Wilson da Silva
Wilson da Silva is a science journalist in Sydney | www.wilsondasilva.com | https://bit.ly/3kIF1SO
Space Shuttle: Final Flight of a Legend
IF HUMANITY HAS a beachhead to the stars, this is it: Cape Canaveral. This sandy promontory, jutting out into the Atlantic from a barrier island on the midway point of Florida’s eastern coast, is the site of most of the manned space launches in human history.
How Lasers and Wi-Fi Were Born – Thanks to Cosmology
WHERE DO WE come from? How did we get here? They are questions which have been asked as long as there have been people. And answering them has given us not only valuable insights, but created great technologies along the way.
Japan Fights an Aging Population With Nanotech
JAPAN FACES a perfect storm: falling birth rates, an ageing population and a stagnant economy — a harbinger of what the rest of the developed world will confront. But those challenges are the catalyst for a determined push to extend working lives and outflank chronic disease, and nanomedicine is central to the effort.
Quantum Warriors: New Weapons from Spooky Physics
EVEN WARFARE is going quantum: in Australia, researchers have started plying the subatomic realm for a range of possible defence applications that might well help the nation capture, or at least maintain, regional superiority in the sky, land and sea.
Are the Nobel Prizes Still Relevant?
THERE ARE SOME MYTHS about the Nobel Prizes: that they recognise the world’s best minds. That every trailblazing discovery of astonishing brilliance is acknowledged and rewarded. That to win a Nobel Prize is to have clambered the pinnacle of human scientific achievement.
Sudden Impact: The Day the Dinosaurs Perished
SIXTY-SIX MILLION years ago, in one cataclysmic flash, the Earth changed forever. Without warning, a mountain-sized rock pierced through the 480 km of the atmosphere in an instant, and slammed into the deep bedrock of a shallow sea.
The Battery Revolution Has Begun
IT WAS THE YEAR the Soviet Union collapsed, Osama bin Laden founded al-Qaeda, and the lauded American physicist Richard Feynman died. Murphy Brown debuted on U.S. television, while at the cinema, Rain Man battled it out with Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Crocodile Dundee II.
Silk & Diamonds: The Fancy End of High-Tech Medicine
ASMA KHALID enjoys wearing a silk dress, and appreciates diamonds for their beauty. But she never expected both would end up being the cornerstone of her work as a physicist. Yet they have, and opened up a whole new way to see deep in the body and even deliver drugs.
The Man Who Coloured the Cosmos
FEW PEOPLE have a building named after them, much less an asteroid, a planet or a star. But a whole galaxy? Filled with billions and billions of stars? That’s what happened to David Malin, one of Australia’s most celebrated astronomers and one the world’s foremost astronomical photographers. And it happened by accident.
Making Nanomachines That Cure from the Inside
THE AMBITION is grand and the timeline spans decades: the development of nanomachines dispersed in the human body, performing detection, diagnosis and treatment and communicating wirelessly with physicians who monitor and direct treatment.
Changing Minds: ‘Just the Facts’ Ain’t Enough
FACTS DON’T WIN, it turns out: Ideas are more powerful than facts, especially ideas that conform to your world view. Deep down, I guess I’ve always known this. You cannot engage in debate with climate change contrarians, creationists or anti-vaccination proponents without encountering a dogged intransigence to logical arguments backed by overwhelming data.