By Matin Durrani
Most readers of this blog first got interested in physics for a variety of reasons — be it an inspiring teacher, a good popular-science book, or just a deeply held desire to get to the bottom of something really quite hard.
Sadly, not everyone has the same passion for physics as physicists themselves. People are, of course, perfectly happy to reap the benefits of physics — be it finding their way in the car using a GPS sat-nav system, downloading the latest movies over the optical fibres of the Internet, or getting treated with an MRI scanner when they’re ill.
But that does not mean non-physicists want to know anything about physics. Even worse, many people aren’t even aware of what physics can do.
Now, though, my colleagues at the Institute of Physics have published an excellent report that outlines, at a very simple level, how physics has contributed to 10 different technological developments.
Entitled Physics for an Advanced World, the glossy full-colour report can be downloaded for free here
Launched at the House of Commons earlier this week, it has 10 case studies showcasing the the social and economic benefits of physics — each with great photos, accessible text and a useful timeline. Other applications in addition to those mentioned above include holography, lasers and, of course, the Web itself.
Without which you would not be reading this blog.