David Glasser: working towards economic benefits

On 29 September 1936, David Glasser was born in Alexandria in the Eastern Cape. A strong scholar, he was placed in St Andrews School in Bloemfontein for his primary education, going on to complete his secondary schooling at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth. Matriculating first class in 1954, Glasser was placed fifth in the…

Bernie Fanaroff brought SA the world’s largest telescope

Dr Bernie Fanaroff did his PhD because of his interest in physics – and in the process developed a way to classify very distant radio sources that is still being used today. Since then, much of his efforts have gone into South Africa – among others as a union movement leader, as a civil servant…

A sports car and a glitter ball are now in space – what does that say about us as humans?

In this article from The Conversation, Alice Gorman of Flinders University weighs in on the symbolism behind South African-born Elon Musk’s red sports car being part of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch – and other items in space.  Two controversial objects have recently been launched in space, and their messages couldn’t be more different. One is Elon…

Water-dwelling organisms show new ways to harvest light for solar tech

What can single-celled diatoms living in water teach us about harvesting light? Alot, says Prof Tjaart Kruger of the University of Pretoria, in this article from The Conversation Africa. Photosynthesis is a great source of inspiration for solar technology. By studying the minutiae of how plants convert light into useful forms of energy, scientists can better mimic…

How to make a telescope’s control room a happy place

When building a optical telescope, there’s more to consider than just lenses and high-end processors. The human element – the people that will actually work with it – also needs to be considered, for instance when designing the telescope’s control room. Christopher Justin Hendrickse, a lecturer in Product/Industrial Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology…

Gas sensing machine a breath of fresh air for Unizulu physicists

PHYSICISTS at the University of Zululand are beside themselves with joy after obtaining an important gas sensing machine, one of only two in the country. UNIZULU clinched the important instrument after impressing the National Research Foundation (NRF) with a tenacious application and landed them the R4.6 million instrument. “The machine is a great blessing for…

Big discoveries and sharper pictures for growing MeerKAT telescope

THE MEERKAT telescope turned its eyes to deep space for the first time last year, and this year has produced even more captivating images with all its 32 eyes. Minister at the Department of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, delivered news on the progress of the telescope to parliament on Tuesday. In July 2016, the…