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...
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...
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...
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...
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, ...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Speediest quantum operation yet
Fast version of 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...
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...
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...
What we can learn from making crepes
Spreading the batter just right have applications in industry.
Some friendly banter between a married couple making crepes in their kitchen could lead to cheaper electronics and mo...
Underwater spider may help make industry safer
Ability to trap air has application in keeping flow lines flowing.
A study inspired by spiders that live underwater could help industry control toxic or inflammable gases in fluid line...
Probing the intimacies of atom-to-atom contact
Imaging offers insight into quantum computing challenges.
A new experiment has mapped the process of two atoms colliding. It’s something that happens every time you touch some...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Revealing the interior of black holes
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...
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...
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...
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...
Hints of a ‘sterile’ neutrino
Flaws in the Standard Model of particle physics.
Scientists may have caught a glimpse of a new breed of particle from an unseen side of the universe.
Bubbles! The physics of champagne
Popping cork at a celebration sets off a complex train of events.
Opening a bottle of champagne not only signifies the start of a celebration, but also uncorks a swathe of sophisticat...
Supercomputer clues to violent magnetic events
Modelling clarifies mystery of solar storms and aurorae.
Researchers are a step closer to understanding the violent magnetic events that cause the storms on the sun’s surface...
Quantum pancake clues to better electronics
Anomaly suggests a way forward for superconductors.
An experiment with a cloud of ultracold atoms squashed into a quantum pancake has revealed never-before seen quantum ...
Key renewable energy component
Blue dye could revolutionise battery design.
Water polluted with industrial waste could turn out to be the perfect thing for storing energy from renewables, scien...
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...
A step closer to a theory of quantum gravity
Resolving predictions from relativity & quantum physics.
A new approach to combining Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity with quantum physics could come out of a paper pu...
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...
Incredibly tiny explosion packs a big punch
Researchers record for the first time the birth of nanoplasma.
Japanese researchers have captured the birth of a nanoplasma – a mixture of highly charged ions and electrons – in ex...
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...
Distant galaxy is spewing neutrinos at us
Fundamental particles and a violent “blazar” linked.
One of the highest energy neutrinos ever detected probably came from a distant galaxy with a jet of plasma spewing di...
The physics of perfect pizza
Why pizzas cooked in electric ovens never taste quite right.
A Russian physicist living in Rome has analysed pizza-making and found why wood ovens are superior to electric ones: ...
The physics of knitting
Resting on some surprisingly complex calculations.
A new theory could help engineers to create materials for use as smart textiles, artificial tissue and even the aerod...
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...
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....
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...
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...
Friction is determined by history
Friction is more complicated than previously thought.
Friction has memory, a team at Harvard University in the US has discovered.
Researchers found that the force which k...
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...
A choice of waters: still, sparkling, para or ortho?
The world’s best known molecule actually comes in two types.
We all know water is H2O. Now researchers have discovered if you stick one H from the pair on upside down, it changes...
First attempt at quantum drumming
Work to move quantum effects on macro scale are showing promise.
A simple experiment in which a tiny drum is beaten with a drumstick made of light could make quantum mechanics visibl...
Super-hot water in less than a second
Use of X-rays to snap-change water from liquid to plasma.
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...
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 ...
Custom molecules built with optical tweezers
Combined atoms form molecule used in quantum computing.
Scientists have hand-built a designer molecule using optical tweezers, in the process pioneering an entirely new form...
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...
Anti-particle that could explain the universe
Can a neutrino be its own anti-particle?
One of the biggest mysteries of the universe is closer to being solved after four research groups reported new levels...
Lithium-air battery boost electric car longevity
Overcomes problems to create super-light, durable power pack.
Researchers have designed a new lithium-based battery that could hold up to five times more energy than current lithi...
The physics of doing the laundry
The business of doing washing has had physicists baffled.
Scientists have proved that cleaning dirty clothes is physically possible.
It’s something that housekeepers around t...
World’s smallest thermometer
The way to preventing heat blow-outs in next-gen electronics.
A new method for measuring temperature could be crucial in preventing nanotech machines from overheating.
New battery could power Mars transport
New lithium design works well in ultra-cold environments.
Scientists have developed rechargeable batteries that can operate at temperatures low enough to operate in hostile en...
Observatory clocks neutrino changes
New measurements narrow possibilities for elusive particles.
A giant matrix of detectors buried deep in the ice in Antarctica has produced another clue in the quest to understand...
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, ...
Heat: Energy from thermoelectricity
It may be possible to recycle heat from computers and cars.
Capturing the heat from your car’s exhaust or your computer and turning it into power has just become a hot prospect....
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 ...
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 ...
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