Science Seen

Time One author Colin Gillespie helps you understand the physics of your world.

Fair Go at Sochi Olympics

In Aussieland, from whence I am, Fair go is slang for reasonable opportunity. In New Zealand it’s a TV show. What’s a fair go on the ice or snow or track or in the pool? Picture this. You’re in the starting blocks at the Olympics. You’ve trained for years to make it for your one […]

What’s the Question?

It seems obvious. Understanding physics, as distinct from merely knowing it or doing it, requires us to ask not merely What? and How? but also: Why? This is the question kids learn first, before they learn they’re not supposed to ask it. So, it seems shocking that this is a question physics now all but […]

More Potter Physics

Thoughts of physics in our world have somehow got us onto Harry Potter. Like Lewis Carroll’s tales of Alice in fantastic Wonderland, J.K. Rowling’ magic world has elements of physics truth. We found shades of quantum physics in a teleportation scene from the first movie. Two minutes later, Harry shoves his baggage cart through a brick […]

String Things

One of the neat things about the way the universe began is that it brings out principles that help to follow physics and philosophy that, without them, appear beyond reason. They simplify what lies behind some deep ideas, such as strings. String theories abound in many versions. They are based on fancy math. Their math […]

Potter in Physics

Thinking about physics showing up in unexpected places gets me thinking about Harry Potter movies. A whole muggle generation cut its independent-thinking teeth on that magic. How much of it might be almost true? For example, there is Hagrid, late for his appointment with Dumbledore, teleporting off the overpass at King’s Cross Station. Teleporting? Maybe […]

Eye on Doyle

Arthur (latterly Sir Arthur) Conan Doyle, a practising physician, surgeon and ophthalmologist is well known for his fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. I, too, am a fan. Doyle is less known for the sharp eye that he kept on physics. It shows up in the way his fiction promotes then-new physics-based ideas. Through the 1900s these […]

Going Google

If it weren’t so serious it could be quite a lark. I am setting out to tell the true tale of the universe’s birth and will need some research to fill in the story. There is this narrator who is somehow writing for me. He’s an aging beach bum, a rootless hacker from the first days of […]

Why the Eye?

I bite the bullet and start pounding out the story of the way the universe began. As I write, the story keeps on growing — guess I should have known. But I’m enthusiastic as I try to make it easy for the reader to understand. Doug’s a friend who reads some early drafting. He tries […]

What’s It to You?

So―a bolt from the blue as the saying goes―I’ve come to understand the way the universe begins. And I’ve concluded I should write a book to share this long-sought understanding with everyone. Why would anyone set out to write a book for everyone? I can think of only one good reason: Because its subject’s something […]