Although this may seem a paradox, all exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation. When a man tells you that he knows the exact truth about anything, you are safe in infering that he is an inexact man. Every careful measurement in science is always given with the probable error … every observer admits that he is likely wrong, and knows about how much wrong he is likely to be.

U of T uses electromagnets to attract girls to science

Groups of students huddle around desks at a university campus as the instructor gives out a quick overview of the job at hand: build a crane, create an electromagnet and pick up metal.

Work begins in earnest, with some of the students building their contraptions with wheels “for better transportation” while others build them for strength.

But these are not university students. They are Grades 3 and 4 students — about half of them girls — who like to spend a few hours on the weekend building stuff and learning about science.

“I’ve been building stuff a long time,” says 8-year-old Yashu Tenneti. “In our school, we’re building bridges out of Popsicle sticks.”

Does she want to be an engineer or scientist when she grows up?
“I don’t know. I want to be many things,” she says.

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Flower-like magnetic nanoparticles target difficult tumors

Thanks to the work of an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Dartmouth Center of Nanotechnology Excellence, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the next-generation magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) may soon be treating deep-seated and difficult-to-reach tumors within the human body.    

Though the researchers caution that any new therapies based on their discoveries will have to prove safe and effective in clinical trials before becoming routinely available for people with cancer, they point to the work they published this week in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing, as significant progress.

They created a new class of flower-shaped magnetic nanoparticles with superior performance in low-level magnetic fields and worked out their heating mechanism. The work provides future suggestions for developing a new generation of irregularly shaped magnetic nanoparticles for hyperthermia cancer therapy.

Transmission electron microscopy images of Dartmouth’s flower-like magnetic nanoparticles are shown. Credit: Shubitidze


The familiar popping behavior of popcorn is the combination of several events. When heated, unpopped kernels act like pressure vessels, managing to contain their boiling water content until a critical temperature of 180 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, nearly all kernels fracture. Popcorn’s jump doesn’t come from the fracture, though. Most of its acrobatics occur when a leg of starch branches out of the popping kernel. The starch acts somewhat like a muscle - after being compressed against the ground, it springs back, propelling the corn upward. Finally, by synchronizing high-speed video and audio recordings of popping corn, researchers determined that the pop in popcorn is not caused by fracture or rebound but instead is the result of the release of water vapor. (Image credit: TAMU NAL, source; research credit: E. Virot and A. Ponomarenko; submitted by Chad W.)


We specialize in breakthrough technology, which obviously includes developing this nanoscale, self-powered Etch A Sketch. Just look at those sharp turns!

These are actually pulled from electron microscope videos of oxidation reactions (like rust) crawling across a metal surface. The reactions turn when they hit atom-high terraces, creating these lovely geometric patterns and suggesting new ways to create rust-proof metallic materials.


Last week I attended the 2015 Conference of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) in Baltimore, MD. 

1) It’s a phenomenal conference.

2) Even though it has physics in the title, the many astronomers who attended know how to represent. 

In the top frame is Jonathan Barnes from Norfolk State University wearing this galaxy tie from Forever 21. 

In the bottom frame Xzavier Flowers from Lancaster High School wearing a galaxy top (sadly no longer available) from pacsun…but I found this Orion hoodie instead, less professional I know, but equally stellar!

These gentlemen are raising their startorial game and we love it. 

- Summer

The Best Length for Eyelashes, According to Science

Cosmeticians probably won’t agree, but scientists say eyelashes have an optimal length: a third of the width of the eye.

This ratio helps keep the eyes wet, according to a new study that attempts to answer the question: What are eyelashes for anyway?

"They’ve been hypothesized to act as sun shades, dust catchers and blink-reflex triggers," said David Hu, a mechanical engineer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. "But there’s been no really systematic study of what their true benefits are."

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The Large Hadron Collider Explained

The LHC is getting a serious upgrade, but what does this mean? What does it do in the first place?

By: DNews.

Hunting the Elusive Graviton

To many physicists, the graviton would resolve the perceived contradiction between quantum mechanics and general relativity. Actually proving it exists is an entirely different thing though. Now, a new paper has postulated that superconductors might help. Learn more:

Image Credit: Mai-Linh Doan


Would Headlights Work at Light Speed?

If you were driving at the speed of light and turned on your headlights, what would happen?

By: Vsauce.


Paramagnetism of Liquid Oxygen

In the triplet form, O2 molecules are paramagnetic. That is, they impart magnetic character to oxygen when it is in the presence of a magnetic field, because of the spin magnetic moments of the unpaired electrons in the molecule, and the negative exchange energy between neighboring O2molecules.

Liquid oxygen is attracted to a magnet to a sufficient extent that, in laboratory demonstrations, a bridge of liquid oxygen may be supported against its own weight between the poles of a powerful magnet.

Giffed by: rudescience  From: This video