scienceposts

The most remarkable things happen when you push the laws of physics to their extremes. Such a place where this happens is space:

Far away in the Gliese star system is a Neptune-sized planet called Gliese 436 b. This world is covered in ice that burns constantly at 822.2˚ Fahrenheit (439˚ C).

The reason why the water doesn’t liquify and then turn into steam is due to the massive gravity of the planet - it exerts so much force on the water that the atoms are bound tightly together as a solid.

Des routes musicales pour une meilleure sécurité au volant - SciencePost


Dans plusieurs pays, des routes font de la musique lorsque vous roulez à la bonne vitesse. Un bon moyen de vous garder éveillé et attentif et de vous amuser un peu lors de trop longs trajets. L’idée est venue de Shizuo Shinoda, un ouvrier qui a laissé plusieurs stries sur une route en construction. En roulant dessus, il a réalisé que la …


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Perspectives

As they’re always good things to have, check out this image of what a solar eclipse looks like from space. It really highlights the fact that when the Sun’s being blocked out, it means you’re just in that objects shadow.

The same applies to night time, you’re essentially just in Earth’s shadow.

Have you ever wondered why an object bounces a few times and then stops when you throw it? Have you ever wondered why when you nudge a pencil, it rolls on the table and then stops? Why is it that an object moves, only to inevitably stop?

Inertia is the tendency of an object to resist any change in it’s motion.  This concept is important in the fields of engineering, and physics.

On Earth, two things tend to decrease the speed of moving objects. Friction causes the object to slow down and come to a position of rest, also known as inertia of rest. So when you roll that pencil, there is actually friction going against the movement of the pencil, or any other factor around it. Since there is also gravity on Earth, the gravity just generates friction. Both of these factors cause an object to slow down and come to ’ inertia of rest’.

An object will stay at rest or stay in motion unless acted on by a net external force, whether it results from gravity, friction, contact, or some other source.

So, is there still friction when an object isn’t moving?

Friction is the primary force that will keep the two objects stationary with respect to each other. Without friction, the slightest force applied will cause the object to move. So, in a manner, you can view friction as what can stop an object from moving; an object still experiences friction even when it isn’t moving.

How can this be utilized?

Well, if you can get an object to have little to no friction, then the object could, technically, move indefinitely.

Examples of objects that work against friction are air-barriers, and superconductors; both of these examples use entirely different concepts to work against friction.

Air barriers are often used in hovercrafts. The skirt of a hovercraft allows the air to flow out of the bottom of the hovercraft evenly, allowing the hovercraft to glide or float against the surface when it is moved.

Superconductors’ resistance drops abruptly to zero when the material used is cooled below its critical temperature. Superconductivity is a quantum mechanical phenomenon where the magnetic field is locked in 3-dimensions. The magnetic field inside of it stays the same, so the object can be spun around, be put at different angles, different heights, or even upside down, and it still remains suspended in space.

The potential velocity of an object could be increased just by not allowing friction to work against it.

Consider my post on quantum levitation for more information ( LINK ).

Des routes musicales pour une meilleure sécurité au volant - SciencePost


Dans plusieurs pays, des routes font de la musique lorsque vous roulez à la bonne vitesse. Un bon moyen de vous garder éveillé et attentif et de vous amuser un peu lors de trop longs trajets. L’idée est venue de Shizuo Shinoda, un ouvrier qui a laissé plusieurs stries sur une route en construction. En roulant dessus, il a réalisé que la …


See on sciencepost.fr
Le Frankenburger (steak-éprouvette) passe de 250 000 à 10 € en 2 ans


En 2013, le steak-éprouvette a été présenté à Londres. Avec un prix estimé à 250 000 euros, la production en masse était encore loin d’être envisageable. Mais aujourd’hui, le Frankenburger, comme le surnomme la presse britannique, revient en force avec un prix de… 10 euros ! Le steak-éprouvette est une viande fabriquée en laboratoire à partir des …


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Certaines espèces de fourmis ont adopté l'alimentation (et la malbouffe) humaine

Il apparaît donc que certaines espèces adoptent les modifications des ressources humaines, ce qui pourrait notamment expliquer leur population …

from Google Alert - “ressources humaines” -H/F https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http://sciencepost.fr/2015/04/certaines-especes-de-fourmis-ont-adopte-lalimentation-et-la-malbouffe-humaine/&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGzgxZjk2OTA5ODNlMWZjNmI6ZnI6ZnI6RlI6Ug&usg=AFQjCNGcUd_ChtyuIl2cAl7Ru3AJZF6u6Q

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If you had a “Gods-Eye View” of the cosmos, and you zoomed out and out and out… you’d notice that the universe - at such a small scale -looks like a complex series of filaments. Webs. Veins. Wires.

These are stars and galaxies. We know now that matter (stars and galaxies etc.) seem to all line up next to each other in such a way that when you zoom out far enough, they seem to just blend together and all clearly become a part of a larger structure.

These structures are called galactic filaments and we know they exist. Our best methods to map the universe have resulted in this knowledge.

But why???

Well. The answer, we think, is dark matter.

To explain I need an analogy. If you’re at the beach and there’s a wave coming towards you, just stand there and watch.

What happens? The water, more or less evenly washes over the sand then recedes.

Now with your finger draw a little line in the sand. Draw a webby shape like the top row of images. Now as the water washes over the sand, some is left behind caught in the line you drew.

It’s entirely possible that the universe’s filament “webby” shape is because this is the way dark matter is spread throughout the universe. The gravitational attraction of the dark matter draws regular matter into it, sticking to that part of space like the water got stuck in the lines, or like dust to a spider web.

There are SO MANY MYSTERIES still.

I want to end this post with another thought, another analogy.

Before you watch the water on the beach wash into the lines you draw in the sand do another thing.

Notice the place where two filaments of web connect. Take your finger and carve out a little hole deeper in the sand. As the wave washes over it you’ll notice the water swirling into the hole.

The place where two branches of filament connect, this is where one finds huge populations of star clusters and… whirlpool galaxies. Galaxies that spin and swirl around almost like water down a drain.

Each of these universes does have a hole it spins around - a black hole. Another great mystery.

The vast and enigmatic mystique of our cosmos totally encompasses even the sharpest and most trained minds we have. Slowly we reverse engineer the world around us and I’m so excited to find out what’s going on out there

Why do people hate science?

If you want kids to be more interested in science, make it interesting.
Science is not mindless memorization and regurgitation, science is not computation. Science is a state of mind, a state of wonder, and the desire to learn and create.

If you want people to be more accepting of science, you need to make the classes more exciting. Show them the Meissner effect, show them youtube videos, show them what they could do, let them do things under supervision ! 

The same idea goes to mathematics. Show them why math is important, show them why people were so ardent to make discoveries about the language of mathematics. Tell them about how these lessons could apply to the field of physics, the field of astronomy or astrophysics;
show them that mathematics is practically applicable to any field you could think of ! 

Let’s be honest. We want them to look like this: 

But in reality, with the dull, bland memorization  that’s being done, they probably look more like this: 


The problem with science and math classes is that they are fully based on memorization and computation. If science and math classes were to tell kids what fields these lessons apply to, WHY they’re important to know, and what these lessons can tell you about life,  or how/why they were discovered in history, they would be more exciting to kids.

Show them what science really is. Not this mundane, boring, constant computing, verifying, and constant reading. 

If these things are not mundane, boring, yawn - worthy fields, then why are we teaching them to kids in such a way? 

I realize that the best way to learn is to be passionate about it. So why can’t we make things more exciting for the kids, to light a little spark of inspiration in them? If these things were applied to their life, to real life, then maybe we wouldn’t see as many kids with their chin rested in their palm, or their desk. 

I had to teach myself what the math lessons translate to in the field of science; I do it so that I can be fueled to continue learning. But why should we have to do that?

Shouldn’t math classes, and science classes, be showing you cutting-edge science as well as the laws and rules? 


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First Image of a black hole?

The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy is simply too damn far for our telescopes to get an image of; and that’s the closest black hole we know of.

To get an image of something its size at the distance it’s at we’d need a telescope around the size of Earth.

Ladies and gentlemen, we got one. Because of a technique called interferometry, radio telescopes can work together and pick up different parts of waves of light and then fit them together like puzzle pieces. Spring of 2015 many of the world’s radio telescopes will all move at once and snap a shot where we think the Milky Way’s black hole is. We’re going to take a picture of a black hole!

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You Are A Dead Star

So when Carl Sagan said, “We are star stuff.” do you actually know what he meant?

In the beginning of the universe, there was only one atom: hydrogen. Stars formed out of hydrogen atoms when our universe was much younger.

To this day the only thing powerful enough to make larger atoms are stars ~ the early ones slammed hydrogen atoms so closely together that new, heavier types of atoms started to resonate from the furnace, atoms that wouldn’t normally bond like helium.

Dr. Michelle Thaller of NASA said it best when she said that, “We are dead stars looking back up at the sky.”

As a star starts to run out of its fuel - hydrogen, it starts to collapse under its own gravity. At a peak point of this process iron is formed, one of the first heavy elements. Right after that happens a star breaths its last titanic breath: it supernovas. This explosion marks the death of its star and during the explosion heat is created that is able to form even heavier elements like gold.

The next time you see blood take a moment to marvel ~ you’re literally looking at the fossil of a long extinct solar system. The creation of the iron that makes your blood red is the marking of the start of a supernova. It’s in this concept that biology, geology, and cosmology etc. all come full circle. We are all the same, we’re all living fossils and we’re all dead stars. This is what’s so beautiful about Carl Sagan’s words.

This is why science doesn’t make me feel small. You had one parent and it was a massive star. It burned and died somewhere in our part of the universe before even our own current Sun existed.

When you look at a person, you can read the life of the solar system in their very blood.

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An Age of Solar Power

I’ve definitely advocated for solar fusion technology before. I think that we’ll eventually get it. Right now the research hasn’t gotten there and certainly not the engineering.

But that doesn’t matter. We already have a massive nuclear fusion reactor delivering unused energy constantly to everyone. At the core of the Sun hydrogen atoms are constantly undergoing nuclear fusion which causes all the energy to get blown out of the Sun. All we need to do is open our arms and accept the energy.

Germany recently set an unexpected record during an hour on June 9th when it got half of it’s energy from solar power alone. Granted this amazing feat was very lucky (Germany isn’t a very sunny place), but it goes to show what can be done. 90% of the countries on Earth recieve on average, much more sunlight than Germany. The United States gets a TON of it.

A company called Solar Roadways recently succeeded in a crowdsourcing campaign to fund the construction of roads built out of solar panels. Can you just imagine if all those massive highways spanning the continent were collecting power? Imagine a day where Earth produces an excess of green energy. It’s possible that we’ll all live to see that day. Technology in this field is making leaps and bounds now that so much awareness has been brought to climate change and the oligarchic influence of oil corporations.

Tesla Motors Company (as you can see in the Google Maps images above) already have solar panel charging stations for their electric cars. A line of them spans the continent of North America from coast to coast ALREADY. By the end of 2015, they’ll be all over the place. Tesla vehicles can be charged at these stations for free. It takes an hour or less to charge fully and you can drive from New York state to Florida on one charge. Yes. This does mean that when their $35,000 fully electric car comes out in 2017-2018, it will be totally understandable that we’ll all be able to take ROAD TRIPS FOR FREE. Right now their cars cost $80,000 but in  five to ten years your going to start seeing used ones on the market. You’ll start seeing $35,000 (new) being sold at half the price used (that’s $17,500 or so FYI). Pretty much anyone with a job will be able to afford one in the next fifteen to twenty years at this rate.

Tesla is a bit of an anomaly of a company. It’s run by the ideologically driven (though still rich) Elon Musk (of PayPal and SpaceX fame). His stated goal is to accelerate the change from fossil fuels to solar energy. Why not? We know how. The only thing stopping us is laziness and the oil barons. Earlier this month Tesla released all their patents on their electric car technology. Now no one will need to front $ in order to produce cars with equal quality as the Tesla Model S.

As strange as it seems, Iran is taking the lead in the development of solar technology as well. Driven away from oil since they need to sell that to make money and driven away from nuclear energy due to the U.S.’s interference, Iran has taken to investing massively in solar power. By 2018 they’ll be making 10% of their total energy from totally clean solar sources.

Bhutan has taken that even farther and has teamed up with Nissan (another car company slyly putting one foot in the electric car world) to make the entire country… 100% clean energy.

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The World Wide Web & the First Website

Have you ever wondered where the internet came from?

It was originally a project at CERN, those guys running the Large Hadron Collider. The project started out with the name ENQUIRE and was basically formed by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee.

They produce so much data at CERN with every particle collision that human eyes to this day still haven’t seen all the results of their tests.

Well, they wanted to form a database where they could store this information until the day came when humans had sorted there way down to the unread data. Thus: the World Wide Web was created.

We can all thank them because in 1993, they decided to make their “WWW” free for the public, they had no idea though that their file storage database would become one of the pillars of modern humanity.

On this note, have you ever wondered what the very first website ever is?

Feel free to explore because I tracked it down for you:

http://info.cern.ch/

How cool is it that the internet is its own museum?

Why Science Needs Art

I spent three years of my time in undergrad as an English major. I became somewhat of an elitist in my writing workshops. I took my writings seriously (sometimes too seriously). I hadn’t gone farther than Algebra in high school (which was five years prior to the realization of my interest in physics and astronomy). My view of myself and the view I wanted to project to others was that I was some sort of ultimate English major a budding new Shakespeare or something.

When I jumped ship and started astrophysics, the transition was a little awkward. People asked me (and still do) if I regretted spending all that time writing stories and reading. My response is an emphatic NO! I’ve got a background I believe has taught me some of the most lacking skills in the science community.

Specific fields of science are constantly cross pollinating and informing on each other. Where would Physics be without math? Where would biology or medical science be if we had NO knowledge of chemistry? Of course it seems obvious when you look at it like that but I think something extremely foundational to a person’s ability to push forward the boundaries of human understanding is being overlooked by many.

It’s the artist who thinks abstractly on the professional level. This ability to suspend oneself from an entrenched point of view or method is essential if you ever want to get beyond that place. Looking at it logically, the right side of the brain wouldn’t be very powerful if the ability to think creatively, or abstractly weren’t somehow practical to do. It’s very existence suggests that Darwinian Evolution put “survival of the fittest” value on the ability to think abstractly. This is why I’m convinced that science needs art, why scientists must think like artists and why the imagination is that cross pollinating phenomenon for the forward marching of human logic.

So um. Power to the artists!