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A collection of articles.

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Scientists do not have to sign up to any kind of Hippocratic oath as do medical doctors but Richard Feynman  (1918 – 1988), a Nobel Laureate, suggests the our responsibilities are even greater to the layman and fellow scientists.  Feynman

Starting out in life after one’s educational years is very difficult in these present times ( post 2010…… ). It was completely different in the 1950/60’s as the UK had a strong manufacturing base and employment levels were high. Apprenticeship  schemes were available with most companies and this was the way that most youngsters entered the world of work. The attached describes how I spent two years in Libya.

HRH and Libya 

( see page 3 for more details about the nation of Libya)


After Libya I went back into academia for further study; an MSc course in Quantum Electronics followed by a PhD in Semiconductor Physics. New materials were being investigated and Gallium Phosphide was a potential material for making Light Emitting Diodes. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance studies and conductivity measurements were made at Keele University and Infra-red studies followed at Reading University. A publication from Reading is included : GaP_N

Teaching at Manchester Polytechnic has covered a variety of topics.

That wonderful world of electronics – how it started

100 years of electronics


A description of an experimental Stirling Engine



A simple method for measuring the Earth’s magnetic field ( value about 60 uT)



A Fieldmill apparatus for measuring the Earth’s electric field (value about 120 V/m)



A simple gravimeter to measure the Earth’s gravitational field (g = 9.81 m/s/s)



Interesting watching from Helen Czerski : BBC series on the  The Dangerous Earth

  1. Avalanches,  2. Volcanoes,  3. Aurora , 4. Lightening, 5. Tornadoes, and 6. Icebergs


A brief description of the Ferranti Companies’ work on Photovoltaic cell modules and arrays.

As one shall see in the file below the company’s operation was small scale and each cell was manipulated manually  at the various stages of operation. In the new millennium we have moved to large scale operation and China has out-classed all other nations.



Photovoltaic cells

Of course, the Ferranti company no longer exists so the UK no longer competes in this important market.


A delightful day-out to be included in your next visit to North Yorkshire

A Museum in one’s home


Walking around Marple: the hills, the canals and the Middlewood way — what would we do without them?

The Middlewood_Way


If Santa doesn’t come at Christmas — worry not — the RI Lectures will cheer you up

The RI lectures

EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATE OF THE LUMINOSITY OF THE SUN – this is a “MUST” read for for anyone doing experimental work. It is about the solar constant which is a measure of the amount of sunlight falling on the earth. A recent paper is given :-  sun8

The next article fails to take into account the losses from the bolometer and contains fake Physics


Some discussions have ensured about the correct measurement method as shown in  solar_constant1

How much does one fight to change a “wrong” into a “right”. Well I felt that a note should be sent to the Journal “Physics Education” to explain my views as explained in the solar_constant1 file. This is  Sun2_PE    .. The authors did respond and made the excuse that their original paper had been an “estimate” of the solar constant. I was hoping that they would confess that their reference to Stefan’s law was totally incorrect but that was not to be! Their response is on sun1     ..  

Additional paper (also incorrect) is provided in   Sun2  

A NIST publication has been consulted where the solar constant has a value 2.05 gm-calories per sq cm per minute. It is hoped that my sums are correct and this results in a value 1433 Watt per square meter .

A review is given of ground based solar constant measurements – between 1344  and 1372 Watts per square meter clk

Almost two decades ago a microwave analyser was designed and the following paper describes how this work was carried out.  Please see PC_Analyser More references in “Applied Microwave and Wireless” journal are available on a Compact Disk.




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