Category Archives: General science

The Big Bang and before 3: Lemaître’s universe, Hubble’s law

Georges Lemaître was a devout priest and a brilliant physicist who found Hubble’s Law in theory two years before Hubble did in practice. He took Einstein’s equations of general relativity and showed that they had a solution in which the … Continue reading

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The Big Bang and before 2: A shift in the mist

The Latin word nebula means ‘mist’, and originally a nebula was any sort of misty patch in the sky. Today it is more precise, referring to an interstellar cloud of dust and gas; and we shall see in a moment … Continue reading

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The Big Bang and before 1: The first ideas

The story of the development of the idea of the Big Bang has two separate strands, and we have to switch back and fore between them. The one strand is the observational work of astronomers, developing techniques to measure the … Continue reading

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The clavie and the stars

The Burning of the Clavie on January 11 in Burghead marks the start of the new year – it’s the old date of New Year’s Eve, Hogmanay, before the change to the Gregorian calendar in 1752. The barrel filled with … Continue reading

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The physics of the Wood of Hallaig

Time, the deer is in the Wood of Hallaig. Hallaig by Sorley MacLean is on one level about the clearance of people from the land of which they were a part. At another level it is a poem about the … Continue reading

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Processes and objects

There are two fundamentally different ways of picturing the world around us. One is as a collection of objects – and we learn from our earliest moments that we are surrounded by things that we pick up or bump into. … Continue reading

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Eddington’s universe

Whenever the poet George Mackay Brown reorganised his library, getting rid of some of the overspill, some books from younger years would always remain. There was the first Penguin book from 1935, a biography of Shelley by André Maurois; and … Continue reading

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