Sunday February 25th 2018

‘Recent Work’ Archives

The wild weirdness of topological insulators

The wild weirdness of topological insulators

For more than 200 years, physicists have wanted to understand why electricity flows through some materials and not others. In some of the first experiments aimed at understanding conductivity, at the start of the 18th century, British autodidact Stephen Gray observed that [Read More]

Metagenomics for foodies

Metagenomics for foodies

Kefir is a viscous, sour-tasting, slightly alcoholic, milk-based beverage that’s been consumed for centuries. It’s made by adding a starter mix of bacteria and yeast – called the kefir “grain” – to pasteurized cow milk, though brewers have reported [Read More]

The value of a good science hack

The value of a good science hack

Physicist Matt Bellis attended his first Science Hack Day in the fall of 2010, in Palo Alto, California. Like many scientists attending the event for the first time, Bellis was skeptical. “Hacking,” after all, is usually left to computer programmers.  However, Bellis, [Read More]

Preserving the Past

Preserving the Past

The George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, is the oldest photography museum in the world. The Victorian mansion that houses the museum was once home to Eastman himself – a pioneer in photography who in the 1880s helped bring photography to the masses after [Read More]

Brave New Jupiter

Brave New Jupiter

For the last five years, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been barrelling towards its final destination: Jupiter, king of the planets. On 4 July this year, the four tonne, spinning craft – which looks like an oversized propeller that has abandoned its plane – will fire its [Read More]

Computing’s Search for Quantum Questions

Computing’s Search for Quantum Questions

It was billed as the vindication of the quantum computer. Late last year, researchers at Google announced that a quantum machine called the D-Wave 2X had executed a task 100 million times faster than a classical computer. The claim implies that the machine can complete in [Read More]

All about quantum dots

All about quantum dots

In September 2015, Philips, an electronics company based in The Netherlands, unveiled a computer monitor that achieved a brilliant color display using quantum dots: semiconductor nanocrystals that can be tuned to glow in any color. The Philips monitor was the first of its [Read More]

The Mars Anomaly

The Mars Anomaly

The presence of water isn’t the only Mars mystery scientists are keen to probe. Another centers around a seemingly trivial characteristic of the Red Planet: its size. Classic models of solar system formation predict that the girth of rocky worlds should grow with their [Read More]

The Power of 1

The Power of 1

Kent Haffer remembers when his oncologist approached him with an unusual idea. It was 2013, and Haffer, a 55-year-old computer programmer living in St. Peters, Missouri, had been receiving treatment for advanced melanoma for eight years. His oncologist proposed that Haffer [Read More]

Going deep

Going deep

  HOW low can you go? Dedicated deep cavers plumb the depths for an answer, and a newly announced expedition may just get to the bottom of it all.   For decades, cavers have competed informally to find the world’s deepest cave, pushing the boundaries of science [Read More]

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Latest Topics

Targeting brain cancer

Targeting brain cancer

Seven years after her brain cancer diagnosis, Liz Salmi decided she wanted to know more about the makeup of the tumor [Read More]

How to stop phone apps from spying on you

How to stop phone apps from spying on you

Many smartphone apps don’t cost anything to download and use. But don’t be fooled: There’s still a [Read More]

Everything Worth Knowing About Virtual Reality

Everything Worth Knowing About Virtual Reality

 Forget reality: In virtual reality, you can be whomever and wherever you want. VR makes the unreal real, using [Read More]

Researchers find history in the diagrams of Euclid’s Elements

Researchers find history in the diagrams of Euclid’s Elements

The fourth book of Euclid’s Elements, a 2,300-year-old geometry text, includes directions for constructing a [Read More]

Fighting Fire with Fire

Fighting Fire with Fire

Robert Kremens fights fire with fire. No, really – that’s his job. Kremens sets fires in a host of locations across [Read More]

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