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1. Topic of the Moment – the search for life (Score: 1.0000)
As IOP’s London and South East Branch hosts a talk on astrobiology, we look at the search for life beyond the Earth. Within our solar system there are several places on which the search for life is focused. We can already spot organic material – the building blocks of life – in deep space, so it seems inevitable that if life is out there it will be detected sooner rather than later.

2. Committee (Score: 1.0000)
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3. Topic of the Moment � solar eclipses (Score: 1.0000)
This month's event will be a total eclipse from the Faroe Islands and Svalbard, but only a partial eclipse in the UK. Total solar eclipses happen about once every 18 months, but extremely rarely reoccur in the same place. Looking directly at the Sun can cause retinal damage, so care must be taken when viewing an eclipse. Solar eclipses are not merely spectacular events, though ' they're also an opportunity to do some valuable science, allowing observation of phenomena normally hidden or...

4. Marie Curie and Lise Meitner (Score: 1.0000)
As the IOP hosts a talk on pioneering women in physics, we profile two of those featured: Marie Curie and Lise Meitner. 1898 Marie Curie and husband Pierre identify new elements – polonium and radium – and discover that thorium is also radioactive. 1938 Lise Meitner, Otto Frisch, Otto Hahn, and Fritz Strassmann carry out experiments involving bombarding uranium with neutrons and discover nuclear fission of heavy elements.

5. Blooper reel (Score: 1.0000)
An aether of some sort was postulated in both the particle and wave theories of light. Of the two competing theories, the wave explanation won out when James Clerk Maxwell combined four equations of electricity and magnetism to produce a wave equation in which the propagation speed was the speed of light. Their result was one of the motivations for Albert Einstein to develop the special theory of relativity, in which the speed of light is constant and time and length are relative and depend ...

6. Topic of the Moment: lasers (Score: 1.0000)
The underlying theory behind the laser was first developed by Albert Einstein in 1917, but a working device wasn’t produced – operating at microwave frequencies – until 1953. Improvements since then have meant that modern lasers can work in continuous operation rather than having to be pulsed, have a wider range of frequencies of light that they can produce, and both a higher maximum power and greater efficiency at lower cost. in science fiction, lasers had not been put ...

7. Topic of the Moment � LEDs (Score: 1.0000)
When a voltage passes through the LED, electrons recombine with holes in the semiconductor, emitting light in the process. Creation of blue LEDs proved elusive until Shuji Nakamura of the Nichia Corporation in Tokushima, Japan, produced one 1994. Blue, green and red LEDs can be combined to produce white light, so they can be used to create lamps that use vastly less electricity than incandescent bulbs.

8. Topic of the Moment: fuel cells (Score: 1.0000)
Fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into water, producing electricity in the process. The type typically considered for transport applications e proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Unlike batteries, which convert stored chemical energy to electricity, fuel cells need a constant supply of hydrogen and oxygen in order to work.

9. Topic of the Moment � Proton Beam Therapy (Score: 1.0000)
As Ashya King begins to receive proton beam therapy for a brain tumour, we look at what the treatment is and how it works. Proton beam therapy works similarly to conventional radiotherapy, except that beams of protons, instead of X-rays, are used to kill cancer cells. Two advanced radiotherapy centres offering high-energy proton beam therapy are set to open in 2018.

10. Topic of the Moment � the Rosetta comet mission (Score: 1.0000)
In August, the European Space Agency's probe Rosetta made its final approach to Comet Churyumov'Gerasimenko, entering the last stage of a mission a decade in the making that aims to be the first to land a spacecraft on a comet. In 1969, Kiev-based astronomers Klim Ivanovych Churyumov and Svetlana Ivanovna Gerasimenko discovered the comet now being orbited by the Rosetta spacecraft. Currently circling the comet under its rocket power, Rosetta will enter a proper orbit during September and,...

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