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Cocktail Party Physics

Cocktail Party Physics

Physics With a Twist

From the Archives: Frost Flowers and Hot Capillary Action

Most science history buffs are familiar with William Herschel, the famed astronomer who discovered the planet Uranus in the 18th century. His son, John, is less well known, perhaps because his scientific interests ranged more broadly than his father's...

May 11, 2012 — Jennifer Ouellette

LHC's Surprise Visitor: Kern the Globe-Trotting Gnome

CERN's Large Hadron Collider had an unexpected and diminutive visitor a couple of weeks ago: Kern the Traveling Gnome. The plucky little ceramic figure has already visited Lima, Mumbai, Mexico, South Africa, San Francisco, New Caledonia, and Sydney, Australia, the South Pole, and SNOLAB, an underground neutrino observatory in Ontario Canada...

April 19, 2012 — Jennifer Ouellette

Quantum Casimir Effect Inspires Indie Filmmakers

The Internet is filled with surprising things. Jen-Luc Piquant stumbled across a fascinating independent short film project the other day, called Casimir Effect -- the brainchlid of UK filmmakers Gabriel Strange and Lydia Wood, and starring Torchwood 's Gareth David Lloyd as the male lead...

April 19, 2012 — Jennifer Ouellette

From the Archives: Gettin' Jiggly With It

A recent post over at Ptak Science Books taking a look at the golden age of gelatin inspired me to dig up one of my favorite older posts from 2006. Behold, the glory of Jell-O!

April 4, 2012 — Jennifer Ouellette

Ticket to Ride: the Physics of Extreme Machines

Who among us doesn't yearn to experience, even briefly, the sensation of weightlessness in space? Small wonder, then, that Jen-Luc Piquant is excitedly pinching her virtual pennies, hoping to save up enough for a spot on the new extreme roller coaster being designed by a company called BRC Imagination Arts.The twist: the design mimics elements of the flight path typical of NASA"s infamous "vomit comet" to create a simulation of microgravity lasting a full nine seconds...

March 21, 2012 — Jennifer Ouellette

L is for LIDAR

Over at Ars Technica, we note an intriguing feature by Curt Hopkins on the use of physics-based technologies in archaeology -- in this case, LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging).

March 12, 2012 — Jennifer Ouellette

Along Came a Spider: The Wonders of Spider Silk

Spider silk seems to be all the rage these days. In January, a one-of-a-kind spider-silk cape debuted at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, created over eight years using silk from more than 1 million Madagascar golden orb spiders ( Nephila madagascariensis ).And just this week, a Japanese scientist from the Nara Medical University announced that he has created violin strings out of spider silk...

March 7, 2012 — Jennifer Ouellette

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Scientific American Health & Medicine