Sharing my passion of science. One day I will be a physicist , just let me get the qualifications first…

John Young


I realise I haven’t been as active on this blog and I will change that in 2018. ūüôā


I find it a shame when (some) people society are more emotionally invested in the lives of the Kardashians (sorry not sorry) instead of inspirational pioneers such as John Young,who not only had set foot on the moon but has flown their twice and was among  one of the first to fly on a space shuttle mission.John Young was also part of the Apollo and Gemini programs.

As someone who is interested in becoming an astrophysicist, people like John Young really inspire me. Gone but a legend that will never be forgotten!

Rest In Peace



Incandescent bodies

A star , as defined by google is a ‘fixed luminous point in the sky which is a large , remote  , incandescent body like the sun’. It has the synonyms  : sun , celestial body and  heavenly body. 
The stars have given humanity many secrets. Stars were used to navigate for direction. Astrology  uses birth months to predict characteristics and horoscopes and it may not be an exact science but it’s interesting.  We know what elements stars are made of by analysing the light that reaches earth. We know that red shift exists thanks to light from these stars shifting to the red end of the visible spectrum.

The ancient Greeks believed stars were tiny holes in the floors of heaven. We now know that isn’t true obviously but nevertheless it’s a nice thought. 
Stars don’t twinkle and that twinkling effect is primarily due to the earth’s turbulent atmosphere. The light passes through many rapidly differing densities and every deflection causes it to change slightly in colour and intensity. 

Our sun

Our sun is approximately 8.3 light minutes away from Earth and is composed of mostly hydrogen at 3/4 and 1/4 is made up of helium with trace heavier elements making up less than 2%. It is known that the sun generates energy by the nuclear fusion of hydrogen in its dense core. The heat moves out of the photosphere and this is the light we see. There is a thin corona that expands outwards and form solar winds, which is an stream of particles that travel out into space.The famous sunspots are nothing but cooler regions where magnetic fields have suppressed heat transfer to the surface. These effects are only temporary.

Our sun was formed from a collapsing gas cloud about 4.57 billion years ago and it is theorised that 5 billion years from now the sun will expand into a red giant and it will engulf Mercury and Venus and possibly Earth. Life on earth will have long gone by then. Eventually the sun will shrink into a hot and dense white dwarf.


Image credits to Google.


Pluto is a dwarf planet that lies in the Kuiper Belt. It’s an area full of icy bodies and other dwarf planets at the edge of our solar system.  Pluto is the biggest object in this region and so some call it King of the Kuiper Belt.”

A dwarf planet is a medium-sized world roughly 2000km wide that orbits a star. In our solar system , 5 known bodies qualify as dwarf planets. They include Pluto. Asteroids are smaller than dwarf planets. These rocky chunks mainly circular between Jupiter and Mars , some do however have elongated orbits near earth.

Comets however are big , dusty snowballs that venture in towards the sun from the chilly reservoirs of icy bodies  , the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune and the more distant Oort cloud. As they approach the sun and heat up , Comets sprout fuzzy asppriachntmospheres of gas and dust and sometimes a long tail.

The Kuiper Belt

At distances of about 30 and 50 astronomical units from the sun( an astronomical unit is  a unit of measurement equal to 149.6 million kilometers , the mean distance from gbe centre of the earth to the centre of the sun) .


Some interesting facts:

Pluto is only about half the width of the United States. Charon is about half the size of Pluto. Charon is the largest moon compared to the body it orbits (whether planet or dwarf planet) of any moon in the solar system.

Almost all the planets travel around the sun in nearly perfect circles. But Pluto does not. It takes an oval-shaped path with the sun nowhere near its center. What’s more, its path is quite tilted from the nice, orderly plane where all the planets orbit.(Mercury has a slightly lop-sided orbit, although not nearly so much as Pluto’s.)

Compared to most of the planets and their moons, the whole Pluto-Charon system is tipped on its side. Like the planets, Pluto’s spin axis stays pointed in the same direction as it orbits the sun. But unlike all planets except Uranus, Pluto is tipped on its side. The planets’ axes of rotation stand more or less upright from the plane of their orbits.

If you lived on Pluto, you’d have to live 248 Earth years to celebrate your first birthday in Pluto-years.

If you lived on Pluto, you would see Charon from only one side of the planet. Charon’s orbit around Pluto takes about six and one-half Earth days. Pluto’s day (that is, one complete rotation) takes exactly the same amount of time. So, Charon always “hovers” over the same spot on Pluto’s surface, and the same side of Charon always faces Pluto.

At Pluto’s current distance from the sun, the temperature on its surface is about 240 degrees below zero Celsius  (-400¬į F). It can get even colder as it moves farther from the sun. 

From Pluto, the sun looks like just a bright dot in the sky, the brightest star visible. The light from the sun is as bright on Pluto as the light from the full Moon is on Earth.

If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh only 7 pounds on Pluto!

On January 19, 2006, NASA launched a robot spacecraft on the mission called New Horizons. The spacecraft arrived at Pluto in July 2015, and will continue to study other objects in the Kuiper Belt from about 2018 to 2022.

Pluto is still the largest object in the Kuiper Belt despite being two thirds the size of earth’s moon , it has a thin atmosphere (which can freeze when it is furthest from the sun). It’s surface is covered in methane and water ice and had a reddish colour due to the presence of carbon-based chemicals called tholins. 

It does have a complex system of satellites. Charon , and the far smaller Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra.

Pluto was discovered on this day in 1930! Happy 87th Earth birthday Pluto!


Image credits: NASA & google 

A Renowned  Renaissance Man 

Galileo Galilei 

The man who is best known as the example of the contrast between the science practised by ancient scholars and those who took part in the abundant scientific achievements of the European Renaissance  (literally meaning rebirth in French).

His martyrdom 

Galileo angered the Catholic Church by making claims , rightly so , that the Earth revolves around the sun and not vise Versa. He was forced to recant those views that he demonstrated in his book dialogue concerning the two chief world systems . This contradicted church teachings and some of the clergy accused galileo of heresy.

Galileo was 68 years old and sick. Threatened with torture, he publicly confessed that he had been wrong to have said that the Earth moves around the Sun. Legend then has it that after his confession, Galileo quietly whispered “And yet, it moves.” 

The Church eventually lifted the ban on Galileo’s Dialogue in 1822, when it was common knowledge that the Earth was not the center of the Universe. Still later, there were statements by the Vatican Council in the early 1960’s and in 1979 that implied that Galileo was pardoned, and that he had suffered at the hands of the Church. Finally, in 1992, three years after Galileo Galilei’s namesake spacecraft had been launched on its way to Jupiter, the Vatican formally and publicly cleared Galileo of any wrongdoing.


He spent his final years of life as a martyr to the cause of science.

His science 

Galileo didn’t invent the telescope, that is a common misconception. However , he took advantage of the technology by improving and popularising it in 1609. He had heard of the new instrument invented by Hans Lippershey in the Netherlands. He then went on to build some of the world’s best telescopes for his time.

In 1610 he observed 4 objects surrounding Jupiter that behaved unlike stars; they were Jupiter’s four largest moons.
He also discovered the phases of Venus and the rings of Saturn.

Galileo discovered the secrets of the pendulum swing and using timing methods such as his pulse and the oscillation of a pendulum and  he began performing experiments in motion proving once and for all that bodies of different weights fall at the same speed. The Acceleration due to gravity. 

Following Aristotle the belief was that a heavy object would fall faster than a lighter object. Galileo realised this was an illusion. If you drop a feather and and rock from a skyscraper, indeed the rock will fall faster, but that is primarily because there is another external force acting on the feather : air resistance.

Galileo was considering dropping objects from the famous  leaning tower of Pisa (his home town) but air resistance would have ruined the experiment.
If you have two rounded objects of different mass and if you roll them down a slope , they will roll down at precisely the same speed , assuming friction is negligible.

Galileo realised that the slope would slow the balls down so their speed of decent could be measured.

He also initiated the work behind Newton’s laws. Commonly credited to Newton , Galileo did In fact  realise before Newton that objects will remain stationery or in constant motion unless and external force acts upon the body.

 His life 

Galileo was born in Pisa , Italy in 1564 and he was not limited to one field of study  but much like his father , he took interest in music , painting and he also studied medicine in his youth. 

I dedicate this post to this renowned scientist. Happy Birthday to Galileo . Whose work shaped the modern physics that we come to  know  today. 


Image credits to Google & curiosity on Facebook. 

Research source: phenomenal physics by Isaac Mcphee

I use this table periodically 

Every science classroom you have entered will most likely  have had a periodic table somewhere. It is a  Bible for chemists and it can tell us a lot about the fundamental elements that make us what we are. 

I could not go a week  by without looking at a periodic table (basically all my chemistry homeworks  require it).

Chemical elements are the simplest substances found in nature consisting of individual atoms. 

Each nucleus of the atoms is surrounded by a cloud of negative electrons counteracted by a positive nucleus consisting of neutrons and protons making the overall charge of an atom neutral.

Within the periodic table you get the simplest, smallest  and most fundamental elements such as hydrogen and helium down to very dense elements such as radium with atomic number 92. A lot of the heavier elements are unstable and often undergo radioactive decay. 

The iron in our blood down to the oxygen we breath was fused in the very dense and extreme cores of large stars. The heavier elements after iron were created by supernova explosions which could reach such temperatures. However not all elements are “naturally” occurring. 

Neptunium, einsteinium and nobelium are some of the man-made elements. Any element with an atomic number greater than 92 is considered to be a man-made element

As of February 2015, there are 26 man-made elements listed on the periodic table. The actinide series includes neptunium, polonium, americium, curium and berkelium. Californium, einsteinium, fermium, mendelevium, nobelium and lawrencium are also found in the actinide series. Elements 104 through 118 are located in period 7 of the periodic table. Man-made elements in period 7 include rutherfordium, ununtrium, flerovium and ununoctium.

Scientists have determined that some of them are produced naturally in very small quantities. All of the man-made elements are radioactive and have the ability to undergo nuclear fission. Scientists use nuclear reactors and particle accelerators to produce these elements.

Many of the man-made elements are named after scientists or historical figures. Curium, first identified in 1944, was named after Marie and Pierre Curie. Rutherfordium was named after Ernest Rutherford, the father of nuclear physics. Researchers identified rutherfordium by bombarding plutonium with neon ions. Einsteinium gets its name from theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. Researchers from Berkeley identified einsteinium in the debris created by a thermonuclear explosion.

The inert gases (noble gases) or group 0 atoms don’t react easily as they already have an ideal electron configuration which enables them to have a stable life.

The table is  primarily split between groups and periods. 

Down a group:

  • Atomic radius increases 
  • Nuclear charge increases 
  • Electron repulsion and shielding increases

Across a period  the electronegativity of atoms increases. 

Electronegativity is  a measure of the tendency of an atom to attract a bonding pair of electrons. The Pauling scale is the most commonly used. Fluorine (the most electronegative element) is assigned a value of 4.0, and values range down to caesium and francium which are the least electronegative at 0.7.

The most important event in the history of the periodic table occurred in 1869 when the table was published by Dmitri Mendeleev , a Russian chemist , who built upon earlier discoveries by scientists such as Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier and John Newlands.

This was a tiny insight into one of the best structures in modern science. 
Happy belated  national periodic table day ! (7th February)


Image credits to Google.

All writing is my own from school notes. 

The 79th element 

Gold gets its name from the Germanic word “gulpa”  (meaning gold). The old English word “geolu”  means yellow.The Italian for gold is “oro” and the Italian for yellow is “giallo”. I see the similarities. In Latin gold was called “aurum”. This is why the chemical symbol for gold is Au.

Gold can be found on nearly every continent on earth but the largest deposits are in the continents of Africa and India.Throughout the course of man-kind gold has been used to make coins , rings , jewellery etc.Gold is fundamental  to many religions and cultures and from being Catholic myself , during mass  a priest may use a chalice made from a gold alloy.

Gold has an atomic weight of 196. 7 and is 19.3 times more dense than water (the degree of compactness of a substance).

Gold is solid in state at room temperature and has a Melting Point of 1064.14¬įC  ( 1947.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and has a Boiling Point of 2850 ¬įC (5162 degrees Fahrenheit)

Gold has between 18 amd 59 isotopes(the reason being that many are created artificially and are only stable for microseconds/milliseconds before decaying into another element). Gold has 36 radioisotopes that have been synthesised ranging in atomic mass from 169 to 205. The most stable is 195Au with a half life of 186.1 days.An isotope if an atom with the same number of protons but different neutron number). The most common isotopes of gold is Au -197 and it makes up 100% of naturally occurring gold(it isnaturally occurring).

Gold is a transition metal and the general properties of these metals is that they are dense , good conductors of heat and electricity and possess useful mechanical properties. However gold is malleable, thus gold alloys are much more useful.  Gold is very unreacrive and found in its native state and so extraction is very unnecessary(when it is found it’ll usually be in its ore already).

If a metal is malleable then it is because the neat arrangement of atoms allows for the atoms to be easily moved. Introducing a gold alloy enables for larger or smaller sized atoms to lock the arrangement making the metal harder.

Gold and copper were the first metals to be discovered by humans around 5000 B.C.

Researchers attach molecules to gold nanoparticles that are attracted to diseased regions of the body , such as cancer tumours.This enabled the functionalized gold nanoparticles to be used to in targeted drug delivery. Nano-chemistry is a new emerging researched area but that deserves it’s own blog post! 


A-level Chemistry fourth edition by E.N Ramsden

All pictures are from Google images.

Writing is my own.

A brief history of his life 

Stephen William Hawking was born on the 8th of  January 1942 (300 years after the death of Galileo) in Oxford, England. His parents’ house was in north London, but during the second world war, his family moved to Oxford for safety reasons. When he was eight, his family moved to St. Albans, a town about 20 miles north of London. At the age of eleven, he went to St. Albans School and then on to the University of Oxford , his father’s former university. Hawking wanted to study Mathematics, although his father would have preferred medicine. However,  Mathematics was not available there at the time, so he pursued Physics instead. After three years  he was awarded a first  class honours degree in Natural Science. 

Hawking then went on to Cambridge to do research in Cosmology, there being not much work in that area in Oxford at the time

After leaving the Institute of Astronomy in 1973, Hawking came to the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in 1979, and held the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics from 1979 until 2009 (also held by Sir Isaac Newton in 1669).

Hawking continued to do work on quantum gravity and general relativity and is considered to be one of the best theoretical physicists since Einstein.

In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. Yet he defied all odds and proved doctors wrong.

Happy 75th Birthday professor!

Stay Curious

Random thoughts

Hello everyone

Do you ever reach that state of mind where you enter another world and your vivid inagination kicks in? 

I get that A LOT.

  • On the bus/train
  • Before I fall asleep
  • Toilet/shower
  • Listening to music
  • Cleaning
  • Sorting out my room
  • Looking back at pictures/memories

This is where life’s deep questions or statements pop up.*most*

For example:

  • Try imagining a new colour?
  • What was the world like before I was born
  • What was being in the womb like?
  • What if the universe suddenly disappeared into the big crunch
  • What if Neptune engulfs the earth (this was a dream I had and it was so terrifying, more like a nightmare)
  • What is nothing
  • Imagine a place with no colour or blackness
  • Every single moment in history has lead to you reading this right now
  • What if my parents never met
  • What if I lived in another country (my parents nearly moved to Italy when I was a baby, feww that they didn’t , I love my life now)
  • Are zebras white with black stripes or black with white stripes? *stupid question*
  • Does Mike from Monsters University wink or blink?

Sweet dreams & stay curious!

Is Religion Necessary?

Hello everyone!

Before you attack me,    I just wanted to say that  this is a piece of creative iconoclastic writing I prepared for my English GCSE controlled assessment. I still haven’t received  my grade back.We have a word limit which explains why I haven’t written the usual masses of amounts I do for assignments. Enjoy!

Planet Earth,4.5 billion years old. A planet revolving around a medium sized,yellow dwarf, main sequence star which happens to be situated in an ideal zone  capable of sustaining life at just the right distance for imperative  chemical processes to occur.4.5 billion years of history and if you were to imagine all of the Earth’s time scaled down to only 24 hours humans have only exited for approximately 1 minute , at 04:00 the origin of life appeared,  at 14:08 single celled algae appeared and at 23:00 dinosaurs appeared.Crazy, right? We Homo sapiens really haven’t been here long enough.Today we are 100 years too late  to explore the planet and 100 years too early to explore space by interstellar travel but we were born at just the right time to explore Mathematics and language. Scarily enough,   we know more about outer space than we do about our own oceans here on Earth.

How , you may ask , do we know this? Well it certainly didn’t come from Holy Scripture. In fact many discoverers in science are thanks to the advancement of technology and the will to keep asking questions.

The war on science

For hundreds of years scientists’ ideas have been bashed simply because their ideas went against creationists’ ideas of how the earth was made.The Theory of Evolution by Charles Darwin,the idea of an expanding universe by George Lemaitre,  the idea that the Earth isn’t at the centre of the universe by Kepler,  Galileo and Copernicus and the idea that microbial pathogens cause disease by Ignaz Semmelweis were all once that were rejected! Now imagine of they were totally ignored? We certainly wouldn’t have the privileges of medicine(antibiotics), X-rays,  space research aboard the International Space Station and many other things science brings  us.The list goes on.However , what strikes me the most is how oblivious people can be to the importance of science.If teenagers in today’s generation idolised scientists as they do for actors or musicians then we’d probably already be exploring the stars, the nearest being Alpha Centauri which is 4.2 light years away from Earth.

Whilst religion may bring peace,  prosperity,  a sense of love and purpose it can also being disagreements. Metaphorically speaking, if you assume religion is the man and God is the elephant and multiple blind men are surrounding an elephant describing what they sense, they all disagree when explaining how this elephant looks despite it being the same thing yet it is  from different perspectives.This is the analogy of omnism,  the belief in a single transcendent purpose. A commonly discussed topic in my RE GCSE class.

Then we have the philosophical arguments proposed by St. Thomas Aquinas and William Paley.The analogy of a watch is used to explain how the earth must have a designer.A watch is intricate and so is the Earth, the Earth has faults and so does a watch. The only difference is that a watch was designed by a human as opposed to the  Earth (according to this design argument) which was designed by divine intervention, also known as God. It is evident that this argument obviously doesn’t have any statistical data to prove it’s validity and perhaps this is what religious ideologists  were most afraid of. That science would change traditional customs and ways of living.

Nevertheless, many religious figures have contributed immensely to science and this was achieved , not through fancy education or expensive equipment, but through the asking of questions.It is never good to keep silent. Explore the world and keep asking questions.

Morals and standards are constantly changing and according to Google, 20% of the British public believe religion is harmful,  97% of scientists believe humans  have evolved from simpler life forms and 61% of the general  public agree.This is more than half. People’s  views are constantly changing through time and as the Internet takes over , we rely more and more on immediate answers presented to us through our electronic devices.

Regardless, I guess that some could say  ‘science without the religion is lame , religion without science is blind’.
Both Religion and science  offer different views on how to interpret life and the universe itself and some people will benefit more from rational reasoning more than others.The human brain is the most complex object in the known universe (yes that’s right , you read it correctly) and so I believe we need to take advantage of this extraordinary trait and ask questions because  no matter how absurd they sound because in the end Aristotle says ‘no great mind has ever exited without a touch of madness’.

I am certainly not trying to offend anyone , these are just my views  , everyone has different opinions. ‚ėļ



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