Tuesday September 2nd 2014

Posts Tagged ‘physics’

Burning to learn

Burning to learn

  In central California’s Yosemite National Park, it doesn’t take much to set the forest on fire. A discarded cigarette. A match. Or, as is often the case, a bolt of lightning. On July 31, 2011, thunder boomed as a severe storm pelted the park. The lightning struck [Read More]

Hacking the Planet

Hacking the Planet

  Some problems have easy solutions. If we feel sweaty, we’ll head for the shade. If our soup’s too hot, we’ll blow on it. If a room’s too stuffy, we’ll open a window. But what are the options when the planet grows too warm?   That is the problem — and [Read More]

Just Press Print

Just Press Print

A person with a failing vital organ usually has only one treatment option: get a new one. But right now, that often means joining a long waiting list and hoping for the best. Moving up that list means someone ahead of you gets taken off it – either through their death, [Read More]

Ahead of the wave

Ahead of the wave

  Bump a glass and any water inside might slop over the side. Splash in the bathtub and waves slosh. Toss a rock into a pond and ripples move outward in expanding rings. In each case, the water moves in waves. Those waves carry energy. And the more energy that gets [Read More]

Riding raindrops

Riding raindrops

  To humans, falling rain usually amounts to little more than a minor inconvenience. After all, we are big and raindrops are small – they splatter on our heads and sleeves, and we end up a little wetter. But a mosquito’s mass is only 2–3 μg and the largest [Read More]

Are we alone?

Are we alone?

  If aliens ever sent us a message, scientists hope to pick it up in a remote part of northern California.   There, in a clearing nestled amid the volcanoes of the Cascade Range, 42 radio dishes point together at the sky. The dishes, each 20 feet across, form a [Read More]

Agent Higgs game turns real particle hunt on its head

Agent Higgs game turns real particle hunt on its head

    As the world waits for the next installment of news in the hunt for the Higgs boson, a simple smart phone game encourages players to hide, not hunt, the world’s favourite particle.    Read more in this New Scientist article.    [Read More]

Bringing down the trash

Bringing down the trash

The density of junk orbiting the Earth is at or near a critical value beyond which this man-made debris will self-perpetuate, forming many smaller pieces that are even more of a problem.I wrote this article for Physics World about the latest ideas about how to bring down [Read More]

Meat from scratch

Meat from scratch

  If all goes according to Mark Post’s plan, he will appear on television in October and devour a hamburger that costs about twice as much as most houses do in the United States. Yes, as Charlotte the spider might have written, that’s some burger. “It’s not [Read More]

Flipping Icebergs

Flipping Icebergs

Icebergs look like towering, frozen mountains that drift through water. Their peaks may soar hundreds of feet above the surface and large ones cover as much area as major cities. When one of these blocks of ice flips over, it causes a great splash. In recent experiments at [Read More]

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Can an Equation be a Poem?

Can an Equation be a Poem?

April is Mathematics Awareness Month. April is alsoNational Poetry Month. Coincidence? Yep, almost definitely. But [Read More]

Supersized Viruses

Supersized Viruses

On February 22, festival-goers at Melbourne’s dusk-to-dawn White Night celebration lined up in droves outside the [Read More]

Saving endangered ‘tongues’

Saving endangered ‘tongues’

  Ong uyan madongo? You probably don’t know how to answer that question — unless you happen to be one of the [Read More]

Archimedes in the Fence

Archimedes in the Fence

According to ancient historians, Archimedes spent the last moments of his life drawing figures in the dirt, so deeply [Read More]

Mathematics in Metal

Mathematics in Metal

      A mathematical surface known as the Klein bottle is like a mischievous, mathematical cousin of the [Read More]

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