Picture of the Week
Mathematical and Physical Sciences Picture of the Week
9 December 2013: A single atom magnet
Quantum phenomena, things which occur on scales of atoms or molecules, are impossible to photograph. The problem isn't that microscopes aren't powerful enough – it's that the wavelength of light is too long to resolve any detail at those scales.
2 December 2013: The Horse head nebula
Discovering the physics and chemistry of the cosmos is different to carrying out experiments in the lab. In the lab, samples can be tested, experiments can be repeated, and if anything looks odd, you can always look from another angle to see if it's just a trick of perspective. For astronomers, none of this is possible: the only information they have is in the light that reaches their telescopes. More...
25 November 2013: The Moon
Unlike the other objects of our Solar System, which we see spinning on their axes, we only ever get to see one side of the Moon. Aeons of tidal interaction between the Earth and its satellite have gradually synchronised the rotation of the Moon and the rotation of the Earth, such that the same side always points at us here on Earth. It took the invention of spaceflight in the mid-20th century for humanity to get its first glimpse of the Moon's far side. More...
18 November 2013: Labradorite
This artifact from UCL's collections looks like it could be in outer space. But the interplay of light and chemistry that produces these shimmering colours has its feet firmly on -- or even in -- the ground. It is a close up of a polished sample of Labradorite, a type of mineral commonly found in the Earth's crust. More...
11 November 2013: Chemistry in colour
The turn of the 20th century was a hugely successful time for UCL's chemistry department, bringing with it the college's first Nobel Prize. William Ramsay was the 1904 laureate in chemistry for the discovery of the noble gases. One of the key participants in this research was J Norman Collie, pictured above next to a glowing neon gas discharge tube. Collie served as Professor of Chemistry and head of the laboratories at UCL until 1928.
4 November 2013: Fault scarp
28 October 2013: Next stop: Mars
21 October 2013: Comet ISON
14 October 2013: Mixing things up
7 October 2013: Tsunami ship
30 September 2013: Taking a spin
19 September 2013: Fossil trilobite
16 September 2013: Using Lego to build a nanoscope
9 September 2013: Hangover cure
2 September 2013: The Moon in 1910
28 August 2013: Agate
19 August 2013: How to build a satellite
15 August 2013: Euclid meets the minister
12 August 2013: Reacting at the speed of light
5 August 2013: Reactor pressure
29 July 2013: Green energy
22 July 2013: Suit up!
15 July 2013: Research with impact
8 July 2013: How to make a diamond
1 July 2013: Inside the clean room
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