Physics

Sugar. A variant on the sweetest ingredient in many a sumptuous holiday feast, glycolaldehyde has now been found in a star-forming region of space far from the galactic center called G31.41+0.31, about 26,00 light years away from Earth. Directly linked to the origin of life, glycolaldehyde is an advantageous find for researchers seeking out habitable
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Wild Turkey / Image Credit: Andrea Westmoreland via Flickr There are 60-foot high balloons floating above packed city blocks, cranberries on the stove, inside-the-turkey stuffing, mashed potatoes, outside-the-turkey stuffing, football, abominably huge turkeys, and one lucky bird. The best part of Thanksgiving dinner? Leftover Thanksgiving dinner. But those leftovers take hard work– that hot, perfect,
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Who hasn’t wished the doctor would prescribe a week of vacation or a trip to Walt Disney World to cure an ailment? For patients with kidney stones, that might be just around the corner. According to research published in 2016 in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, a trip to your local amusement park might
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By: Hannah Pell Two years ago on November 16th, 2018, representatives from more than 60 member nations of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (International Bureau of Weights and Measures) convened in Versailles, France to make a very important decision. Representatives in attendance to the 26th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) unanimously
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Just outside the town of Oracle, Arizona, nestled between the seemingly endless plains of the Sonaran desert and the cactus-pocked foothills of Mount Lemmon, stands an enormous glass ziggurat: Biosphere 2. Built in the late ‘80s at the behest of an oil tycoon, the structure was intended to be a small-scale model of a self-contained
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Artistic representation of OSIRIS-REx over the asteroid Bennu. NASA/GODDARD/University of Arizona. In 2016, the OSIRIS-REx probe left Earth but unlike most other probes on their journey out to space, OSIRIS-REx does intend to return home. If all goes well, OSIRIS-REx will return to its home in 2023 carrying a precious sample. As of 2018, OSIRIS-REx
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By: Hannah Pell It’s nationwide election time yet again. As of October 30th, more than 85 million Americans have already cast their ballot, a remarkable number considering total voter turnout for the 2016 election was 138 million. By the time you’re reading this, we may or may not yet know the winners, especially given the
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By Allison Kubo Hutchsion  Although humans first witnessed nuclear reactors in 1942 with the development of the Chicago-Pile by Enrico Fermi, natural fission reactors existed billions of years ago. Fission is the process of breaking apart atoms of heavy elements such as uranium. Energy is released during fission in the form of heat and can
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NASA image of a dust storm from 1998. Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE – NASA Visible Earth, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=402743 By Jeremiah O’Mahony The Canary Islands spent a few days of March 2018 shrouded in Saharan dust. Calimas, two-to three-day-long gusts of sand and warm wind named for the haze they
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By: Hannah Pell On September 22, 2020, NASA and the U. S. Space Command announced that they were tracking an unidentified piece of space debris that appeared to be hurtling toward the International Space Station (ISS). It was predicted to pass by within only a few kilometers, dangerously too close to chance, at 5:21 p.m.
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By: Hannah Pell On 23 January 2020, the Doomsday Clock was calibrated to 100 seconds before midnight — the closest it has even been — by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the organization in charge of the clock. Because the Doomsday Clock is set no sooner than annually, this decision was made even before
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Originally written for https://www.tamiawilliams.com/blog  - TamiaWilliams  Image: 5 Year Old Drip (Bobo hair ties, Clear skin & Sunday’s best), 2001  This is my mom’s favorite picture of me as a child. On the back, it’s dated Oct/Nov 2001 – Tamia – 5yrs old. I have no recollection of this day, when the picture was taken
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 What makes skin so tough? Originally published: May 4 2015 – 11:45am, Inside Science News Service By: Lisa Marie Potter, Contributor (Inside Science) — Skin has to be flexible enough to jump, crawl, and kick with us. It also has to be resilient enough to withstand our falls, scrapes, and cuts. Scientists have marveled at skin’s strength for
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By Allison Kubo Hutchison  Comparison of Earth, the Moon, and Ceres. Image by Gregory Revera NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA. Ceres is the largest body in the asteroid belt. It represents the history of our solar system as a protoplanet, a planetary embryo which formed 4.56 billion years ago. Earth itself is made of the agglomeration of several planetary
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By: Hannah Pell On September 20th, 2019 — one year ago today as I write this — the infamous Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant was permanently shut down. TMI Unit-2 has been shuttered since the partial meltdown in 1979, an event described as the “most serious accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant
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At sports venues designed to maximize crowd atmosphere, beware of hearing loss. Originally published: Apr 14 2014 – 2:45pm, Inside Science News Service By: Brian Owens, ISNS Contributor (ISNS) — The roar of the crowd is a major part of the excitement of attending a sporting event. A noisy, engaged crowd makes for a better experience for fans,
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By Hannah Pell Alice and Bob are recurring characters in science. They can usually be found chatting over the phone or playing games of chance with each other, such as poker or flipping coins. But no matter Alice’s and Bob’s thought-experiment scenario, there is always some sort of a communication problem at the core of
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By Allison Kubo Graphene is a comprised of a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb structure. This sheet can be wrapped into fullerenes, rolled into nanotubes, or stacked to form graphite the same thing uses ing pencils. All of these are made of carbon: diamonds, graphite, graphene are all different arrangements of
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This x-ray map is much more than a beautiful desktop background. By Allison Kubo On June 19, the eRosita instrument aboard the Russian-German “Spectrum-Roentgen-Gamma” (SRG) mission finished cataloging more that 1 million high energy x-ray sources more than had ever been recorded before this study. The image above shows our sky illuminated in x-rays, the
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By: Hannah Pell “The American Physical Society (APS) has a vision of the future of physics publishing, in 2020 or so.” So begins a 1993 Science article titled “Publication by Electronic Mail Takes Physics by Storm.” Burton Richter, then-president of APS and former head of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), elaborated: “Any physicist, any
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The Case for Fahrenheit vs Celsius in terms of human comfort.  By Allison Kubo Hutchison Scientists have to know how to speak the languages of many units. Improper unit conversions have caused much heartache and suffering in the past, including the loss of a $125 million dollar Mars orbiter. In general, peer-reviewed science journals only
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By: Hannah Pell Graphic from shutdownSTEM.com. Recently I started rereading When Physics Became King by Iwan Rhys Morus, a historian of science at Aberystwyth University in Wales. Published in 2005, Morus traces the development of physics through the nineteenth century, as the field gradually evolved from its roots in natural philosophy and mathematics to later
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3 Groundbreaking Experiments Happening Aboard the ISS Right Now https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/christina-koch-activates-the-new-biofabrication-facility NASA astronaut Christina Koch activates the BioFabrication Facility aboard the ISS in August 2019. Credit: NASA Astronauts often leave Earth with plenty of fanfare, but spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS) also routinely carry components for on-orbit experimentation, known as payloads. These systems
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Combatting the COVID-19 pandemic has become an international challenge and charge. It has highlighted the positive consequences of science operating on a global scale. It has shown how answers can be found quickly when scientists share results at unprecedented speed and research becomes increasingly open-access. It has shown that we must rely on scientists from
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We’ve all wished for weightlessness at some point in our lives—that fantastical quality that powers the magic of flying broomsticks and fuels our fascination with space travel. Although we’re a long way from floating down the street, physicists have developed ways to mitigate the effect of gravity, from carefully aligning sound waves to mimicking free
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The electromagnetic spectrum, an assortment of energy wiggling throughout space and time, is overwhelmingly underappreciated in our lives. There is no combination of existence that could happen without it. To celebrate the role that light plays in our lives, our ecosystem, and the operation of the universe, UNESCO declared March 16th as the International Day
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UUltrasound is a powerful tool for looking inside the body. The scans see through layers of tissue to reveal pumping hearts, developing fetuses, troublesome blood clots, and injured muscles. They are relatively low-cost, portable, and have few side effects. Patients aren’t exposed to ionizing radiation or confined in a small space. They are, however, slathered
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If you’re on the receiving end of a snapping shrimp’s attack, prepare to be stunned. Also known as pistol shrimp, these little crustaceans shoot lethal rounds at predators and prey at highway speeds—a direct hit can be outright fatal or shock the recipient into submission. It’s not just the force of the attack that’s stunning
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The novel coronavirus outbreak has quickly become the largest pandemic in recent history, but it’s not unprecedented. The outbreak of the so-called “Spanish Flu”, an avian influenza virus, spread worldwide, infecting one-third of the population. While scientists are still learning how the coronavirus operates, we have lots of tools at our disposal to fight it.
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