While my lovely co-writer friend Jiangmin has been having a summer holiday filled with medicine, biological research and UKCAT revision (good luck!), she’s headed off this week to complete a Summer school course – just wanted to say, all the best Jiangmin!
I thought this week I might leave Physics aside for a little and talk about the importance of space flight and exploration, especially the Mars issue.
Many leading scientists believe that in order for humans to progress and maintain our survival we must think about progressing in terms of space exploration, whether that be missions like Juno and Cassini to aid research on planetary science, missions like Voyager – the furthest space craft from Earth to explore the outskirts of the solar system or actually sending humans to Mars which seems to either be the general public’s cup of tea, or not.
For many, the heart is synonymous with passion, personality which is literally at the heart of a person. We even carelessly use the phrase “broke my heart”, however, what does happen when our thick- muscular pump of an organ truly breaks down? The assumed answer would be death; no heart beat=no longer living…right? Well, in reality, a stopped heart can restart, there is no true universal rule in death determination. You are dead when the doctor says you are dead.
Light is weird. Light or Electromagnetic Waves are well, waves. They are a result of a changing oscillating electric field and a magnetic field. Sometimes we call them Photons, massless high-speed subatomic particles, coming in packets called Quanta. Wave-particle duality is only the brief introduction of the enormous and extraordinary area within Physics called Quantum Theory.
A slinky is a nice little demonstration of how light travels. Light is a transverse wave so it vibrates perpendicular to the direction of energy travel. In Third Year of High School, my Physics teacher used a slinky as an example to illustrate this feature of a transverse wave and also the other, longitudinal wave, which is a wave in which its vibrations are parallel to the direction of travel. Two people held the slinky at the two ends and one begins to vibrate the slinky coils left to right.
So…I haven’t written a sole biology blog post in such a long time so I thought I would share some of the knowledge covered in class, more specifically on exciting enzymes.
Enzymes are biological catalysts made by living organisms which speed up chemical reactions. Each cell in our bodies is like a factory, constantly using up raw materials to turn them into useful products and also resulting in waste products. These reactions are usually slow if unaided by either heat or enzymes. This can be annoying in everyday life, for example, delayed respiration rates which rely heavily on enzymes. The food we eat in turn become the energy we use (vastly simplified). Continue reading →
Profits, prices and power has become the priority for most of us, to the extent that we have depleted the natural resources made available to us with no regard for our future generations. Such is the case in “hydraulic fracturing” which has become polarised in recent years; however few people are aware of the process involved. Some have enforced that fracking is a revolutionary way to extract “cleaner” energy such as shale gas. Shale produces even more green house gas emission more than coal and other conventional fossil fuels during combustion. While others believe it is the solution for oil dependency and therefore lower oil prices. Put simply fracking is process to extract fossil fuels, similar to offshore oil rigs. What distinguishes fracking from other methods is the location. Most of us imagine the heavy industrial machinery to be to be planted in the most remote parts of the earth but fracking offers direct access to shale gas in the comfort of your back garden. And it is not only our lush gardens that are under threat, national parks and “protected” heritage sites are also in danger of ceasing to exist. With this ever-increasing threat to private property, can we continue to observe from the side-lines any longer? Fracking Countries strive to become independent oil producers whilst firms create a monopoly of fuel provider in hopes of lowering oil prices for consumers.I will explore the ways that the disadvantages of fracking heavily outweigh the advantages.
In the previous post I introduced the Many World’s hypothesis of Quantum Mechanics which is a possibility of parallel universe. Exploring possibilities of what types of parallel universes could exist may sound like science fiction however like time travel and teleportation, the idea of parallel universes is often the subject of mathematical and experimental investigation. In a recent episode of Star Talk, Michio Kaku mentioned the joy of trying to defy the impossible in his everyday job as a theoretical physicist.
The term parallel universes could seem vague and confusing to some. Exactly what is a parallel universe… Alternate timelines? An entire universe on its own outside the observable universe? Do parallel universes of all possible historical timelines exist? The matter is a little complicated. Physicists often use the words parallel universes to describe several different hypotheses of a number of possible universes outside our own combined to form something called the Multiverse. Hence the idea of parallel universes arises from the multiverse theory itself.
So I want to start off talking about the film “The Imitation Game”. These three words probably brings you back to the moment when you were fangirling over the actor Benedict Cumberbatch who played the role of protagonist Alan Turing. However the film not only depicts Turing as the Mathematical prodigy and war hero who was estimated to have saved the most lives in World War 2, it also demonstrated the manifestation which stemmed from his genius mind, “The Bombe”. It was the decryption device used by the British Army in Bletchley Park to crack the infamous German Enigma machine. Since warfare has less to do with physical killing but rather strategy, communications within both sides of the allies and the axis were encrypted in code.
Following the Trump victory of the US Election earlier this week, there is no denial that not only the majority of Americans but a number of people around the world, are worried about the huge changes that will occur throughout his presidency. Some people are fearful of a negative outcome on American’s economy, uncontrolled exploit of military, the encouragement of global division, and so on. While I, myself am extremely concerned about those issues as well, I also behold intense anxiety regarding his (and Pence’s) plans for American Science and research.
Though they are the oldest institutions in the world, religions are the most sluggish to respond to contemporary issues such as science, sexuality and sense of identity. In the process of the world moving into the new century with, it is crucial for us asses the place religion holds in our society today. Do we unquestionably conclude in our acceptance of God’s teachings or are we neglecting our conscience to follow the crowd in their search for god?
Religion has come to be a much stronger force than any material incentives. It is far better at directing positive behaviour towards social betterment than any laws or physical force. For instance, Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr conducted non-violent protests based upon religious beliefs.
Many of you may have heard of an object called the Tesseract.
Being able to perceive a tesseract is clearly impossible, as we cannot see beyond the number of dimensions we live in. We as humans clearly are and live in a three-dimensional world and there are three coordinate axes x, y and z, so we perceive directions left/right, forwards/backwards and up/down.
Imagining four spacial dimensions is very difficult so we can try something simpler with three-dimensional objects. Let’s imagine we were a two-dimensional species living in a two-dimensional world called Flat land, named by Edwin Abbott. We walk about in the two-dimensional space unaware of the other dimension which is the z-axis and that’s completely okay, just like how humans can live perfectly without knowing about the fourth dimension. Continue reading →