Science


20
Jun 10

Magnetic levitation and ferrofluid

I made this video to demonstrate how you can levitate something using diamagnetism. The video is pretty self explanatory but leaves out some details... Continue reading →


15
May 10

3D pictures (of me and Ben Miller)

3D pictures (of me and Ben Miller)

I recently had the privilege of hosting a Q&A with Ben Miller, from double act Armstrong & Miller, at the Brighton Science Festival. There was a man there called Mark Bennett taking 3D pictures of us. He has very kindly let me have the originals so I thought I'd write a blog post about 3D photography using these images as examples. Continue reading →


15
Jan 10

How 3D cinema works

I recently saw Avatar in 3D and 'forgot' to hand my glasses back in at the end. I thought I knew how this technology worked so I was very surprised when I started doing some experiments.

I saw Avatar at a Vue cinema that recently had 3D installed and the way it works is quite different to the IMAX. Continue reading →


13
Nov 09

Burning paper with giant steel balls

Burning paper with giant steel balls

I bought these enormous ball bearings from this guy. They're fantastically heavy. When you whack them together you get a lovely sound. But for that brief moment and in that small space you also get really high temperatures and you can easily burn holes in paper. Here's a video:

Continue reading →


8
Nov 09

How to cheat with Frank Benford

How to cheat with Frank Benford Pick a number at random from the universe. Not just from inside your head. Open a page of the financial times or look up the size of a planet; convert you height to cubits or measure the weight of your favourite book. Something like that.

Don't actually do it, it's hypothetical. But ask yourself a question. What are the chances of that number starting with a 1? Continue reading →


23
Oct 09

The curious case of Magenta

The curious case of Magenta

Magenta is a peculiar colour. We use it all the time in printers along with cyan and yellow.

The weird thing is, you won't find magenta in a rainbow!

Continue reading →


21
Sep 09

Magnetic balls: reloaded

A few more exciting shapes made from magnetic balls. Here's the original post. And here's the full coverage.

This is a dodecahedron - 12 faces and 20 vertices (the faces a dimpled, that's not part of a standard dodecahedron):

Magnetic balls: reloaded

Continue reading →


16
Sep 09

Magnetic balls: the beginning

I bought these magnetic balls off eBay and I've made loads of cool stuff with them.

Trouble is, after I've made one cool thing I have to destroy it before I can make another cool thing. So this blog will also serve as a photographic record of my achievements.

Let's get started then. These are the balls in an unordered state:

Magnetic balls: the beginning

And here they are as a Möbius Strip:

Magnetic balls: the beginning

Continue reading →