Horizon - Where's My Robot? (Signed)
BBCDanny Wallace really wants a robot. He wants it to walk like him and talk like him. It's what scientists have been promising us for generations but it's a promise so far unfulfilled. Danny circumnavigates the globe searching for robot nirvana and trying to uncover how far away his dream is.
The Secret History of the LifeGrid - Wiring the Nation (Signed)
BBCThe opening part takes us from the epic construction of the first grid in the 1920s and 30s to the challenge of making sure there is power at the flick of a switch today. Using rare archive and vivid personal accounts it reveals the heroic efforts, architectural masterpieces and engineering achievements behind the real power map of Britain.
In Our Time - Genetic Engineering
Melvyn BraggMelvyn Bragg and guests discuss the implications of the developments in genetic engineering. With Grahame Bulfield, geneticist, honorary professor, Edinburgh University and Director of the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh; Bryan Appleyard, features writer for The Sunday Times and author of Brave New Worlds: Genetics and the Human Experience.
Small Worlds - 01 Engineering at the Atomic Scale
Philip BallNanotechnology has become a big buzzword – so much so that the stockbrokers Merrill Lynch has created an index to track investment in the newly burgeoning industry. But others are concerned. Prince Charles, taking a lead from the environmental group ETC, has expressed concerns where this ‘atomtech’ may lead. The environmentalists see it as a step beyond genetic engineering.
Small Worlds - 02 Why Worry?
Philip BallThe environmentalist ETC group has warned that nanotechnology (or ‘atomtech’ as they describe it) poses “horrendous social and environmental risks”. It was that group's report, The Big Down, which prompted the Prince of Wales to ask the Royal Society to look into the impacts of nanotechnology.
Small Worlds - 03 Nanobiotechnology – when atomic engineering meets the life sciences.
Philip BallTo most of us, viruses are the cause of illnesses like flu and measles. But to Angela Belcher of MIT, they’re the ideal building blocks for creating new materials at close to the atomic scale, in the new science of nanotechnology.
The Reith Lectures 2005 - 01 Collaboration
Lord BroersWhen I returned to this Engineering Department from the USA in 1984 my wife and I bought an historic and wonderful house some ten miles south of Cambridge. It was built around 1520, a date that could be substantiated to within a decade by the form of the oak beams that comprised its floors and ceilings. These had been shaped by iron blades that only lasted about ten years. Being someone of the present rather than the past I had not previously been much preoccupied with history but living in the splendid oak structure - like a fine sailing vessel that had gone aground - inspired me to wonder what had preoccupied the technologists and scientists of that age...
The Reith Lectures 2005 - 03 Nanotechnology and Nanoscience
Lord BroersSince time immemorial people have been entranced by structures of great size. From the Colossus of Rhodes and the Great Pyramid, themselves no mean technical achievements, to the mighty Cunard 'Queens' built here in Glasgow, and whichever is transiently the tallest building in the world, beholders have gaped at the gigantic. One simple attraction has been that of comparative scale, so many times the size of a man or a horse or of Nelson's column, as popular illustrations used to show. It was easy for the bystander immediately to apprehend the vast size of these objects...
The Reith Lectures 2005 - 04 Risk and Responsibility
Lord BroersAlmost exactly 93 years ago tonight, on 15 April 1912, over two thousand terrified and bewildered people found themselves with little warning drifting or drowning in the ice-cold North Atlantic. Only 712 of them survived that night. They were, of course, the passengers, officers, and crew of the White Star steamship Titanic, and they were in a sense victims of 'failures' of technology…
The Reith Lectures 2005 - 05 Technology will Determine the Future of the Human Race
Lord BroersFour thousand years ago, just 5 miles north of present day Thetford, our Neolithic ancestors began what may have been the largest early industrial process in these islands. This is the site that the Anglo-Saxons called 'Grimes Graves' and it contains nearly four hundred mine-shafts, built to extract high-quality flints, which could be chipped to produce sharp cutting edges. Using nothing but tools of bone and wood and presumably the flints themselves, these ancient people excavated to a depth of up to twelve metres, to reach the buried flints. It has been calculated that the miners needed to remove 1000 tonnes of waste to produce eight tonnes of flint. The site covers nearly 40 hectares and the whole project is astonishing...
The Reith Lectures 2005 -02 Innovation and Management
Lord BroersWhen Ralph Waldo Emerson reputedly and memorably said that the world would beat a path to the door of a person who made a better mousetrap, he was perhaps being unduly optimistic, but at least he realised that the mousetrap had to be made and that it would not be sufficient merely to have an idea, or even a patent, for a better mouse trap. Ideas have to be proven to be useful, and the world told about them, before any paths are beaten. Profound changes have taken place in the development of ideas and their translation in to the market place and in my third Reith lecture I argue that this innovation revolution demands a new approach to research and product development...
Measurements and their Uncertainties - A Practical Guide to Modern Error Analysis
Ifan G. Hughes & Thomas P.A. Hase, 2010This hands-on guide is primarily intended to be used in undergraduate laboratories in the physical sciences and engineering. It assumes no prior knowledge of statistics. It introduces the necessary concepts where needed, with key points illustrated with worked examples and graphic illustrations. In contrast to traditional mathematical treatments it uses a combination of spreadsheet and calculus-0based approaches, suitable as a quick and easy on-the-spot reference. The emphasis throughout is on practical strategies to be adopted in the laboratory.