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Science
TALES OF CATS AND COMETS
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Ian Peacock talks to writers of fiction about scientific discoveries.
Monday to Friday 28 July to 1 August 2003 3.45-4.00pm

Will Self considers Pavlov's dog and Phillip Pulman explains how he was encouraged by a cat in a box. Just two of the writers who talk to Ian Peacock about some of the greatest scientific discoveries and theories - and how they have provided inspiration for their writing.

Schrödinger's cat?

Is a cat in a box dead or alive if you can’t see it? Why does the image of a falling apple continue to fascinate? And what happens to a kite when lightning strikes? When scientific questions are as imaginative as these it is no wonder that writers have recognised a rich source of material. Ian Peacock finds out how writers have drawn on five different landmark discoveries and used them as metaphors in their fiction. He talks to Will Self on Pavlov’s Dog, Philip Pullman on Schrödinger’s Cat, Victoria Glendinning on Franklin’s Kite, Bernard MacLaverty on Newton’s Apple and Patrick Moore on Halley’s Comet They reveal their interpretation of the science, while scientists explain the original discoveries and whether they are flying the flag for science or are just dead dogs.

1. Newton's Apple

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2. Schrödinger's Cat

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3. Franklin's Kite

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4. Pavlov's Dogs

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5. Halley's Comet

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