The Science of Sustainability

Physics

Zeppelins Resurrected

Zeppelins Resurrected

In 1935, the USS Macon went down in 1000 feet of water off the coast of Monterey, California. Now, as scientists study the recently-discovered wreckage, dirigibles are returning to the Bay Area. But these aren't the same dirigibles – these are new and improved.

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Inside the Stanford Linear Accelerator

Inside the Stanford Linear Accelerator

On the heels of the opening of the Large Hadron Collider last year, I was curious about these particle accelerators: how they work, what research is conducted there, and most importantly why.

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Age of Aquarius: Are We There Yet?

Age of Aquarius: Are We There Yet?

"Can you tell me about the upcoming beginning of the Age of Aquarius?" said the voice on the phone. "I heard that it starts this Saturday…."

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O Say Can You Cesium-133? The Leap Second of 2008

O Say Can You Cesium-133? The Leap Second of 2008

Did you make good use of the extra second you received in 2008? A little extra sleep perhaps? Did you notice the extra time?

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Inside an Explosion

Inside an Explosion

What happens when something explodes? Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are now getting a first glimpse of the microscopic properties of an explosion.

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Waiting for the Electric Car

Waiting for the Electric Car

If you're looking to buy an all-electric car you can drive on the freeway, your options are limited. $100,000 will buy you an electric sports car from Tesla. But an affordable all-electric vehicle remains elusive, due to the difficulty in making a battery that is powerful, long-lasting, and cheap. QUEST visits a local battery laboratory and investigates the odds of a breakthrough.

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Producer's Notes: Inside an Explosion

Producer's Notes: Inside an Explosion

We see or hear about explosions practically every day on TV, the movies and in the news, most people have no idea what an explosion really is.

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Super Ball Fission

Super Ball Fission

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!

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Producer's Notes for Make At Home: Tabletop Linear Accelerator

Producer's Notes for Make At Home: Tabletop Linear Accelerator

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.

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MAKE it at Home: Table-Top Linear Accelerator

MAKE it at Home: Table-Top Linear Accelerator

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.

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Top Energy (and Money) Saving Thermostat Tactics

Top Energy (and Money) Saving Thermostat Tactics

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?

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The Physics of Sailing

The Physics of Sailing

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.

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Producer's Notes: Physics of sailing

Producer's Notes: Physics of sailing

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.

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A Swingin' History: Cal Academy's Foucault Pendulum

A Swingin' History: Cal Academy's Foucault Pendulum

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.

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The Large Hadron Collider: The Who, What and Where of the Why Machine

The Large Hadron Collider: The Who, What and Where of the Why Machine

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.

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Producer's Notes: Macro Concerns in a Nano World

Producer's Notes: Macro Concerns in a Nano World

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?

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Macro Concerns in a Nano World

Macro Concerns in a Nano World

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.

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Obesity and the modern man

Obesity and the modern man

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?

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Producer's Notes: How Edison Got His Groove Back

Producer's Notes: How Edison Got His Groove Back

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.

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How Edison Got His Groove Back

How Edison Got His Groove Back

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.

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