Jack Harris

The habit of a lifetime – The debate surrounding the lifespan of Britain’s Trident submarines

In Oliver Wendell Holmes's poem, ‘The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay', a horse-drawn carriage was designed to run ‘for a 100 years to the day', and, indeed, on its 100th anniversary a...

From polonium to plutonium – The poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko

Like the radioactive element itself, the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, is an affair which is pervasive and persistent - accounts of polonium contamination of even more London restaurants and aeroplanes...

On the trail of polonium – The history of polonium-210

Following the poisoning and death of the former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko, I have been assailed by kith and kin to give an account of the poisoning agent, polonium-210. The...

Disputing the notion that materials are 'boring'

On annual visits to Scotland, driving just north of the border along the A74(M), I always slow down at the sign to the Scottish Museum of Lead Mining, but then...

The decline in students studying Physics

Friends ring me up or stop me in the street to tell me how pleased I must be that nuclear power looks as though it’s in for some sort of...

A possible solution to global warming

It was Jean Fourier who, in 1827, first realised that it was the atmosphere that protects us from the coldness of space. In the 1850s, John Tyndall recognised that only...

The nuclear power stations of the future

The nuclear power cognoscenti welcomed the election of Jimmy Carter as President of the USA at the end of 1976. He was the only world leader with hands-on experience of...

Improving life expectancy and private vs public education

In the summer of 1944, coinciding with D-Day and the arrival of the first ‘doodle-bug’ flying-bomb, I learned that I had passed the 11 plus exam and had secured a...

James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis and natural uranium reactors

As promised, I return to the subject of James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis which considers the Earth as an intimately linked system of physical, chemical and biological processes, interacting in a...

Is the Gaia theory a good idea?

Imagine you are a student with GCSEs in geology, geography and biology and view the massive white cliffs of Dover on returning from a school trip to France. You would...

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