Archive for the ‘Science & technology’ Category

Searching for WIMPS in North Yorkshire

August 10th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

WIMPS are weakly interacting massive particles. These subatomic entities are the most likely source of dark matter which, it is believed, accounts for around 85% of the universe’s mass. There’s a plan to discover these little WIMPS 3,000 feet underground in a working mine in North Yorkshire. Wouldn’t that be something?

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (1)

Where is everybody? It’s called the Fermi paradox.

July 30th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

This week, various people in the United States Congress became very excited about possible evidence for extraterrestrials visiting Earth. I don’t believe it for a moment. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence – and so far there’s none. It is a paradox associated with the Italian-American Enrico Fermi (who makes an appearance in the current blockbuster […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (1)

What is colour and is yours the same as mine?

May 30th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

“For a long time, people believed that colours were objective, physical properties of objects or of the light that bounced off them. Even today, science teachers regale their students with stories about Isaac Newton and his prism experiment, telling them how different wavelengths of light produce the rainbow of hues around us. But this theory […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

Does Artificial Intelligence need a global regulator?

May 24th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

The leaders of the ChatGPT developer OpenAI have called for the regulation of “superintelligent” AIs, arguing that an equivalent to the International Atomic Energy Agency is needed to protect humanity from the risk of accidentally creating something with the power to destroy it. In a short note published to the company’s website, co-founders Greg Brockman […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

What are the strengths and weaknesses of humans as a species?

May 23rd, 2023 by Roger Darlington

“Humans are an exquisitely intelligent and capable species of ape. Our physiology has been fine-tuned for efficient long-distance running; our hands are elegantly dextrous for manipulating and making; and our throats and mouths give us astonishing control over the sounds we make. We are virtuoso communicators, able to convey everything from physical instructions to abstract […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

Do aliens know that we’re here? They should.

May 15th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

Aliens on nearby stars could detect Earth through radio signals leaked from the planet, new research suggests. Scientists from The University of Manchester and the University of Mauritius used crowd sourced data to simulate radio leakage from mobile towers to determine what alien civilisations might detect from various nearby stars, including Barnard’s star, six light […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

What is time and who controls it?

March 27th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

I once went on a one-day course on time held at London’s City Literary Institute. The morning speaker was a physicist who explained that time was everything that had happened since the ‘big bang’ 13.8 billion years ago until now. The afternoon speaker was a philosopher who declared that there was no such thing as […]

Posted in Science & technology, World current affairs | Comments (0)

So, just how important are our friends?

March 7th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

“Building your life around close friendships rather than family or romance is a joyous and necessary act of rebellion, and governments should put in place ‘friendship ministries’ to radically rethink the way society is organised, a key French philosopher has argued. Geoffroy de Lagasnerie this week publishes a manifesto for friendship, ‘3 Une Aspiration au […]

Posted in Cultural issues, Science & technology | Comments (0)

A review of “The Joy Of Science” by Jim Al-Khalili

February 13th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

Jameel “Jim” Al-Khalili is an Iraqi-British scientist who is professor of theoretical physics and chair in the public engagement in science at the University of Surrey. He is well-known for his writing and broadcasting in which he explains difficult concepts in an accessible manner. This short and simple book contains little new to anyone who […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)

An interesting scientific question for you

February 8th, 2023 by Roger Darlington

If you were able to fly at the speed of light while holding a mirror in front of your face, would you see your own reflection? The answer is: yes – because the speed of light in a vacuum is a fundamental constant of nature. This question and answer comes from “The Joy Of Science” […]

Posted in Science & technology | Comments (0)