Tag archives: puzzle
By Matin Durrani
Everyone loves physics. And everyone loves animals, right? In the December issue of Physics World magazine, which is now live in the Physics World app for mobile and desktop, University of Bristol physicist Peter Barham explains how he became an expert in penguins, studying the factors that that affect their survival and discovering how to use the spots on African penguins to identify them. You can also read the article here.
Elsewhere in the new issue, you can enjoy our selection of the best books for Christmas, discover how one physicist became a successful contemporary dancer, and find out how to spot single photons with your naked eye.
Don’t miss either the chance to win a copy of Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Collection 5 in our special prize puzzle.
By Louise Mayor
Did you manage to solve Physics World’s festive puzzle, published last month? In case you missed it, take a look at part 1 and part 2 and see how you fare. The puzzle was created for Physics World by Colin of the UK’s Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ), whose full identity cannot be revealed.
Spoiler alert: the solution in full is posted below.
The image above is the second and final part of Physics World’s festive puzzle 2014. If this is the first you’ve heard about the puzzle, start by checking out Physics World’s festive puzzle: part 1, which was published a week ago.
Can you solve it? Let us know how you get on by posting a comment below, but please do keep the answer to yourself, if you work it out, to avoid giving the game away for others.
We hope you enjoy this bit of fun. There are no prizes – the only reward is the satisfaction of finishing the puzzle. Solutions will be published on this blog in January.
Although I wouldn’t want to tar us all with the same brush, for many people – including me – the festive period marks indulging in rest, rich food and a reacquaintance with the goggle-box.
Switching off and slumping on the sofa seems like the best thing ever for a few days, but eventually I find it gets a bit boring. That’s when I find myself craving some mental stimulation, whether that be gorging on crosswords, designing a new knitting pattern or learning a new programming language.
But how about you – are you busy right now digesting roast potatoes and zoning out on Indiana Jones, or do you have an appetite, instead, for a challenge?
By Louise Mayor
(Warning: spoilers below for those who haven’t yet tried the Physics World at 25 puzzles.)
October 2013 was Physics World’s 25th birthday. It was also the month in which, unusually for me, I compulsively checked the comments being posted on this blog. That’s because we published a series of five physics-themed puzzles as part of the celebrations, which left me both (a) excited to see if people would enjoy them, and (b) nervous that some loose cannon might reveal an answer and spoil the fun! (It didn’t calm my worries that the very first comment made on the very first puzzle – now deleted – was indeed the answer to the puzzle.)
With more than 1000 comments posted in total, the response to the puzzles was staggering. Commenters posted where they’d come in the rankings (“Hallelujah! #121. That was a tough slog.”), encouraged others to persevere (“Ted, I think you’re nearly there. You’re right about the first word”) and recipients of help were very grateful (“Thanks uszkanni! I’ve been going a bit mental on that one.”)
The infographic above-right shows the number of correct answers submitted to the online answer-checking tool for each of the puzzles, as of early December. We were very impressed with those numbers: not everyone at Physics World HQ was so successful.
Some commenters also debated whether there were mistakes in the puzzles or even more than one possible answer. “Please do better next time Louise,” someone warned me.
Unfortunately, as I couldn’t debate this without giving the game away, my lips were sealed! Today, however, we can announce not only the single-word answers to the puzzles, but also how you can arrive at these answers. Thanks again to Colin, Nick and Pete at the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), who composed all the puzzles as well as the solutions below.
If you haven’t tried the puzzles yet, and would like to have a go before seeing the solutions, here are the links to each:
By Margaret Harris
Physics World’s light-hearted quiz about the year in physics has occupied the back page of the December print edition every year since 2004 and this year, as we did last year, we’ve created an interactive online version. The 2013 quiz can be found here and although there’s no prize for getting a high score, you’ll be able to check your results once you’ve completed all of the 25 questions. Each question is based on an event or story that the magazine has reported on this year.
By Louise Mayor
Did anyone out there manage to bag the whole set? See where you rank by entering all five answers, in sequential order and as a single string of text with no spaces, in the box below.
However you do, we sincerely hope you enjoy trying the puzzles.
For any frustrated puzzlers out there who are at the end of their tether and want to know the answers, do not fret: the solutions will be revealed in the January 2014 issue of Physics World.
By Louise Mayor
It is time for the final and most fiendish challenge in the Physics World at 25 Puzzle. Have you got what it takes to figure it out? #PW25puzzle
Check out our round-up of the entire puzzle series where you can enter your answers to all five puzzles.
This question consists of a list of 55 words, plus one lone word. You have to work out where the lone word slots into the list. Each of the 56 words can be associated with another word and this second set of 56 words are in alphabetical order. The second set of 56 words divide up into seven sets of eight words, with the seven sets representing seven methods of pairing. The list reads from left to right, top to bottom.
Where does FLOW slot into the following list?
METEOR POSITRON PRINCIPLE MARS
NUMBER MODEL COINCIDENCE BORDA
DISH NEUTRON UNIVERSE EFFECT
MOON LANE DAY MAN
LINES HOLOGRAPHY KLEIN NAMAKA
KING SUN GIBBS INDUCTANCE
FREQUENCY TIME WATER ENERGY
IO MASS CYCLOTRON LANDAU
PHOBOS WELL LEVY FERRIMAGNETISM
TRITON TON RESISTANCE PRESSURE
ROSE GROSS CONSTANT CHARON
ARGON NEUTRINO FORD TITAN
CONDUCTANCE FRICTION MIRANDA FORCE
POWER DARCY MODULUS
The answer needs to be entered as three words, in this order: the associated word of the listed word that precedes FLOW, FLOW’s associated word, and the associated word of the listed word that follows FLOW. The three words should be entered as a single string of text with no spaces.
By Louise Mayor
Prepare to be perplexed by the fourth and penultimate brainteaser in the Physics World at 25 Puzzle. #PW25puzzle
Which food is, unusually, mentioned in the third of these well-known laws of physics?
KEPLcRS FIddT iAW ecYc hHec adu OrBug ey hVbit PLsNgm oS ff fjagnhf WenH bbg iUq sg Odh cF fme dfCv
egmyffa kijpNd vql DffmqszgS doW kHd garbtnpgmvbd dF kx nBJdCe xdLjcpe co uic McaS knD jHe FjRcE ACgecG ON IT
THE mmIRD LAW OF THERMODYNAMwCS GIVst xHe kNoRxPY iF nqsnx Ay kjMsivmTUio jjPnOACHlS ZERO
By Louise Mayor
Have you got what it takes to crack the third conundrum in the Physics World at 25 Puzzle? You can catch up on the previous two instalments here. #PW25puzzle
You are trying to find a phrase with the pattern 3, 6, 2, 8, 8. The puzzle answer is the six-letter word. We hope you enjoy the joke.
QIGC-YLKQDQRIKR INTPRDLKQ DKYGTSDKA IWYBPKAI PKS YLOOIGPRDLK ICCIYRQ
RKPPDRSEKJ SK LDJQESY-ATJRSEKJWH WMMPKXEIWSEKJQ AKP IWJY-DHDRSPKJ QYQSDIQ
IMJQHN OPTPY JF PVY YDYEPMJH ITO WX T OPJEVTOPAE GYPVJN