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Canada’s birthday physics, Liberty’s true colours, Trump’s Science cover

Famous Canadian: nuclear pioneer Harriett Brooks (Courtesy: PI)

Famous Canadian: nuclear pioneer Harriett Brooks. (Courtesy: PI)

By Hamish Johnston

Tomorrow (1 July) is the 150th birthday of Canada. Or more precisely the anniversary of the day when three British colonies (one of which was already called Canada) joined together and started the long and peaceful journey to becoming fully independent of the UK in 1982. How very Canadian, and I should know because I am one of the 36 million Canadians who will be celebrating tomorrow.

Synonymous with physics in Canada over the past decade or so is the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario. Folks there have put together a selection of “13 physics innovations you may not know are Canadian”. I wasn’t aware of some of the innovations, including the work of Harriett Brooks (above). But I am pleased to say that I have met both of the physics Nobel laureates mentioned in the article – Art McDonald and Bert Brockhouse.


Moving south of the border, PBS and the American Chemical Society have teamed up to make a fascinating video (above) about how in just 30 years the air in New York harbour turned the Statue of Liberty from a copper hue to the familiar blue-green of today.

And finally, that famous New Yorker Donald Trump is featured on the cover of Science, one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals. Well, sort of. It’s actually a spoof cover created by the folks at Donald J Trump, PhD. While I don’t think this site has any connection to the current occupant of the White House, it had us laughing out loud all afternoon. The Twitter feed is particularly good – my favourite is “Fermilab is a disaster. Neutrinos going through the sky – stars ready to explode. I will fix it…”

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