Phil Dooley

Phil Dooley

Phil Dooley is an Australian freelance writer, presenter, musician and videomaker. He has a PhD in laser physics, has been a science communicator for the world's largest fusion experiment JET and has performed in science shows and festivals from Adelaide to Glasgow. Under the banner of Phil Up On Science he runs science pub nights around the country and a YouTube channel.

Phil Dooley is an Australian freelance writer, presenter, musician and videomaker. He has a PhD in laser physics, has been a science communicator for the world’s largest fusion experiment JET and has performed in science shows and festivals from Adelaide to Glasgow. Under the banner of Phil Up On Science he runs science pub nights around the country and a YouTube channel.

  • The supersizing of quantum physics

    Smashing noise limits by squeezing light.

    Quantum physics is the realm of tiny particles no longer. Scientists at the giant gravitational wave detector LIGO in...

    July 3, 2020
  • Scanning with golden ‘bow ties’

    Detectors would operate in terahertz region.

    Australian and British physicists have unveiled their design for a high-precision detector they say could enable a ne...

    May 8, 2020
  • A breakthrough in muon management

    Physicists looking to up the collider energy.

    A breakthrough in muon management has set scientists dreaming of an alternative that could have 100 times the power o...

    February 13, 2020
  • Explaining an uncertain law of physics

    It’s great science, but not yet worth a million dollars.

    Turbulence is seen as the ultimate example of chaos theory: the way a butterfly flaps its wings in Australia could be...

    January 7, 2020
  • Things go pear-shaped when you split the atom

    Physicists solve a longstanding mystery about nuclear fission.

    Researchers from Australia and Japan have discovered that when atoms split, in the process known as nuclear fission, ...

    December 9, 2019
  • The puzzle of a proton’s proportions

    Two new experiments only add to the confusion.

    We are built of protons – there are around 10 octillion (1028) of them in the centre of the atoms that make up our bo...

    November 11, 2019
  • So was it the chicken or the egg?

    Physicists find time, but not as we know it.

    Physicists have finally answered the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Using two of the most pow...

    September 3, 2019
  • A ‘cancer lab’ on a chip

    New devices may enable widespread screening.

    Finding out you have cancer is bad enough, but to then have to go to hospital for a painful and invasive biopsy to tr...

    August 4, 2019
  • How to make a magnet out of liquid

    It works like a solid but flows like a fluid.

    Scientists have discovered how to make a magnet out of a liquid, by suspending iron oxide particles in a mixture of o...

    July 18, 2019
  • Speediest quantum operation yet

    A super-fast version of the central building block of a quantum computer.

    Australian scientists have linked together two electrons spins embedded in a silicon chip to form a two-qubit gate, t...

    July 17, 2019
  • The physics of the dandelion

    It’s a masterpiece of flow dynamics, Swiss researchers say.

    The floating fluff of a dandelion is a masterpiece of aerodynamic design, a study from the Swiss Federal Institute of...

    July 9, 2019
  • A ‘tsunami’ on a silicon chip

    Scientists create a world first for light waves.

    Scientists have created a tiny tsunami of light that could be used on a silicon chip. But rather than the destruction...

    July 2, 2019
  • Kitchen physics: what we can learn from making crepes

    Spreading the batter just right could have applications in industry. Phil Dooley reports.

    Cooking and science combine in the perfect crepe.Jean-Christophe Riou / Getty ImagesSome friendly banter between a ma...

    June 20, 2019
  • Underwater spider may help make industry safer

    Ability to trap air has possible application in keeping flow lines flowing. Phil Dooley reports.

    A study inspired by spiders that live underwater could help industry control toxic or inflammable gases in fluid line...

    June 16, 2019
  • Probing the intimacies of atom-to-atom contact

    Next-level imaging offers insight into quantum computing challenges. Phil Dooley reports.

    A new experiment has mapped the process of two atoms colliding. It’s something that happens every time you touch some...

    June 13, 2019
  • Ice, ice, maybe?

    Water physics thrown into doubt.

    Scientists may have smashed a theory about ice – throwing doubt on the idea that under the right conditions it can mo...

    May 23, 2019
  • Acoustics researchers discover link between Nigerian music and watermelon ripeness

    The sounds produced when tapping the fruit are echoed in a traditional drum. Phil Dooley reports.

    An international collaboration between physicists and music researchers has uncovered the way to determine if a water...

    May 13, 2019
  • Race for potassium batteries hots up

    Research addresses problems with potential lithium rival.

    Battery technology based on potassium could be the key to storing energy from renewables, according to a team of scie...

    May 12, 2019
  • Australian Nobel laureate’s wartime inventions honoured by US Army physicist

    Adelaide’s William Lawrence Bragg recognised as acoustic pioneer. Phil Dooley reports.

    William Lawrence Bragg, pictured in 1950.Hulton Archive/Getty ArchiveAustralian-born physicist  William Lawrence Brag...

    April 28, 2019
  • Revealing the interior of black holes

    The question of whether information can escape black holes.

    Scientists may have figured out the way to see into a black hole. The key? Teleporting the information out of the aby...

    March 6, 2019
  • Revealed: the physics of sticky tape

    It turns out to be hellishly complicated stuff.

    Researchers in France have revealed the microscopic secrets of the physics of sticky tape. “It’s a beautiful syste...

    February 28, 2019
  • Observations reveal new ‘shape’ for coronal mass ejections

    Radiation signatures produced by giant solar storms more complex than previously thought. Phil Do...

    Astronomers using one of the most sensitive arrays of radio telescopes in the world have caught a huge storm erupting...

    February 18, 2019
  • Could ‘negative mass’ unify dark matter, dark energy?

    Controversial model may challenge fundamentals of cosmology. Phil Dooley reports.

    The universe may be suffused with an invisible fluid that exerts negative gravity: repelling rather than attracting.T...

    December 12, 2018
  • Hints of a ‘sterile’ neutrino

    Curious result could point to flaws in the Standard Model of particle physics. Phil Dooley reports.

    Scientists may have caught a glimpse of a new breed of particle from an unseen side of the universe.Researchers condu...

    November 27, 2018
  • Bubbles! The physics of champagne

    Popping a cork at a big celebration sets off a gloriously complex train of events. Phil Dooley ex...

    Opening a bottle of champagne not only signifies the start of a celebration, but also uncorks a swathe of sophisticat...

    November 5, 2018
  • Supercomputer finds clues to violent magnetic events

    Modelling clarifies mystery of solar storms and aurorae. Phil Dooley reports.

    Researchers are a step closer to understanding the violent magnetic events that cause the storms on the sun’s surface...

    October 23, 2018
  • Quantum pancake reveals clues to better electronics

    Anomaly at ultra-cold temperatures suggests a way forward for superconductors. Phil Dooley reports.

    An experiment with a cloud of ultracold atoms squashed into a quantum pancake has revealed never-before seen quantum ...

    September 24, 2018
  • Blue dye shows promise as key renewable energy component

    A waste product from the textile industry could revolutionise battery design. Phil Dooley reports.

    Water polluted with industrial waste could turn out to be the perfect thing for storing energy from renewables, scien...

    September 2, 2018
  • Future info storage could use tiny valleys

    Proof-of-concept tests suggest the next step beyond electronics and spintronics. Phil Dooley repo...

    In the push to store ever more information in digital storage materials, physicists have made a breakthrough in a new...

    August 23, 2018
  • A step closer to a theory of quantum gravity

    A new approach to resolving different predictions from relativity and quantum physics.

    A new approach to combining Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity with quantum physics could come out of a paper pu...

    August 17, 2018
  • Star’s coughing fit cools it down

    A nebula showing a back-to-front temperature gradient is now better understood. Phil Dooley reports.

    Astronomers have solved the mystery of a rapidly-fading star at the centre of an inside-out nebula called HuBi 1, whi...

    August 9, 2018
  • Incredibly tiny explosion packs a big punch

    Japanese researchers record for the first time the birth of nanoplasma. Phil Dooley reports.

    Japanese researchers have captured the birth of a nanoplasma – a mixture of highly charged ions and electrons – in ex...

    August 7, 2018
  • Extremism and curdled milk are more similar than you might imagine

    Physicists find that internet hate groups can be described using a theory that predicts the forma...

    The same theory that explains milk going off can be used to model the rise of extremism and hate on the internet, phy...

    July 30, 2018
  • A distant galaxy is spewing neutrinos straight at us

    Antarctic detector finds a possible link between high-energy fundamental particles and a violent ...

    One of the highest energy neutrinos ever detected probably came from a distant galaxy with a jet of plasma spewing di...

    July 12, 2018
  • The physics of perfect pizza

    Researchers have worked out why pizzas cooked in electric ovens never taste quite right. Phil Doo...

    A Russian physicist living in Rome has analysed pizza-making and found why wood ovens are superior to electric ones: ...

    July 5, 2018
  • The physics of knitting

    That baby jumper your nan is making rests on some surprisingly complex calculations. Phil Dooley ...

    A new theory could help engineers to create materials for use as smart textiles, artificial tissue and even the aerod...

    June 25, 2018
  • Major wind shifts emerge from smaller changes

    Upper atmosphere winds change direction every 14 months or so, but until now no-one knew why. Phi...

    Scientists have solved the riddle of strong winds that circle the planet in the upper atmosphere, and why they revers...

    June 21, 2018
  • A star is torn

    Years of observation reveal a star ripped apart and partially consumed by a supermassive black ho...

    Astronomers have caught a supermassive black hole secretly devouring a star and spraying its entrails across the sky....

    June 14, 2018
  • Shine on, crazy nano-diamonds

    A cosmic radiation signature turns out to have been written in diamonds. Phil Dooley reports.

    Astronomers have solved a 20-year old mystery of strange microwave radiation coming from parts of the galaxy. The rad...

    June 13, 2018
  • Using magnets to control DNA-robots

    New system opens the way to real-time robotic drug delivery tech. Phil Dooley reports.

    Scientists have built a tiny robot from strands of DNA and devised a way to remote-control it using magnetic fields.T...

    June 6, 2018
  • Friction is determined by history

    Research finds friction is much more complicated than previously thought. Phil Dooley reports.

    Friction has memory, a team at Harvard University in the US has discovered.Researchers found that the force which kee...

    June 5, 2018
  • Scientists unlock the secrets of Pluto’s methane dunes

    Analysis of NASA data finds the dwarf planet has a highly dynamic environment. Phil Dooley reports.

    There are dunes on Pluto made of methane sand, the scientists studying the data from the NASA 2015 New Horizons flypa...

    May 31, 2018
  • A choice of waters: still, sparkling, para or ortho?

    The world’s best known molecule actually comes in two types – with different behaviours. Phil Doo...

    We all know water is H2O. Now researchers have discovered if you stick one H from the pair on upside down, it changes...

    May 29, 2018
  • Researchers beaten in first attempt at quantum drumming

    It’s not there yet, but work to move quantum effects onto a macro scale are showing promise. Phil...

    A simple experiment in which a tiny drum is beaten with a drumstick made of light could make quantum mechanics visibl...

    May 21, 2018
  • Super-hot water in less than a billionth of a second

    Researchers use X-rays to snap-change water from liquid to plasma. Phil Dooley reports.

    If you are sick of waiting for the kettle to boil for your morning coffee then a new technique to heat water with a p...

    May 14, 2018
  • Toy story: tiny rods self-organise, try to escape

    Emergent behaviour suggests a new way forward for robotics. Phil Dooley reports.

    Physicists have found a way to turn brainless toys into an organised army. The secret? Put a fence around them.Hamid ...

    May 10, 2018
  • Scientists build custom molecules with optical tweezers

    In a first-of-a-kind chemical reaction, US researchers have combined individual atoms to form a m...

    Scientists have hand-built a designer molecule using optical tweezers, in the process pioneering an entirely new form...

    April 12, 2018
  • Magnetising the non-magnetic, in 2D

    Researchers find a possible route to higher capacity hard drives. Phil Dooley reports.

    Future low-energy transistors could be made with ultra-thin layers of platinum, after scientists in the Netherlands f...

    April 9, 2018
  • Scientists hunt the anti-particle that could explain the universe

    Can a neutrino be its own anti-particle? Welcome to the question that involves reactions that tak...

    One of the biggest mysteries of the universe is closer to being solved after four research groups reported new levels...

    March 28, 2018
  • Lithium-air battery could boost electric car longevity

    Research overcomes problems to create super-light, durable power pack. Phil Dooley reports.

    Researchers have designed a new lithium-based battery that could hold up to five times more energy than current lithi...

    March 25, 2018
  • Coming clean: the physics of doing the laundry

    Getting your clothes clean might seem banal, but until now the business of doing the washing has ...

    Scientists have proved that cleaning dirty clothes is physically possible.It’s something that housekeepers around the...

    March 22, 2018
  • World’s smallest thermometer offers nanotech boost

    Proof-of-concept points the way to preventing heat blow-outs in next-gen electronics. Phil Dooley...

    A new method for measuring temperature could be crucial in preventing nanotech machines from overheating.As electroni...

    March 15, 2018
  • New battery could power Mars transport

    Proof-of-concept new lithium design works well in ultra-cold environments. Phil Dooley reports.

    Scientists have developed rechargeable batteries that can operate at temperatures low enough to operate in hostile en...

    March 1, 2018
  • Buried Antarctic observatory clocks neutrino changes

    New measurements narrow possibilities for elusive particles. Phil Dooley reports.

    A giant matrix of detectors buried deep in the ice in Antarctica has produced another clue in the quest to understand...

    February 19, 2018
  • Solving the riddle at a nebula’s heart

    UK research reveals why a fiery hole is smaller than it should be. Phil Dooley reports.

    Astronomers have solved the mystery at the heart of the beautiful Rosette nebula, about 5000 light-years from Earth, ...

    February 14, 2018
  • Energy from thermoelectricity

    It may be possible to recycle heat from computers and cars as electric power.

    Capturing the heat from your car’s exhaust or your computer and turning it into power has just become a hot prospect....

    May 19, 2014
  • This lens could turn your smartphone into a microscope

    The chance discovery of the power of a simple silicon polymer droplet could revolutionise remote ...

    Biomedical engineer Stephen Lee has found a cheap and simple way to turn smartphones into microscopes by attaching a ...

    May 5, 2014
  • Implant takes the fight to the tumour

    A new anti-cancer drug targeting system may reduce side effects of chemotherapy.

    A tiny anti-cancer drug factory right inside a tumour could provide a much safer and more effective way to fight the ...

    March 10, 2014

Read science facts, not fiction...

There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.