Physical Sciences

Shakes and the City

Seán Thór Herron talks to Dr Emily So about preparing for earthquakes in urban areas At a quarter to three on Friday, 11th March 2011, as the citizens of the Honshu island of Japan were looking forward to the weekend, tectonic stresses caused a massive slip on the ocean floor off the East coast. The sea floor jerked as much as ten metres upward and fiftymetres horizontally. The rupture length

Exploring our Amazing Universe from Cambridge - The Joy of Observing the Night Skies

Andrew Sellek discusses how astronomers and amateurs alike observe the sky at night Astronomy has been done in Cambridge for centuries – a landmark was when the Cambridge Observatory was built off Madingley road in 1823. This has formed the focal point for astronomical activities, both professional and amateur, to this day: the site now houses the Institute of Astronomy (the university’s main astronomy department) as well as the astrophysics

FOCUS: AI and the power of the neuron

Alex Bates looks at how neurobiology has inspired the rise of artificial intelligence Since the ancient Greeks wrote the great automaton, Talos of Crete, into myth, science fiction has tinkered much with artiffcial intelligence (AI) in its well stocked playground. Isaac Asimov is perhaps the most famous man-handler of sci-fi’s best beloved toy, his three laws of robotics proving highly influential. Subsequently, lm has dissolved AI’s delicious possibilities and dangers

Tissue Engineering Scaffolds: Guiding the rise of Cell Therapies

Oran Maguire explains how engineering and cell biology are carving out a new field One of the most exciting fields to emerge in the life sciences and biotechnology in recent years is tissue engineering, which centers around creating a reliable supply of functional tissue that will not be rejected by potential transplantees. Yet if it is ever going to realise its goals in the clinic, tissue engineering will have to

In Search of Quantum Gravity

In Search of Quantum Gravity Gianamar Giovannetti-Singh explores the holographic universe Modern fundamental physics consists of two major pillars; general relativity, describing the interactions between matter and spacetime at the largest scales imaginable, and quantum mechanics, the physics governing the behaviour of subatomic particles. Despite each respective theory being tested to an extraordinary degree of accuracy, they are fundamentally incompatible with each other – general relativity predicts continuous spacetime as