Physics

By: Hannah Pell Image credit: Wikimedia Commons. In early May 2021, a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline caused massive disruption to the East Coast’s fuel supply. Pictures of cars lined up at gas stations and warnings not to “panic buy” gasoline evoked memories of the 1973 oil crisis. Colonial Pipeline Co. paid a $4.4
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Allison Kubo Hutchison We’ve already covered some important questions like do trilobites bites (spoiler: they don’t) but recent research has given insight into another important question: what is it like to be eaten by a baby T-Rex? The answer is it is between being eaten by a hyena and a crocodile. To get this result,
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By Allison Kubo Hutchison USGS: Pyroclastic flow at Mount Saint Helens on August 7, 1980. The volcano erupts. The immense pressure within the volcano due to the build-up of gases causes fragmentation. The thicker and more viscous the magma the more fragmentation occurs (Read more about that here). The fragmented magma cools into sharp, glasslike
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By Allison Kubo Hutchison NASA announced on June 2 that it would send two missions to the hot house planet. Once again NASA made robots will vist the Venusian skies for the first time since the Magellen orbiter mission which ended in 1994. These missions come after renewed interest in Venus due to the hotly
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By: Hannah Pell On 11 June 2021, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) released a report titled “The Race Against Time for Smarter Development.” This report consolidates a culmination of research over five years (2014-2018) on worldwide science policy trends and governance, centering on three key areas: research spending, digital technologies, and sustainability.
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By: Hannah Pell RR Auction, an auction house based near Boston, Massachusetts, recently sold one of Albert Einstein’s hand-written letters for $1.2 million. The letter is addressed to Polish-American physicist Ludwik Silberstein, a known challenger to Einstein’s relativity theory, going so far as to publish a 1936 essay in the Toronto Evening Telegram titled: “Fatal
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By: Hannah Pell Image credit: ProtoDUNE / CERN. Why does matter exist in the universe? Can we find evidence of proton decay, supporting Einstein’s dream of unified forces? These questions, among a host of others, are very much open for debate within high-energy physics, and one particle has the potential to help answer all of
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By: Allison Kubo Image Credit: Nature 593, 249-254(2021) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03506-2 The study participant, T5, was paralyzed from the neck down, but it was translated onto the screen when he imagined writing. Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) aim to restore function to those who have difficulty or even lost the ability to move or speak. And, yes, it would
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By: Hannah Pell Neutrinos are ubiquitous and notorious. Billions are passing through you at this moment. Occasionally described as a “ghost of a particle,” neutrinos are nearly massless, thereby making them extremely difficult to detect experimentally (“Neutrino,” meaning “little neutral one” in Italian, was first used by Enrico Fermi in the early 1930s). Neutrinos were
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By Allison Kubo Hutchison Although today it may be easy to buy your maternal figure an orchid for Mother’s Day from the grocery store, in the 1800s, the acquisition of orchids was a dangerous, competitive and lucrative business. Orchids, which are generally tropical plants, grow across the globe and their family makes up 6-11% of
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By Allison Kubo Hutchison Stack of papers on a black background. ISTOCK.COM/PURPLEANVIL How does work become a scientific consensus? Nowadays, it has to go through a process called peer-review. Science is conducted by researchers at universities, NGOs, national labs, observatories, and private entities. Then this work is compiled into a paper or journal article which
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By: Hannah Pell  In 2005, future projections for emissions published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in their Annual Energy Outlook were bleak; business-as-usual for the power sector meant that carbon dioxide (CO2) emission levels could reach up to 3,000 million metric tons by 2020 (equivalent to CO2 emissions from roughly 544 million homes’ electricity
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By: Hannah Pell The potential impact of a work of art is by no means limited by or related to its size. Whether an intricate mural spanning the side of a building or sculpture carved on the tip of a pencil, the art of all scales is significant and meaningful to us, and the principles
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by Allison Kubo Hutchison Approximately 20 million years ago, prehistoric horses grazed on the flat grasslands and the now extinct bear-dog dug burrows for their young throughout the lands we now call Oregon and Washington. But below the ground, there was an eruption brewing that would shape over 81,000 square miles (200,000 square kilometers) reaching
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By Allison Kubo Hutchison Graphs are the bread and butter of scientists. We love them. Lines plots, bar graphs, line plots. Visual representations of data are the default on science. However, sonification, the transformation of data into sound rather than images has been gaining interest. One reason is that our ears actually have better time
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By Allison Kubo Hutchison Left: Glowing basaltic eruption in Iceland taken at night (image: Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir / twitter). Right: Grey ash clouds rise into the atmosphere over St. Vincent (image: University of West Indies Seismic Research Center / twitter). In Iceland, where we lay our scene, lava spills orange and black tendrils from three
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