No batteries required: The first autonomous, entirely soft robot

The octobot is powered by a chemical reaction and controlled with a soft logic board. A reaction inside the bot transforms a small amount of liquid fuel (hydrogen peroxide) into a large amount of gas, which flows into the octobot’s arms and inflates them like a balloon. A microfluidic logic circuit, a soft analog of a simple electronic oscillator, controls when hydrogen peroxide decomposes to gas in the octobot. Credit: Lori Sanders

Via Tech Xplore

Many a child has wondered how many licks it takes to get to the center of a lollipop. Physically, this is a problem of a solid body dissolving in a flow, and it’s one scientists are interested in for its geological, industrial, and pharmacological applications. 

The animation above shows flow around a dissolving (candy!) body that was originally spherical. With both spheres and cylinders, the final shape the body takes is consistent - it has a front boundary with a curvature of nearly constant radius and a back face that is approximately flat. This creates a boundary layer of uniform thickness across the front face, and that uniform flow makes the surface dissolve steadily and evenly so that it maintains the same overall shape. 

With their model and experiments, researchers have even been able to tackle the classic question of how many licks it takes: 

“For candy of size 1 cm licked at a speed of 1 cm/s, we estimate a total of 1000 licks, a prediction that is notoriously difficult to test experimentally.”

(Image credit: J. Huang et al., source, pdf)

anonymous asked:

Here's a study question for you. I know the social and physical sciences kinda differ when it comes to note taking, but do you have any strategies when it comes to when you gotta take notes out of your text book?

I write in my textbook. I bought the damn thing, I might as well get my money’s worth. I do a lot of stuff. I fill in missing steps to derivations. Add some more context to what the text book is saying. Make tables to represent differences in two concepts they introduce. Outline some definitions I don’t know, or add in extra context.

Here is some examples, from my optics reading I did earlier (not the prettiest, but what can I do?):   

Then after reading, in a notebook I rewrite all the relevant concepts & equations (with their physical meanings again). I like doing this so I can make notes on figures without redrawing them all

You could do the same in your notes too! Following a similar style, I just don’t like to recopy too much stuff
Physicists have discovered particles that warp the laws of thermodynamics
Things just got complicated.
By Bec Crew

According to the basic laws of thermodynamics, if you take a warm apple pie out of the oven and place it on a window sill, it will eventually cool to be the same temperature as the surrounding air.

But physicists have discovered that under certain circumstances, charged particles called ions don’t follow this logic - in fact, they end up cooling to two entirely different temperatures.

“This apparent departure from the familiar laws of thermodynamics is akin to our warm apple pie either cooling as expected, or spontaneously bursting into flames, depending on the pie’s exact temperature when it is placed in the window,” says one of the team, Eric Hudson, from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Read more… 


Roller coasters give people the opportunity to experience physics in dramatic ways. In this episode of SciShow, we break down how physics work on roller coasters to give you the ride of your life!

NASA has found a spacecraft that’s been lost for two years

NASA is reporting that one of the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatories, known as the STEREO-B spacecraft, has made contact after two years of silence.

This is all after the spacecraft had well exceeded its mission time when it went quiet back in October of 2014! 

Throwback to this close up of my quantum mechanics II notes! Mid term break is next week, but first I’m going to get my assignments done so I can relax and then prep for the second half of semester! It’s lovely and rainy at the moment, perfect season for studying in front of the fire with coffee!

Today ten years ago an IAU resolution stated an official definition for the term “planet” who ultimately excluded Pluto as a planet of our Solar System, and reclassified it as “dwarf planet”.

Image via NASA: What Is Pluto?
Caption: The New Horizons spacecraft helped us see Pluto and its largest moon Charon more clearly than we could see them with telescopes.

A Euler diagram showing the relationship between objects in the Solar System (excluding stars) - Wikimedia Commons

“Condensation of the primary substance is going on continuously, this being in a measure proved, for I have established by experiments which admit of no doubt that the sun and other celestial bodies steadily increase in mass and energy and ultimately must explode, reverting to the primary substance.”

–Nikola Tesla

“Expanding Sun Will Explode Some Day Tesla Predicts.” New York Herald Tribune, August 18, 1935.


How to build your own tiny hovercraft! Instructions here.

The stream of human knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality. The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter. We are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as the creator and governor of this realm.
—  Sir James Jeans, 1930

Simone Biles isn’t just incredible, she’s a scientific phenomenon

Simone Biles is officially a superstar and a scientific marvel.When Biles pulls off her signature move, her distance from the floor is basically equal to her height. She gets that high up on the strength of her muscles, propelling herself with enough speed and kinetic energy to actually reach that height. And the way she lands literally seems to defy physics.

Follow @the-future-now

Recently, NASA have discovered something that could be an alien megastructure in space effecting the star KIC 8462852. This theory comes from observations made showing that the star was dimming by more than 20%, then it would brighten again and then dim weeks, sometimes months later. Originally the most credible theory was that a huge, and I mean HUGE swarm of comets was passing in front of the star blocking a substantial portion of light that was being emitted from it. However, this does not fully explain it. There are no other observed stars that seem to show this kind of behaviour so scientists are still struggling to work out what is causing it. Astronomer Jason Wright was the one to speculate that it could be an alien megastructure in the process of being built around the star. It is theoretically possible to build such a device around a star that would be used harvest the energy. This alien civilisation would be far more advanced than us and the device they could be building could be similar to a Dyson Sphere. But what could they possibly need such a large energy supply for?

Let’s talk about this scene in Ghostbusters…                                                   

So at first glance this is just some maths/physics gobbledegook on a whiteboard that looks cool but then you look closer…

See it yet?


It says [Pa/RA(NO+RM)alS+UD1ies/Lab]com



Here’s the link of you’re a lazy fucker:

(Also those calculations were apparently examined by some dudes at MIT so something in there is legit IDK)

“The Simpsons” accidentally solves General Relativity

A surprising development in science occurred today when an equation presented as a joke on the animated series The Simpsons turned out to solve the deepest mysteries of the universe.

“The equation was just a random assortment of science looking stuff we drew quick to make a joke. We had no clue it would turn out to be the missing piece of the puzzle that integrates gravity into the other fundamental interactions,” said series creator Seth MacFarlane. The random joke however turned out to be the exact series of numbers and variables that made the universe function within the instant of the big bang.

Said physicist John N. Frink Jr., “We now understand the universe and its creation. All other mysteries are soon to fall and within a year we will know how to create other universes that we control with godlike power. Indeed, we now know that God itself is merely a force that we can control. We have supplanted our deity, rendered it insignificant, and taken our place upon its holy throne, all thanks to a Simpsons joke.”

This goes a long way to justify the continued existence of The Simpsons, which many fans believe should have been cancelled several seasons ago.