Are you an Einstein or a (Joey) Essex? Take the second fun science quiz

Are you an (Albert) Einstein or a (Joey) Essex? Find out by taking the second of my fun science quizzes:

  1. The centre of the earth is:
    a) Molten lava
    b) Solid, and made up of metal like iron and nickel
    c) Full of dinosaurs
  2. There is a type of jellyfish that regenerates and can, scientists believe, live forever.
  1. The largest living thing on earth is:
    a) The blue whale, of course
    b) A giant sequoia in America
    c) The Great Barrier Reef

Continue reading

Are you a Marconi or a Minion? Test your science knowledge

Do you know your photons from your photosynthesis? Find out whether you’re a Marconi or a Minion when it comes to science with this fun quiz:

  1. Physics is the study of what?
    a) Everything that is alive
    b) Matter and energy
    c) Life, the universe and everything
  1. If you understand quantum physics you are:
    a) A genius
    b) Mistaken
    c) Stephen Hawking

Continue reading

Timey wimey, wormy squirmy…

WHILE we’re on the subject of holes (Were we? Yes we were – pay attention at the back) there’s another type of hole talked about a lot in science fiction – wormholes.

I don’t mean the ones you find in the garden, but the ones many scifi authors find useful for taking characters from one region of space/time to another without that tedious annoyance of reality getting in the way and taking forever.

The idea of a wormhole – basically a short-cut between two points in space or time – has been around for a lot longer than you’d think. Like the theory of parallel universes, it has an essential basis in what could be possible, physics-wise, so you wouldn’t have to throw a stick very far in a scientist convention to hit someone who thinks it could be true. Continue reading

Why black holes don’t suck

THE universe is full of holes. Black holes.

Well, they’re not really holes – it’s a bit of a misleading name, to be honest. Black holes are not holes as we understand the term – they’re not filled with nothing. In fact, they’re anything but empty.

A black hole is what we call it when a huge amount of matter has been packed tight into a small space. Think of it as three of our suns, all squeezed together into a space small enough to fit a city in. A bit squashed, truth be told. Continue reading

Searching for answers

IF you’re interested in science, you may have heard of a place in Europe called CERN.

CERN is the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, called CERN because it’s also known, in French, as the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, or European Council for Nuclear Research. I suppose CERN trips better off the tongue, French or otherwise.

Taking up a large part of the French/Swiss border, near Geneva, the CERN organisation was actually set up in 1952, hence the ‘nuclear’ bit in the name (we now know more about particles than just nuclei), and involves an impressive 21 European countries as members.

The aim of CERN is to seek answers to the fundamental questions of life itself, such as what is the universe made of, how did it begin, and why do so many people worship Kim Kardashian (OK, I made that last bit up, but I think they should look into it). Continue reading

Just how big is the universe?

LET us ponder, for a moment or two, the size of the universe.

As the wonderful, much-missed Douglas Adams wrote in his first novel, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” Continue reading