How can we make antimatter?

It is one of the greatest mysteries in science: why does the Universe consist almost entirely of matter? Answering this question is the ultimate goal of scientists who are attempting to make antimatter in the lab.

What gives substances their scent?

Substances generate a smell when their molecules land on so-called olfactory neurones in our noses (which, for some things, is a pretty unpleasant thought). But the exact nature of the interaction is somewhat controversial.

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Why do we need leap years?

The Earth takes about 365.25 days to complete an orbit around the Sun (one year). If you just round the calendar year down to the nearest whole number, the date recorded by the calendar will drift out of sync with the seasons.

What colour is a mirror?

In white light, which includes the wavelengths of the visible spectrum, the colour of an object is dictated by those wavelengths of light that its surface atoms fail to mop up. As a perfect mirror reflects back all the colours comprising white light, it’s also white.

Top 5 Richard Feynman books

The Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman would have celebrated his 95th birthday this week. To coincide with the new BBC documentary The Fantastic Mr Feynman, the editor of Focus magazine, Graham Southorn, selects his favourite Feynman books.