Are great scientists always heretics?

11 April, 2013

As readers of my novel, The Sensorium of God know, Isaac Newton was an arch heretic. Ahead of tonight’s BBC2 documentary about Isaac Newton, the BBC invited me to choose five ‘heretic’ scientists whose courage and determination I find inspiring:

“Great scientists change the way we view the world.

Doing that usually means smashing an old, entrenched idea - often making enemies in the process. Before being proven and accepted, a great theory can be subjected to harsh criticism and its proposer can be mocked, rejected, even vilified.

Sometimes a religious authority is on the attack, other times it's the scientist's colleagues - either way it takes special determination to stick to an idea others believe is clearly wrong.
The genius of the lucky ones is recognised in their lifetime but some are venerated only posthumously.

Here are five of my greatest scientific heretics. I find their courage inspiring. Some have become household names, while others still remain in relative obscurity. ...”

You can read the full article here.


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Dark matter as elusive as ever – despite space station results

04 April, 2013

New observations from an experiment on the space station confirm a strange antimatter signal but take us no closer to an explanation

I have a new post on my Across the Universe for The Guardian.

“The first data from the $2bn Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment on the International Space Station has confirmed a strange antimatter signal coming from space. However, the experiment has not yet collected enough data to allow scientists to determine the source of this antimatter.

It could be coming from dark matter particles, making this a major breakthrough. Or it could be coming from fast-spinning stellar corpses known as pulsars, making it merely interesting. ...”

You can read the full post here.


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The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth: “a compelling and beautiful series of books”

03 April, 2013


I have been interviewed by astronomersden over at his blog. He describes himself as “Daddy, Hubby, Teacher and, whenever I get the chance, Astronomer.” There is some great stuff on his website.

He writes, “The history of astronomy (and indeed science) is one of the great, inspirational stories of humanity.  The long road to rational explanations, the search for our place in the universe, the discovery of laws to direct human endeavours.  Now it is a story you can follow through a compelling and beautiful series of books - Dr Stuart Clark’s The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth Trilogy.  If the name alone does not make you want to rush off to pick it up, then read on as I talk to the author about his work and tell you a little about each book.”

You can read the whole interview here.


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BBC2 documentary: Isaac Newton: The Last Magician

31 March, 2013

Last autumn I worked with a producer and director from the BBC on a television programme about Isaac Newton. They contacted me because of my work for The Sensorium of God, my factual novel about Isaac Newton. It was a lot of fun to dig out all my research notes and talk about the great scientist for the programme.

Isaac Newton: The Last Magician will be shown on BBC2 Friday April 12th at 9pm.

 

Click the read more link below the tags to see the information from the BBC’s website.

 


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Read more: BBC2 documentary: Isaac Newton: The Last Magician

 

The Day Without Yesterday - Easter Kindle Promotion

25 March, 2013

For a strictly limited time, the very latest Sky’s Dark Labyrinth book is on promotion from Amazon Kindle. Instead of £12.99, you can pick up the ebook version of The Day Without Yesterday for just £1.09. Hurry, the offer will not last long. Buy now!

Those who prefer physical books, can buy that here.


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Planck's 'almost perfect' universe could point to new physics

21 March, 2013

The map of the oldest light in the universe shows intriguing deviations from expectations. Will these oddities be explained away or are we at the beginning of a revolution in cosmology?

I have a new post on my Across the Universe for The Guardian.

“Today is a great day. The European Space Agency has released the most precise map so far of the oldest light in the universe. The best news is that is reveals an 'almost perfect universe'. By that they mean it almost conforms to expectations – but not quite.

While the basic 'big bang' picture of our universe's birth is confirmed, the unexplained aspects of the data are where the real excitement lies because these could be signposts to new physics. At the press conference this morning, Professor George Efstathiou, University of Cambridge, UK said that the Planck data showed that, 'Cosmology is not finished.' ...”

You can read the full story here.


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