Knowledge Nibbles

Knowledge Nibbles

Enjoy some brain food and keep up to date on the science behind current events with our bitesize science articles! Each “nibble” is synthesised from various sources into a short, typically 2 minute read. Satisfy your hunger for knowledge by clicking the links below!

Electric skies: what is lightning and how do
thunderstorms work?

Around the world, every day there are over 3 million flashes of lightning – that’s about 44 strikes per second. The beautiful bolts and characteristic rumbles of thunder are instantly recognisable, but what actually causes them? And can you have one without the other?

Why are bubbles rainbow coloured?

In the bath, washing the dishes or playing outside – we all recognise the rainbow sphere of a soap bubble. But soap isn’t rainbow coloured, and neither is water… So what causes the beautiful spectrum on its surface?

What’s up? October stargazing tips for World Space Week 2020

Find out what’s in our night skies throughout October, and how to see them with the naked eye! Wrap up warm, head outside and explore the heavens this month, as part of World Space Week (4th-10th October) and beyond.

Why do we need satellites?

The theme of World Space Week 2020 is “Satellites Improve Life” – find out more about why we need them, Elon Musk’s ambitious project to revolutionise our internet connection, and why the thousands of metal boxes in orbit are inadvertently posing a modern threat to our night sky.

The science of fireworks!

Fireworks have been with us for centuries but the technology continues to advance and amaze us with dramatic colours, patterns, sounds and precision timing. So what’s the science behind these marvels?

How to make a rainbow

Now recognised as a symbol of hope and gratitude, a rainbow is a beautiful natural phenomenon. But how do they form? And why are they curved? Find out what makes a rainbow, and where to look for that pot of gold…

The physics of the perfect dive

Did Great Britain’s fantastic performance in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic diving get you wondering about how it’s possible to fit so many incredible tricks and stunts into less than two seconds of falling? Read on…

Using viruses to fight bacteria

Decades of misuse and overuse of antibiotics have led to many strains of bacteria developing resistance. We need a new solution, fast, and scientists are turning to an unlikely friend to help us: one of the oldest, most deadly, entities on Earth: viruses...

Dark Skies Week 2022: The Problem with Light Pollution

During Dark Skies Week (22nd – 30th April) 2022, we chatted with Dr Sam Morrell about his research into how light affects humans and animals...