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Technology in our lives

Technology is all around us and is a fundamental part of our daily lives. But what’s the physics behind the innovations like touch screens and wireless technology that so many of us rely on?


All over the world, homes, offices, schools, airports, cafes and other public spaces have Wi-Fi networks to allow people to connect to the internet.

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If you use wireless headphones to listen to music, make your mobile phone 'hands-free' in the car or play a games console from across the room, you are probably using Bluetooth technology. But how can engineers and designers get these different devices to 'talk' to each other? And what does this have to do with a king who lived 1,000 years ago?

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If you’ve ever watched a toddler using a tablet and then attempted to 'zoom in' on a picture in a book, you’ll have noticed how quickly touch screens have become part of our everyday lives. But how do touchscreens work?

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Motion capture

Once the preserve of science-fiction films, we now live in an age where you can control a computer using gestures alone. But how can a computer 'see' where you are and what you’re doing? And how does it then convert that movement into a response? How can we look deeper and use this sort of technology for healthcare, sports and the arts?

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LED screens

How can we use just three colours (red, green and blue) to make the other colours of the rainbow and every colour in between? How can screens trick your eyes into seeing colours that aren’t there?

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