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Posts

April 16, 2014

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8:00 AM | There’s More to Physics Than The LHC
Particle Fever is aptly named [T]his equating of “physics” with “particle physics” not only plays along with the media myth that the only thing worth noting in physics is what is going on at CERN, but also explains outbursts like this one I received from a (non-particle) physicist recently: “Perhaps the poster child for overselling [...]

April 15, 2014

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10:21 PM | Hold the drill! Fracking emitting more methane than previously thought
As politically divisive as hydraulic fracturing is, we still need much more data to determine its environmental effects before deciding if it can be major source of energy during our transition away from fossil fuels.  Unfortunately, this lack of data … Continue reading →

Caulton, D., Shepson, P., Santoro, R., Sparks, J., Howarth, R., Ingraffea, A., Cambaliza, M., Sweeney, C., Karion, A., Davis, K. & Stirm, B. (2014). Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI:

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8:01 PM | Brownian Motion Brownian Motion is the random motion of dust...
Brownian Motion Brownian Motion is the random motion of dust motes and other brownian particles that are suspended in a gas or a liquid. The Lab: http://labs.minutelabs.io/Brownian-Motion/ MinutePhysics on Brownian Motion: http://youtu.be/nrUBPO6zZ40 Music: “Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 via MinuteLabs.io.
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7:00 PM | The Science of Dust via jtotheizzoe: Wanna get dirty with...
The Science of Dust via jtotheizzoe: Wanna get dirty with me? From star stuff to microscopic fluff to skin cells that slough while you’re in the buff, the universe of dust is curious enough to turn your mind into a cream puff. May this week’s episode spread like dust on the wind. Enjoy this video? Subscribe to It’s Okay To be Smart on YouTube!
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5:32 PM | Quantum Dots Could Be Used to Make Efficient Solar Windows
A house window that doubles as a solar panel could be on the horizon, thanks to recent quantum-dot work by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers in collaboration with scientists from University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB), Italy. Read more »

Meinardi, F., Colombo, A., Velizhanin, K., Simonutti, R., Lorenzon, M., Beverina, L., Viswanatha, R., Klimov, V. & Brovelli, S. (2014). Large-area luminescent solar concentrators based on ‘Stokes-shift-engineered’ nanocrystals in a mass-polymerized PMMA matrix, Nature Photonics, DOI:

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3:34 PM | Superconductors, the London Moment, and Spin Currents
In addition to the Meissner effect pictured to the left, superconductors have other odd properties.  One of them is something known as the London moment.  It's named after the London brothers who did some of the earliest work on the properties of superconductors.  If I had to take a guess, I'd say it was specifically named after  Fritz London who authored the two volume set of books, "Superfluids"[1].  So much for the naming of the thing, here's what happens.  When […]
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3:30 PM | Why You Never Actually Feel the Need For Speed In Video Games
You might have the need for speed, but in video games, you never feel it. Maybe that’s why we went from sprinting at super-human speeds in Doom to trudging along in Call of Duty. Video games have to fool us into thinking we are going fast or slow. Like how you judge the speed of […]The post Why You Never Actually Feel the Need For Speed In Video Games appeared first on But Not Simpler.
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1:56 PM | Superheros are Anti-Science
I’m not really a comic-book guy, but I’ve watched a bunch of comic-book movies recently. Kate was really fired up for the new Captain America movie, so I finally got around to watching the first one as background for that, then when I was sleep-deprived last week I watched the second Thor movie via on-demand…
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8:00 AM | Plenty of Science Yet to Do
Science Is Running Out Of Things To Discover? [H]aven’t we learned anything from the history of science? The last time someone thought that we knew all there was to know about an area of physics, and all that we could do was simply to make incremental understanding of the area, it was pre-1985 before Mother [...]
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5:16 AM | Ferrofluids
My Science Fair project this year involved ferrofluids so this blog will talk a bit about these interesting fluids and what they can be used for. Ferrofluids (FFs) are liquids that respond to magnetic fields. They are colloidal suspensions made up of tiny ferromagnetic particles (usually ferric oxide, also known as iron III oxide), about […]

April 14, 2014

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8:30 PM | The Science Of REAL Hoverboards Hank gives it to you straight...
The Science Of REAL Hoverboards Hank gives it to you straight about “anti-gravity technology” — basically, it doesn’t exist. But if you really want to hover, you have options! via SciShow. Subbable: https://subbable.com/scishow Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com
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6:37 PM | Scientists Gain Insight Into High-Temperature Superconductivity
In a new study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, researchers have identified and solved at least one paradox in the behavior of high-temperature superconductors. The riddle involves a phenomenon called the “pseudogap,” a region of energy levels in which relatively few electrons are allowed to exist. Read more »

Mishra, V., Chatterjee, U., Campuzano, J. & Norman, M. (2014). Effect of the pseudogap on the transition temperature in the cuprates and implications for its origin, Nature Physics, DOI:

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4:51 PM | Quantum gate could link multiple qubits into single computer
Photons could enable networking between multiple qubits.
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1:14 PM | Cosmos Reboot Gets Small
A diabolical psychologist brings a mathematician in for an experiment. The mathematician is seated in a chair on a track leading to a bed on which there is an extremely attractive person of the appropriate gender, completely naked. The psychologist explains “This person will do absolutely anything you want, subject to one condition: every five…
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9:21 AM | Aldo Menzione And The Design Of The Silicon Vertex Detector
Below is a clip from a chapter of my book where I describe the story of the silicon microvertex detector of the CDF experiment. CDF collected proton-antiproton collisions from the Tevatron collider in 1985, 1987-88, 1992-96, and 2001-2011. Run 1A occurred in 1992, and it featured for the first time in a hadron collider a silicon strip detector, the SVX. The SVX would prove crucial for the discovery of the top quark. read more

April 13, 2014

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10:25 PM | Nuclear Fusion & the Elements of Life
I hope you’ll all forgive this brief post today. I’ve been buried under insane levels of work for the last several weeks. However, as I was taking a short break […]
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4:40 PM | Is This the Future of Alternative Wind Energy? The makers of...
Is This the Future of Alternative Wind Energy? The makers of Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) think they’ve got the next step in alternative wind energy, without the large grounded turbines. The BAT is a high-altitude mobile wind-powered generator, that’s able to convert the more powerful wind currents into a substantial amount of electricity. It can also hoist cellular transmitters and meteroological equipment. It sounds great, but the BAT isn’t perfect…right? Kim […]
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3:10 PM | Quarks bonding differently at LHCb | Jon Butterworth | Life & Physics
The strong force binds quarks together to form hadrons. Until last Monday, only two types of hadron were known, but the LHCb experiment at CERN has just proved there is a third way Continue reading...
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3:02 PM | Nerds and Words: Week 15
Digging through the Internet this week, I uncovered all this geeky goodness. You can find the thousands of links from previous weeks here. I have marked my favorite links with a ∞. Enjoy. Science to Read, Watch Ants face an omnipresent threat from zombie fungus, and a new study helps explain why ∞ You have never […]The post Nerds and Words: Week 15 appeared first on But Not Simpler.
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11:20 AM | Projectile Motion: Pushing the Envelope
Think everything that's publishable for say an old classical topic like projectile motions has already been published?  Turns out the old 'lob the projectile at a constant velocity in a constant gravitational field' problem is still producing.  Check out this paper from J. L. Fernandez-Chapou, A. L. Salas-Brito, and C. A. Vargas published in 2004.  It eventually made its way into the American Journal of Physics.  In the paper, the authors show that if you write down the […]

April 12, 2014

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6:40 PM | Understanding Crystallography №2 From Crystals to Diamond How do...
Understanding Crystallography №2 From Crystals to Diamond How do X-rays help us uncover the molecular basis of life? In the second part of this mini-series, Professor Stephen Curry takes us on a journey into the Diamond Light Source, one of the UK’s most expensive and sophisticated scientific facilities. Generating light brighter than the sun, and hosting a particle accelerator, Diamond is often used to determine the structure of complex molecules. By placing crystalline samples of […]
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6:00 PM | Bill Nye Explains Magnetism and How Magnets Work A fan wants an...
Bill Nye Explains Magnetism and How Magnets Work A fan wants an explanation of magnets and magnetism, but little did he know his Cosmic Query would be answered by none other than Bill Nye the Science Guy. Bill was our guest host for this episode, along with guest NASA astronaut Mike Massimino and comic co-host Eugene Mirman. Find out how Earth’s magnetic field arises and helps protect our atmosphere, and why Mars’ lack of magnetic field contributed to its loss of atmosphere. […]
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5:49 PM | Backreactions
A frightening fraction of my open tabs are some of Bee’s posts at Backreaction – so to save my browsers, I dump them here for further future perusal: Are irreproducible scientific results okay and just business as usual? Shut up and let me think Should the Nobel Prize be given to collaborations and institution? Women…
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3:07 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 11/04/2014
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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3:07 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 11/04/2014
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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5:36 AM | Hubble Plateaus
In times past we have lovingly tracked the proposal frenzy as the near annual Hubble Space Telescope proposal deadline approaches. As was noted by Julianne several years ago, and confirmed over the last half dozen cycles, the shape of the curve of number of submitted proposals as a function of time until the deadline is…

April 11, 2014

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5:50 PM | Right-Sizing U.S. Electrical Grid Could Reduce Blackout Risk
David Newman, a physicist at the University of Alaska, believes that smaller grids would reduce the likelihood of severe outages, such as the 2003 Northeast blackout that cut power to 50 million people in the United States and Canada for up to two days. Read more »

Carreras, B., Newman, D. & Dobson, I. (2014). Does size matter?, Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, 24 (2) 23104. DOI:

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4:53 PM | How many quarks would a charm quark charm if a charm quark could charm quarks?
Fundamental physics is having quite a spectacular season.  In mid-March, the collaborators of the BICEP2 telescope announced the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation, answering a long-standing question about the beginnings of the universe. Now, on the heels of that … Continue reading →
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4:03 PM | Adventures in Hosing
We're trying a new type of roughing pump vacuum hosing.  We're moving away from the traditional classic, red rubber tubing and trying out Kuritech K7130 Polywire Hose!  The kids and I went on an adventure a week and a half ago to check the hosing out at Bryan Hose and Gasket!  Everyone was super nice, and it looked like if you turned up later in the day you could have free popcorn.  It was Sam's first science trip.  Jr. used to go on these all the time when were at […]
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2:30 PM | Fruit flies show why swatting at flies is often fruitless
The insects perform aerial maneuvers similar to fighter jets.
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