Buy How We Came to Know the Cosmos

Pseudoscience, ethics, and meaning: The relationship between philosophy and science

Map of Earth coloured to indicate the optical thickness of aerosols.

First published on 9th June 2014. Last updated on 26th October 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

Science has a massive impact on everyone. How we teach it, and what we decide to fund, can literally have life and death consequences for millions of people. This means it's vital that everyone has a good understanding of what science is and how it affects them. »

From mammoths to people: A brief history of cloning

Colour photograph showing cells dividing.

First published on 27th April 2014. Last updated on 26th October 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

In April 2014, scientists in South Korea and the United States announced that they had cloned a human embryo, which could have developed into a foetus if it had been implanted into a surrogate mother. Cloning is the process of producing genetically identical individuals. This happens naturally in all asexual reproduction and in sexual reproduction when identical siblings are born. »

Bill Nye debates Ken Ham: Creationism and the origin of the universe

Stained glass window, with text: ‘Is not God in the height of heaven?'.

First published on 16th February 2014. Last updated on 26th October 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

In February 2014, science educator Bill Nye debated young-Earth creationist Ken Ham on the topic of whether the literal interpretation of Genesis is a viable model for the origin of the universe. At first glance, this debate may seem strange and pointless, Ham is free to believe whatever he wants, as everyone should be, and science and religion are not in obvious conflict. »

Neutron stars, magnetars, and X-ray binaries: The most magnetic objects in the universe

Artist's impression of a neutron star, with a magnetosphere that extends far beyond the neutron star's radius.

First published on 8th December 2013. Last updated on 26th October 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

For the last two years, I have been researching neutron stars at the University of Southampton, supervised by Professor Malcolm Coe and Dr Wynn Ho, and we have recently made a surprising discovery. Neutron stars are the most magnetic objects in the universe, with some having magnetic fields so high that quantum behaviour comes into effect. »

From the first particle accelerators to the discovery of the Higgs boson: A brief history of CERN

Simulated image of the Higgs boson decaying.

First published on 30th July 2013. Last updated on 26th October 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

Before construction began on the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in 1954, the atom was known to be composed of electrons (an elementary particle, and a type of lepton), and a nucleus containing neutrons and protons (which are hadrons, particles now known to be made of smaller particles called quarks and gluons), and all of these particles were thought to have an antimatter partner. »

Famous female scientists: A timeline of pioneering women in science

Photograph of women working at Harvard College Observatory in the 1890s.

First published on 12th May 2013. Last updated on 26th October 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

Women are massively under-represented in physics and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects at all levels. A report by the Institute of Physics, using data from 2011, showed that 46% of schools in the UK had no girls continue to study physics after the age of 16. »

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The Star Garden is a science news and science education website run by Dr Helen Klus.

How We Came to Know the Cosmos covers the history of physics focusing on space and time, light and matter, and the mind. It explains the simple discoveries we made in prehistoric times, and how we built on them, little by little, until the conclusions of modern theories seem inevitable. This is shown in a timeline of the universe.

The Star Garden covers the basics for KS3, KS4, and KS5 science revision including SATs, GCSE science, and A-level physics.