Vindication has to be one of the most satisfying effects of a Nobel Prize win — after years of work, the scientific community has finally recognized the real weight of a discovery someone probably fought a very long time to prove. So Daniel Shechtman must feel really satisfied today. The Israeli chemist is a Nobel laureate for his discovery of quasicrystals, a unique form of solid matter whose discovery cost him his job and reputation.
The wee electron has gotten its most thorough physical examination yet, and scientists report that it is almost, almosta perfect sphere. Researchers at Imperial College London have determined the electron is just 0.000000000000000000000000001 centimeter off from being perfectly round. Put another way, if the electron was magnified to the size of the solar system, it would deviate from immaculate rotundity by a magnitude equivalent to a human hair.
While studying the weird behavior of high-temperature superconductors, scientists may have found a new phase of matter, separate from solid, liquid, gas and plasma. Electrons in a pre-superconducting state apparently form a strange, distinct order, lining up in a way that has never been seen before.
Stephen Hawking once theorized that black holes would emit a stream of electromagnetic radiation named, what else, Hawking Radiation. However, in the 35 years since Hawking made his prediction, no one has observed the phenomena. Now, a team of Israeli scientists are working on a way to make their own Hawking Radiation by creating an artificial black hole in their lab.
Mercury used to be lots of funâ€”before we knew that it could kill you. Hereâ€™s how several pounds of it made the first electric motor spin
By Theodore GrayPosted 08.31.2006 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
There are great things to come in the future, jet cars and all that. But the past held a few wonders too-for example, jars of mercury available at the corner apothecary. Just 50 years ago, people treated the shiny
liquid metal like a toy. Sadly, I´ll never experience the strange sensation of sticking my entire arm into a barrel of mercury, as kids once did during factory tours. Today mercury is considered a horrific poison, so bad that schools are evacuated for
a broken thermometer.
Ice is supposed to float, but with a little heavy water, you can make cubes that sink
By Theodore GrayPosted 07.01.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Make Sinking IceCost: $65Time: 2
HoursSafe | | | | |
Want a surefire bet for your next cocktail party? First, tell your guests
that aquatic life-at least in temperate
climates-depends largely on the fact
that ice floats. If it sank, lakes would freeze solid instead of forming an
insulating layer of ice on top, killing all the fish. Now bet that you can
magically make an ice cube sink. Grab one from a glass of special cubes
Want to see a real sugar high? Launch a model rocket with Oreo cookies
By Theodore GrayPosted 05.08.2006 at 2:00 am 17 Comments
by Mike Walker
A rocket speeds away, fueled by an oxidizer and Oreo cookie filling.
Food contains an amazing amount of energy. If you don't believe it, feed candy to some kids and watch them bounce off the walls. Of course, tot-baiting is only one way to turn food energy into noise and destruction.
As one of the first synthetic materials ever made, nylon changed fashionâ€”and the world. Now you can make thread yourself by pulling it from a glass of chemicals
By Theodore GrayPosted 05.01.2006 at 2:00 am 2 Comments
In 1938 the E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company, known at the time mainly as a maker of explosives, announced what was arguably the single most important invention in the history of legwear: nylon.
Nylon wasn´t discovered by accident or extracted from a natural source. It was one of the first materials engineered from scratch, based on an understanding of polymer chemistry and a desire to plug what was, apparently, a serious hole in the hosiery department.