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Physics

Hal Harris's picture

The Sky is Falling

Sun, 06/01/2008 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

How likely is it that an asteroid or a comet of significant size will impact the earth, and what would be the consequences? It is now widely accepted that the dinosaurs were wiped out by such an event, and recent research suggests that previous estimates of the number of asteroid impacts may have been much too low.

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The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments

Thu, 05/01/2008 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Lists of "the best" movies, books, sports stars, American Idols, etc. etc. are often intriguing and controversial. Science has its own lists, be they Nobelists or most-cited publications. Just a little while ago (could it really have been November, 2005?) Philip Ball's list of "elegant" chemistry experiments was my choice of the month.

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The Copernican Myths

Sun, 12/02/2007 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

When asked by one of our students about the significance of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and his revolutionary (pun intended) theory of the solar system, most of us would recite the folkloric tale. A brilliant astronomer, dissatisfied with the inaccuracies of Ptolemy, devised a completely new model for the solar system.

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Exploding Disk Cannons, Slimemobiles, and 32 Other Projects for Saturday Science

Thu, 02/01/2007 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

Neil Downie runs a Saturday science program for kids in Guildford, UK, that appears to be the most fun that anybody could have. This book is the third in a series that describes projects that he has invented for kids to build and investigate (often with the help of an adult).

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Fantastic Realities: 49 Mind Journeys and a Trip to Stockholm

Mon, 05/01/2006 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Fantastic Realities is an adult book. Much of it consists of issues of the "Reference Frame" column that Professor Wilczek, 2004 Nobel laureate in physics, writes for his colleagues in Physics Today. In writing for that audience, Wilczek addresses fellow scientists who are expected to be familiar with "ordinary" physics, but not his specialty, quantum chromodynamics.

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The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets, and More Ancient Artillery

Mon, 08/01/2005 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Gurstelle also wrote "Building Bots: Designing and Building Warrior Robots", but I haven't read that one. "Catapult" is definitely in the spirit of "build it yourself", that I like to encourage here and also in "The Cost-Effective Teacher" feature in the print Journal.

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