As a physics professor at UC Berkeley, Richard Muller considers what his students would need to know — if one were elected president. In today's lesson, he demonstrates the principles of fission and the basics of a nuclear explosion — using super balls!
My favorite Make projects all seem to have something to do with things that other people might say "Don't try this at home." In this case we went out to the Make Magazine "Test Lab" to learn how to make a small steel ball fly across the room using magnets… good clean fun in my book.
Post on Oct 21, 2008 by Chris Bauer
QUEST teams up with Make Magazine to construct the latest must have, do-it-yourself device hacks and science projects. This week well show you how to make a tabletop linear accelerator that demonstrates the finer points of kinetic energy by shooting a steel ball.
The Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others recommend that we set our thermostats at 68°F in the winter and F in the summer. Some people are comfortable at home with these temperatures and some or not. So how can we save energy and still be comfortable?
Post on Oct 03, 2008 by Jim Gunshinan
Northern California has a storied, 500-year history of sailing. But despite this rich heritage, scientists and boat designers continue to learn more each day about what makes a sail boat move. Contrary to what you might expect, the physics of sailing still present some mysteries to modern sailors.
It was another average Tuesday. I was sitting at my desk, looking at my calendar. Another day of budget meetings, returning emails, reviewing contracts, yawn. The usual buzz of production was going on around me, a crew going out to do a story about… sailing. Ah sailing, my favorite topic.
Post on Sep 30, 2008 by Joan Johnson
There are three iconic exhibits of the Academy that have been revived – the Alligator Swamp Tank, African Hall and the Foucault Pendulum. Each exhibit has its own special history and anecdotes but I quite like the science and Academy history of the Foucault Pendulum.
Post on Sep 19, 2008 by Cat
Here's an overview of some good articles and web content about the Large Hadron Collider, to get you up to speed on particle physics.
Post on Sep 12, 2008 by Jennifer Skene
When I was assigned to work on our QUEST story on nanotechnology, I braced myself for the complex terrain ahead. The focus is on the public policy implications of the surge in consumer goods containing nanoparticles. And just how big is the market for nano-manufactured goods?
Post on Aug 12, 2008 by Sheraz Sadiq
At 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, you can't see nanoparticles, but you can find them in everyday products like sunscreen and clothing. But environmental and health concerns are mounting about exposure to nanomaterials, sparking a growing debate about their possible regulation.
Given today's environment, it is surprising that there are still thin people around. The origins of this epidemic are pretty easy to spot—lots of food and less opportunity for exercise. And yet, not everyone in the U.S. is overweight. So why is one person fat and the next thin?
Post on Aug 04, 2008 by Dr. Barry Starr
I love the idea that he was just listening to the radio one day and heard that the Library of Congress was failing in its struggle to preserve a significant portion of our nation's music and sound heritage. Haber basically thought, "well, as a designer of instrumentation for particle physics, I think I can help." And that's what he did.
Post on Jul 29, 2008 by Josh Rosen
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are pioneering a new way to recover 100-year-old recordings. Found on fragile wax cylinders and early lacquer records, the sounds reveal a rich acoustic heritage, including languages long lost.
Sitting in a small, non-descript room in the basement of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley, astronomy graduate student Hannah Swift and physicist Saul Perlmutter are searching for supernovae, stars destroyed in huge explosions millions or billions of years ago.
Post on Jul 23, 2008 by Gabriela Quirós
I've always been fascinated by weird animals. Especially those with out-of-the-ordinary genetics. Transcaucasian mole vole. Image Courtesy of Heike HimmelreichOne of my favorites is a little burrowing mammal called a Transcaucasian mole vole. These guys live in the Caucasus Mountains of Armenia, Iran, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. There they are born, live, have babies and die. [...]
Post on Jul 07, 2008 by Dr. Barry Starr
Humans produce 500 billion plastic bags annually. In China, they recently banned it. Australia, Bangladesh, Ireland, Italy, South Africa,Taiwan, Mumbai and India have either banned it or discouraged its use by raising taxes. And on March 27, 2007, San Francisco became the first city in the USA to ban it from large grocery stores. More [...]
Post on Jun 23, 2008 by Shuka Kalantari
Each big storm with a high tide and an onshore wind takes a big bite out of Sarichef.Photo By Shishmaref Erosion and Relocation Coalition In an email this week from John Woodward, an Alaska builder and Home Energy author, he wrote, "I put together a working/management group to manage the relocation of the community of [...]
Post on Jun 16, 2008 by Jim Gunshinan
School groups tour the Oakland Schools Science Fair projects at Chabot. Ben Burress, Chabot Space & Science CenterIt's the time of year again that I get a chance to peruse what our scientific-minded youth are thinking on questions of the physical world and universe around us: Oakland Unified School District Science Fair! The science projects [...]
Post on May 25, 2008 by Ben Burress
Bay Area engineer Ugo Conti has sailed the world, but has always suffered from seasickness. A queasy stomach became his motivation to design "Proteus" — a spider-like sea craft made for smoother sailing. And it may change the way people take to the high seas.