A brief history of mathematics: From Plato's philosophy of mathematics to modern mysteries

Illustration of a fractal.

First published on 11th July 2011. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

There's evidence that prehistoric people understood simple mathematics, as well as astronomy. The oldest evidence comes from the Lebombo bone, which is about 37,000 years old and was found in Swaziland. »

The standard model of particle physics and the search for the Higgs boson

Image created from tracking a lead-lead collision in the Large Hadron Collider.

First published on 12th June 2011. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

In April 2011, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), announced that if they've not discovered the Higgs boson by the end of 2012, then physicists should give up on finding it and reconsider the standard model of particle physics. »

Animals in space from fruit flies to Laika: A brief history of animal astronauts

Photograph of monkey Baker.

First published on 22nd May 2011. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

Last week, the Space Shuttle Endeavour left Earth for the final time, carrying banana spiders and fruit flies to the International Space Station. They are the latest in a long line of animal astronauts. Literally thousands of animals have been to space, including 32 monkeys, two cats, and at least 27 dogs. »

A brief history of antimatter: From the discovery of antimatter to AMS-02 and the search for antimatter galaxies

Photograph of particle tracks in a bubble chamber.

First published on 8th May 2011. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

The penultimate Space Shuttle mission is due to launch on the 16th May, and will transport a device known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS-02, to the International Space Station. The AMS-02 is designed to identify cosmic rays, high-energy particles that originate from space. »

Why can't we remember the future?: Special relativity, spacetime, and freewill

Photograph of trains arriving and departing at a station in Stockholm.

First published on 3rd May 2011. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

The obvious answer is that we can't remember the future because it hasn't happened yet, but this cannot be the whole story. »

Oberth, Spitzer, and Hubble: A brief history of the Hubble Space Telescope

Photograph showing two interacting galaxies.

First published on 24th April 2011. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

April 24th 2011 marks the 21st anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA has released a new image to mark the occasion. This shows the interaction of spiral galaxy UGC 1810 with its companion UGC 1813. The success of the HST took decades of persistence and hard work. »

The first man in space: Yuri Gagarin and Vostok 1

Photograph of Yuri Gagarin.

First published on 14th April 2011. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

It's now been over 50 years since Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to travel to space. On 12th April 1961, Gagarin spent 108 minutes orbiting the Earth in the Vostok 1 spacecraft, before safely landing back on Earth. »

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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.