Unseen Heroes of Science

Gideon Mantell (1790–1852) Mantell was a full-time medical doctor, but made some incredible contributions to palaeontology in his spare time. He was the first to correctly identify dinosaur fossils as giant reptiles and to describe Iguanodon, but was constantly fielding criticism from his rival, the founder of the Natural History Museum, Richard Owen. Eminent French […]

Top 5 Unseen Weapons

5. The ultrasound gun The sonic devastator Imagine the sound of fingernails scraping down a blackboard, then amplify it to 130 decibels (which is equivalent to a jet plane taking off) and you begin to understand how the Sonic Devastator got its name. Designed for riot control, the hand-held gun’s design restricts its beam to […]

Proofing the pudding

For something so small, it’s not shy of a big theory. In fact, the atom and its activity have a long history in the world of theoretical science, punctuated by the ideas of many a perplexed physicist. The birth of atomic theory takes us way, way back to ancient Greek times. Here, Democritus (460–370 BC), […]

Lurking in the dark

Science has a long-standing tradition of making more powerful microscopes, detectors and other instruments in its quest for greater understanding. From the first suggestion of the existence of atoms, to the high-energy probing taking place at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) today, it is clear that science aims to unearth the absolute foundations of nature […]

Hiding behind nature

Hide and seek goes on just about everywhere. It’s a simple case of looking hard enough. Camouflage allows organisms of all shapes and sizes to remain unnoticed by their predators or prey. Obvious examples include a tiger’s stripes or a leopard’s spots, but let’s take a closer look at some more unusual cases of visual […]