as the “ultimate” test of general relativity, the “final” test of general relativity, or confirmation of Einstein’s “last” prediction. For a theory that is 100 years old, that … Continue reading Gravitational Waves are Not the Ultimate Test of General Relativity

Floating in the Sea of Tranquility

Why we should build a swimming pool on the Moon We choose to build a pool on the Moon, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. A recent special issue of the New Space journal reported on the reasons and methods for constructing a permanently inhabited lunar colony, and that it could be … Continue reading Floating in the Sea of Tranquility

Space for Innovation

Australia needs a space program. As 2015 drew to a close, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull unveiled the government’s Innovation Statement with a plan to invest $1.1 billion to drive an Australian “ideas boom”. Before this announcement, the government had already commenced its Review of the Space Activities Act 1998 stating that Australia is in a transition … Continue reading Space for Innovation