Exo-Atmospheres Send Photonic Clues

A brilliant poem about Exo-planets, thanks Kate!

Kate's Science - Real and Fantastic

Exoplanets - check out Kate Rauner's science inspired poetryStars wobble in our telescopes,
Luminosities diverge,
And from such tiny signals
Their planets do emerge.

Thousands of stars host planets,
Giants of swirling gas,
And some that seem more earthly
In their orbits and their mass.

But each of these is distant,
Lifetimes away for certain.
How ever will we know if
There’s life upon the surface?

Light filters through their atmospheres,
When atmospheres they own.
Molecules split spectra
Into patterns that are known.

Life creates imbalances,
Whatever life may be,
However strange,
Points to biology.

And so we have a protocol
As we gather specks of light,
Photons that passed through planets’ air
On their interstellar flight…

Will tell us if there’s oxygen
Or methane, CO2,
Water vapor, nitrogen,
Or ozone in the brew.

And tease us with the knowledge
That beyond our current grasp
Creation may have left its mark,
A hand we cannot clasp.


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A gravity poem:



Rubber sheet 

“The Geometry of Gravity,”

reads the card of the museum’s display

where metal spheres are leisurely launched

along the lip of a parabolic funnel.


They eddy in a sort of perpetual motion,

their descent as imperceptible as inevitable.


Early on, they collide, kissingly,

as the longer rolling elliptically hoist themselves

into intersecting orbits.

Fresher launches define their fall

with ever increasing velocity

into accelerated, deeper orbits,

more stable, circular and unique.


Their increasing forward speed

diminishes their descent

till they blur into fevered coils

hung stationary at the funnel’s neck.


They vibrate aggressively

into ghosts that vanish into the mechanism

that invisibly replaces each along the lip

of this metaphoric model of the human condition.

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Einsteins Dice

in the tesseract
I came across
Rene Descartes playing
cards with the Devil

this was a quantum
environment, so

both were cheating
willing the
cards to change

is the sneaky nature
of consciousness

I win, I lose,
therefore I am
(and every
win-win a

from some
utterly paradoxical, diabolical perspective
ten-a-penny in
the tesseract)

by Damian Garside

From https://drdamiang.wordpress.com/2016/10/14/einsteins-dice/

Dannie Abse, The stethoscope

Medicine is one of the sciences, and here is a fine poem:

Roy Marshall

” I felt that poetry shouldn’t be an escape from reality, but rather an immersion into reality, and part of my reality was, indeed, my hospital life at the time. And so I became prepared to write poems which had medical undertones. Louis Pasteur once said (talking of scientific inspiration), ‘Chance favors the prepared mind,’ and my mind was prepared to write poems that were medically coloured.”  Dannie Abse , from a lecture and reading delivered by the poet at the NYU School of Medicine, April 8, 1999.

Page from Dannie Abse Collected poems 1948- 1976, Hutchinson Press, 1977.

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Order, and disorder.
Structure and no structure.
These opposites determine, the fate of a galaxy’s shape.
and irregular.
Vigorous star formation, diversity in stars and abundant nebulae,
Which one might this be?
All these seem to have structure and organized ways of living,
Except for the irregular.
The one without a shape, without a normal way of living.
The most interesting, wholly stimulating, rebellious and gaudiest in colour.
It needs no direction, it just is.
After all,
it yields the most powerful amount of star formation.

From : https://dehersoul.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/irregulars/

To find out more about Irregular_galaxies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irregular_galaxy

Hv by Gilbert Stead

All black body radiations,
All the spectrum variations,
All atomic oscillations
Vary as “h v.”

Ultraviolet vibrations
X- and gamma-ray pulsations
Ordinary light sensations
All obey “h v.”

Here’s the right relation
Governs radiation
Here’s the new
And only true
Electrodynamical equation;

Never mind your d/dt2
V times e or half mv2
If you watch the factor “c2”)
E equals “h v.”

Even matters calorific
Such things as the heat specific
Yield to treatment scientific
If you use “h v.”

In all questions energetic
Whether static or kinetic
Or electric, or magnetic
You must use “h v.”

There would be a mighty clearance,
We should all be Planck’s adherents
Were it not that interference
Still defies “h v.”

Gilbert Stead (3 February 1888 – 5 July 1979) was a British professor of physics and pioneer in the development of radiology as a recognized medical specialty.

To be sung to the tune “Men of Harlech” (traditional Welsh tune)
With thanks to https://ww3.haverford.edu/physics/songs/cavendish/hv.htm

Brief summary of the physics in this song

Brief Reflection on Cats Growing in Trees

When moles still had their annual general meetings
and when they still had better eyesight it befell
that they expressed a wish to discover what was above.

So they elected a commission to ascertain what was above.
The commission dispatched a sharp-sighted fleet-footed
mole. He, having left his native mother earth,
caught sight of a tree with a bird on it.

Thus a theory was put forward that up above
birds grew on trees. However,
some moles thought this was
too simple. So they dispatched another
mole to ascertain if birds did grow on trees.

By then it was evening and on the tree
some cats were mewing. Mewing cats,
the second mole announced, grew on the tree.
Thus an alternative theory emerged about cats.

The two conflicting theories bothered an elderly
neurotic member of the commission. And he
climbed up to see for himself.
By then it was night and all was pitch-black.

Both schools are mistaken, the venerable mole declared.
Birds and cats are optical illusions produced
by the refraction of light. In fact, things above

Were the same as below, only the clay was less dense and
the upper roots of the trees were whispering something,
but only a little.

And that was that.

Ever since the moles have remained below ground:
they do not set up commissions
or presuppose the existence of cats.

Or if so only a little.

Miroslav Holub

A poem describing the scientific method and why scientists can disagree on results. From ‘Poems Before & After’, Blood axe Books, 2006.

Poems Before & After is available from Amazon.co.uk.