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About Howie Firth

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So far Howie Firth has created 20 blog entries.

The Big Bang 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 distance of stars and galaxies – and also their relative

The physics of the Wood of Hallaig

[one_third last="no"][/one_third] [two_third last="yes"][title size="3"]Time, the deer is in the Wood of Hallaig.[/title] 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 nature of Time. [/two_third] ‘Tha tìm,

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. But an alternative approach is to see the world as

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 Penguin number 3, Poet’s Pub by Eric Linklater. And there

Higgs 8: Physics is worth a mass

People remember 1967 for different reasons. It was the year of the Six-Day War in the Middle East and the military coup in Greece. It was the year when North Sea gas came ashore in Britain, when the Beatles issued Sergeant Pepper, and when Celtic won the European Cup. Nicole

Higgs 7: Three roads converge

By 1964 the challenge was clear. The familiar phenomena of electricity and magnetism looked as if they could be part of something even bigger. This 'something' was the electroweak interaction, with the electromagnetic field one of its aspects and the weak interaction another. The reasoning came from symmetry. Looked at

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