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Expert Reactions

Cassini’s grand finale nears – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 13th, 2017.

After a 20 year mission, NASA’s spacecraft Cassini will meet its demise this week by plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere and burning up. With propellant running low, NASA scientists are concerned that the probe might accidentally crash into one of Saturn’s nearby moons, which could contaminate it with Earthling bacteria stuck to the spacecraft. Instead, the […]

Earth-like planet around the Sun’s closest neighbour – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 25th, 2016.

UPDATED: A small rocky planet has been discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri, the Sun’s closest stellar neighbour, and it may sustain an atmosphere and liquid water that could support life. The discovery of the planet, which is named Proxima b, has a mass about 1.3 times that of the Earth and is just over four light years away, is […]

Gravitational wave discovery – In the News

John Kerr posted in on February 12th, 2016.

The discovery of tiny ripples in the fabric of space and time is causing big waves in national and global media. This morning scientists from the LIGO announced that they had detected gravitational waves, confirming predictions based on Einstein’s theory of relativity proposed 100 years ago. Read more about the discovery and expert reaction from […]

Gravitational waves found – Expert Reaction

John Kerr posted in on February 12th, 2016.

Scientists have confirmed the discovery of minuscule ripples in the fabric of space and time. This morning (NZT) researchers from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), confirmed they had detected gravitational waves. A full release from LIGO is available here. Gravitational waves are distortions or ‘ripples’ in the fabric of space-time caused by some of […]

New Windows on the Universe – Prof David Wiltshire

John Kerr posted in on February 12th, 2016.

As researchers with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announce they have spotted gravitational waves – ripples in space itself set off by violent astrophysical events – University of Canterbury Professor of Physics Dr David Wiltshire discusses what it means. The announcement that gravitational waves have been directly captured for the first time ever, from […]

Weighty neutrino discovery wins Nobel – Expert Reaction

John Kerr posted in on October 7th, 2015.

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2015 has been awarded to two researchers who unravelled the mystery of the neutrino sub-atomic particle, establishing how the particles change and that they have mass. Takaaki Kajita from the University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan and Arthur B. McDonald from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada were awarded the Nobel Prize […]

2014 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to blue LED inventors

Laura Goodall posted in on October 8th, 2014.

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to two Japanese scientists and a Japanese-born American for developing the blue light-emitting diode (LED), the missing piece that now allows manufacturers to produce white light far more efficiently than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. Thanks to their invention, Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and […]

Higgs Boson theory earns Nobel for Physics

John Kerr posted in on October 9th, 2013.

The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to the theorists who predicted the Higgs Boson particle 50 years before it was actually confirmed to exist. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 was today awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding […]

Kiwi ‘Party Animal’ physicist awarded Einstein Medal

John Kerr posted in on December 20th, 2012.

A New Zealand scientist has been awarded a prestigious medal in recognition of his furthering the work of Albert Einstein. The Einstein Medal will be awarded to Prof Roy Kerr from the University of Canterbury  for his “Kerr Solution” which puts to rest a gravitational field equation posited by Einstein. The medal is awarded annually […]

Nobel Prize for Physics – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on October 10th, 2012.

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche and David J. Winelan. The Laureates independently invented and developed ground-breaking methods for measuring and manipulating individual particles while preserving their quantum-mechanical nature, in ways that were previously thought unattainable. The official Nobel announcement and background on the award winning research can be […]

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