• Question: Do you do mini experiments in your free time?

    Asked by rhino2000 to Meeks, Pete, Stephen, Steve, Tom on 21 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Steve Roser

      Steve Roser answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      cooking. I like to do a bit of the old Heston Blumenthal now and again to try and see whay things taste like they do etc. I am also scouring the UK for the perfect espresso, which is kind of scientific.

    • Photo: Stephen Curry

      Stephen Curry answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      Sometimes – I did one last night to fix our internet connection. The engineer had added a signal attenuator to the modem last weekend. He said the modem wasn’t working because the signal was too strong.

      But then yesterday it stopped working again. I hypothesised that the signal was perhaps too weak (for some reason). I removed the attenuator and it started working! Bingo!

      Caution: this was a one-off experiment which was not properly controlled. But I imagine I may have to repeat it several times over the next few weeks. What a pain.

    • Photo: Tom Hartley

      Tom Hartley answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      I do sometimes, but it’s hard to get the necessary equipment to interesting ones. Sometimes I use the computer to work things out at home, for example, I started to wonder if I could get rid of the annoying vuvuzela noise from the world cup commentary – I figured out how to do it.

      One Summer’s day I built a Newton’s pendulum in the garden (out of magnastix).

      I also tried to make a conical jelly (which I regarded as a vaguely scientific enterprise). Unfortunately this went wrong.

      If I could get some coloured lasers there are some interesting experiments I’d do with colour vision, but then I’d need lots of people to try them out with.

      Basically, science is fun to me, and the less I have to worry about what other people want me to do, the more fun it is.

    • Photo: Marieke Navin

      Marieke Navin answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      I do mini-experiments all the time. At the moment i’m trying to make a musical instrument out of wine glasses! you know how you can make a sound by running your finger over the edge? if you put different amounts of water in the glass you can make different notes so i hope to play a simple tune.

      There are loads of mini experiments you can try. For example – how can you make a cork balance on the end of your nose???

    • Photo: Pete Edwards

      Pete Edwards answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      Most scientists can’t leave their science at work and switch off. I’m always seeing things that make me think – whether its a rainbow, a particularly bright star an interesting cloud or sound or ………………..