Artist Kate Nichols longed to paint with the iridescent colors of butterfly wings, but no such pigments existed. So she became the first artist-in-residence at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to synthesize nanoparticles and incorporate them into her artwork.
In 1969, there were 65 days when Bay Area air quality exceeded federal health standards. Under those same standards, last year, there wasn’t a single day over the limit. On the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, we examine the impacts that the law has had on public health, business, and environmental justice in the Bay Area and what still needs to be done to improve the quality of our air.
The wireless age has introduced countless devices that many of us can't live without, like cell phones, laptop computers and wifi routers. Like all electronics they communicate using electromagnetic frequencies – or EMFs. Some people worry that EMFs are making them sick – and say that technology should slow down, as Amy Standen reports.
The wireless age has introduced countless devices that many of us can’t live without, like cell phones, laptop computers and wifi routers. Like all electronics they communicate using electromagnetic frequencies – or EMFs. Some people worry that EMFs are making them sick – and say that technology should slow down, as Amy Standen reports.
QUEST journeys back to find out how physicists on the UC Berkeley campus in the 1930s, and at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in the 1970s, created "atom smashers" that led to key discoveries about the tiny constituents of the atom and paved the way for the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
The roadway across the Golden Gate Bridge rises and falls as much as 16 feet depending on the temperature. When the sun hits the bridge, the metal expands and the bridge cables stretch. As the fog rolls in, the cables contract and the bridge goes up. Curators from the Outdoor Exploratorium in San Francisco have set up a scope two miles away so you can see how the bridge is moving up or down depending on the weather.
Along with cable cars and seagulls, the Golden Gate Bridge foghorn is one of San Francisco's most iconic sounds. But did you know that if you hear that foghorn off in the distance, you can calculate how many miles you are from the bridge? Using the Speed of Sound exhibit at the Outdoor Exploratorium at Fort Mason, Shawn Lani shows us how sound perception is affected by distance.
The new self-anchored suspension bridge being built to replace the vulnerable eastern span of the Bay Bridge is scheduled to open in 2013 and will be seismically and aesthetically revolutionary in its design. QUEST explores the engineering features that will give the new bridge the strength and flexibility to withstand the next "big one."
Art Rosenfeld is retiring, stepping down from his post with the California Energy Commission. The 83-year-old nuclear physicist pushed California to enact some of the toughest energy efficiency standards in the world. QUEST talks with Rosenfeld about his passion for saving kilowatts. Andrea Kissack reports.
50 years ago, eminent physicist Richard Feynman gave a gave a prophetic speech at Caltech entitled, "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom." The speech described a rich world of possibilities that could arise if we only applied ourselves toward controlling matter on smaller and smaller scales.