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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Scientific vs Artistic Genius - Same or Different?

Courtesy Noah E.:

This is just an interesting clip from interviews of some scientists trying to address the differences and similarities between being a creative (artistic) genius and a scientific genius. This is interesting because probable the most fascinating parts of science are more abstract, so we definitely need those creative thinkers. Another thing they touch on is how "geniuses" come up with many of their ideas.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Quantum Levitation

Courtesy Caleb C.:

Some Quantum!

Courtesy of Joe Z.:

This video gives some history behind the origins of quantum mechanics. I enjoyed it because it was interesting, visually creative, and was able to explain a complex concept in relatable way. 

How High Can Humans Build?

Courtesy of Nathan S.:

I've pasted the link to a vsauce video: "How High Can We Build". This topic was interesting to me for its relevancy, as Earth's ever expanding population will eventually force us to somehow use space more efficiently, building into the sky would certainly help in this endeavor. The topic also interested me as the reason we have a height limit is due to gravity which we study on a regular basis.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tesla Coil Concert

Courtesy of Alex N.:

This video has a lot to do with E&M, and shows how well a Tesla coil can be used for other things than science experiments. Its a tad goofy, and the music it plays doesn't exactly sound right, however its cool to see and hear at the parts that are similar. It has to use an immense amount of power to just play that one song, however it seems to be well worth it. Plus its a good song.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Use of Mosquitoes to Fight Disease?!

Courtesy of Taed C.:

Re-engineering mosquitoes to fight diseases!

Inner Life of a Cell

Courtesy Zach F.:

This is a video of the processes that occur within a cell that allow for some of the basic functions of cell groups within our body, such as sending and receiving signals through proteins and the specific method through which these proteins and bodily functions achieve their goals. Several individual organelles are shown too and their functions are conveyed through this three-dimensional animation. It demonstrates the immense volume of processes and it puts into perspective the complexity of our bodies and how much we understand about their functioning.

The Higgs

Courtesy of Rebecca P.:

Related to the Higgs Boson.

Deflecting Asteroids

Very relevant to recent events, courtesy of Emma S.:

This is an article about a possible way of destroying asteroids that is being developed. Basically it talks about something called the Yarkovsky effect (how thermal radiation can create a force that can change the trajectory of an asteroid), and how painting asteroids (or, rather, spraying them with powder) can alter their course slightly. 

Article at:

Long-term Data Storage Possibility

Courtesy Manny D.:

This article is called "Data Saved in Quartz Glass Might Last 300 Million Years" by Timothy Hornyak from Scientific American.

It's about information storage using thin slivers of quartz glass. These slivers have 4 layers where dots an imprinted on the quartz to store information in binary. These can work better than CD players or hard drives since they don't melt at temperatures up to 1,000 Fahrenheit. Also, even if they erode, they have 4 layers so the information is safe. This is important since we can save information without worrying about it being destroyed easily, like in CD's that can't be repaired.

How a Straw Works

Courtesy Lloyd S.:

This video shows, oddly enough, the physics of sucking a liquid from a straw. The straw deals with the pressure of the air and the pressure from within on your mouth. In this video they try to suck liquids from increasingly high heights. They calculate that the Max height possible is 10.3 m, yet when they attempt this height, they fail. I never realized how scientific drinking a coke could be.

Metronomes Becoming Synched!

Courtesy Adam F.:

This video portrays thirty two different metronomes, set at different initial positions, ultimately synchronizing into the same period. This occurs presumably as the table upon which the metronomes are situated is able to move with the metronomes and cause them to interact. It takes a surprisingly short amount of time for the metronomes to synchronize. Enjoy!

The Physics of Bubbles

Courtesy Henry M. and Nina D. - they both thought this is WAY COOL!:

I think it is really interesting how something that seems so simple as a bubble popping is actually more complicated than you may think. It was also really awesome at 2:38 when he shows how you can put your hand inside a bubble. While this video doesn't exactly discuss any concepts we are studying right now, it reminds me of how we take a seemingly simple process in class, and find that there are many different concepts of physics in play. 

Strongest Magnet!

Courtesy Ben G.:

Check out the world's strongest magnet!

Deja Vu All Over Again...

Courtesy Olivia G.:

This video is about the study of Deja Vu and other similar phenomenon like Hypnogogic Jerk, Presque Vu, and Jamais Vu. The man in the video explains how these things happen and how they are related to our brains. This topic is worth sharing because the phenomenon discussed are things that happen to me often, and many other people as well. Since people know so little about the brain, it is important to keep studying it. 

Courtesy Ben M.:

Here is a really cool article on an experiment done recently on some
lab rats at Duke University. They found they were able to literally
give these rats a sixth sense, the ability to sense infrared light
which is normally not visible. By implanting microelectrodes in their
brains, scientists were able to force a reaction to infrared light,
which after a time the rat began to understand. The significance of
this is that now in theory a human with a damaged visual cortex would
be able to regain sight through a device implanted in another part of
the brain.

Courtesy Nathan H.:

Talking about how black-holes form, what it would look like to go into one, dumb-holes, universe stuff.  

We Are ALL Related!

Courtesy Tovah K.:

This video is really interesting because it is all shockingly true (I assume) and is pretty relevant to everyone on Earth.

How Qatar has Water, with No Natural Water Source

Courtesy of Quinn F.:

This talks about how to provide water to a nation(Qatar) which has no natural water source. It discusses Qatar's history, and why a lack of water has affected Qatar, and more importantly, solutions to the problem. While this method may not be useful to all of the world's population, it represents a large step in solving the global resource problem by turning a non-renewable resource into a renewable resource.

Couresy of Duncan L.:

In this TED talk, Erik Schlangen discusses a new form of porous asphalt formed from simple materials  that when cracked can be fixed using induction heating. This new material can potentially cut down on infrastructure costs, as paved roads made from traditional asphalt are much more expensive and difficult to repair. Schlangen hopes that his asphalt material will be put into widespread use in order to double the service life of roads.

A Person-made Black Hole at CERN?! A Rap!

Courtesy of Talia W.:

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN has received a good deal of media attention due to the claim that it has the capacity to create microscopic black holes with the potential to destroy the earth (mostly before 2010, although a recent court case in Germany raised the supposed danger again). This video by Alpinekat, the (renowned) creator and performer of the "Large Hadron Rap," refutes the assertions that the earth could be drawn into an LHC-created black hole. She notes that if this were possible (which Stephen Hawking doesn't think it is), high-energy cosmic rays should have destroyed our planet long ago, and that if the LHC could create black holes, they would be too small to pull anything in and would quickly disintegrate. This video is significant in that it targets a major misconception; media attention for CERN and other scientific research is good – as long as it's the right kind.

Accelerating Ping Pong Balls

Courtesy of Tim R.:

Basically, this video utilizes the concept of pressure and vacuums to accelerate a ping pong ball to supersonic speeds, enough to send it straight through a paddle. Teh pinp pong ball is placed inside a vacuum tube, and pressurized air is shot extremely fast through it, pushing the ball at very high speeds, somewhere around Mach l.23, I believe. The actual event happens at around 5:48, with the time before it being explanation of the concepts. I thought it was pretty cool, so I hope I gave you everything you need to put it on the class blog.

A Water Repellant

Courtesy Ben B.:

Ultra-Ever-Dry is a super hydrophobic, and oleophobic, spray on coating. Anything it covers repels water completely. The uses for this product are many. It can be used to protect things from almost any type of liquid, which could reduce water damage in things like shoes, cars, floors, clothes, or any other product that needs water-proofing. Besides its practical uses, it also has a variety of fun/interesting possibilities. Imagine going swimming with a water proof body or pranking someone by spraying this on the inside of a cup. Probably one of the best things about Ultra-Ever-Dry is that it is a spray from a can, meaning it can be applied to almost anything. With this product, anything that might have a feasible need to be waterproofed can be waterproofed.

Physics Misconceptions

Courtesy of Violet L.:

This is video that compares the difference between the basics we have learned and what actually happens in physics. Examples include velocity and gravity.

Dark Energy in a Minute

Courtesy of Isabel A.:

his fascinating video by minutephysics goes into the basics of dark energy. It specifically unveils the complexity of the acceleration of the universe, a discovery that was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011. The creators of this video are able to turn an extremely vast and unknown topic into something that anyone could understand. I thought that the idea of empty energy 'pushing' us away from distant galaxies was especially interesting. 

6th Sense Technology

Courtesy of Dan L.:

This is a TED video on Pranav Mistry who talks about his "Sixth Sense" technology which helps link the physical and information worlds. The device is essentially a computer that displays information anywhere you are and allows you to interact with it without a keyboard. Besides the exciting implications of the technology, I was very impressed by how he documented his progression in creating it. It was fascinating to watch his curious tinkering turn into a jaw-dropping device.

Colonizing the Moon???

Courtesy of Troyer:

This video describes how we are planning to set up colonies on the moon. There are plans to use robots to build sturdy houses fit for space.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Strong Magnets

This comes courtesy Ben G.:

This video is about a lab in Florida that has the biggest magnet on the planet, so strong that it can levitate fruit!  It is explained in the video that the way that these electro-magnets are able to be made so strong is by the incredible density of its coils.  As well as the fact that a few of these coils are stacked within each other, amplifying the magnet.  I thought this was interesting because I had no idea that you could levitate non-metal objects with magnets.  

Waves in Space

This comes courtesy of Luke S.:

This is an extremely cool video that demonstrates momentum and waves in space. It is almost like the physics land that we deal with so much in class. With an absence of a strong gravitational and friction force, most of the friction in these water droplet collisions is visibly conserved. It is also interesting to note the strength of the hydrogen bonds in keeping the water together.

Mandelbrot and Fractals

This comes courtesy of David D.:

The following is a TED talk by famous mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot  His work in explaining and giving patterns to the chaos of roughness is very interesting to me. Moreover, his understanding of fractals have deep practical benefits in various areas of science, as well as explaining the natural world:

Mad cow and Brain research

This comes courtesy of Annik L.:

The brain is a huge contributing factor to the fascinating mystery that makes us human. It's interesting how one object can be both beneficial and malignant to us.  Scientists found that the same prions that trigger mad cow disease, and in humans the Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease, are also involved in insulating nerves, maintaining the myelin sheath, and communicating between nerves.    

Biomimetics in Engineering - Learn from Nature

This comes courtesy of Stephanie Y.:

This remains to be one of my favorite Ted Talks. It presents the concept of integrating solutions to world problems from nature in to present day building and engineering techniques. One example of this concept of biomickery was derived from the nubian beattle. Its shell is hydrophillic, meaning that it attracts water, and due to this property, the beattle is allowed to attract gaseous water in the air to its shell at night and from drinkable water. This technique can be applied to desert buildings in order to "cultivate" water from desert areas.

Flying bird robot!

This comes courtesy Danny K.:

This video was a TED talk that came out a bit over a year ago that shows how a research team was able to develop a robot that looks and acts like a bird. It flies by flapping its wings and is able to make relatively sharp turns. I feel like this video is so cool because it shows how we're getting close to being able to find out how birds can fly, glide, and turn so efficiently. If we can improve the technology, a new efficient form of air travel can be created, which I think is really cool.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Humans playing the role of host to many critters

This comes courtesy of Lewis H.:

This talks about the human Biome. It discusses how we are hosts to
millions of microbes that aren't the same as for every different
person. We know the bad microbes, pathogens, but we don't know about
the good ones. He is studying the effect of the good bacteria on the
human body. Watch for yourself to discover more.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Energy from Algae - Possible Future Energy Source

This comes courtesy of Aaron S.:

This is my contribution to the blog. In this Ted Talk, Jonathan Trent talks about his OMEGA (Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae) project. The goal of this project is to farm micro-algae that would produce energy by feeding on the wastewater from cities. The process also utilizes the consumption of carbon dioxide and solar power. In today's world where there is a growing need for alternative energy, projects like Jonathan's are increasingly important.


This comes courtesy of Paul P:

The video discusses how to become a lucid dreamer and the science behind the properties of lucid dreams, a topic which has always interested me.

Regenerative Medicine

This comes courtesy of Clara L.:

Regenerative medicine has the capabilities to cure auto immune diseases. These diseases occur when the immune system of a person attacks healthy cells many time making an organ or function non functioning. As a type one diabetic which is an auto immune disease, regenerative medicine has the capabilities to cure me which is why I show such interest.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Some Good Science Channels! Lots to check out!

This comes courtesy of Dalyan K.:

Here's a video that I think is relevant to the topic we studied in class and takes an interesting approach. There are a lot of good science videos on YouTube that you may or may not know about.

These are four channels that are my favorites in case you are interested.

Wing Suit Diving!

This comes courtesy Sam G.:

Wing suit diving encompasses the mechanical idea that, by increasing the body's surface area, you can slow down your rate of descent and increase your horizontal velocity.  These suits consists of three "webs": two covering the area between the right and left arms and the thigh and the third between the jumper's two legs.  Once the suits are fully opened, experienced wing suit divers can reach a glide ratio of almost 3 meters (meaning that for every meter fallen, three meters are traveled horizontally).  A typical skydiver's vertical terminal velocity is usually between 110-140 mph however experienced wing suit jumpers can bring their vertical velocity to less than 25 mph and their horizontal velocities above 150 mph.  In this video Jeb Corliss pilots his body in such a way that he is able to come down very close to a grassy field before flying into a large canyon.  Diver's can control their ratio of forward velocity to vertical velocity by changing the shape of their body at the torso, shoulders, and knees.  These different movements control the tension that is put on the suit from air friction and help to control the descent. 

Questions About Space and Relativity Answered

This comes courtesy of Olivia C.:

This is a video from Scientific American. It's a physicist and contributing editor to the magazine answering a series of insightful questions posted as comments by youtube users, which is cool because they're everyday people. All of the questions concern space or relativity.


The Sound Around Us

This comes courtesy of Nick E.:

Here's the thing I think people would find cool - I think that we don't often thing about how we hear the sounds and noises all around us. And I just thought that it was really cool and that she does a really good job of describing this.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Why is the Night Sky Dark, and not Bright??

This comes courtesy of Josh L.:

This video is about why the night sky is dark. The sky is only blue during the day because sunlight scatters 
off our Earth's atmosphere, so how about if we didn't have an atmosphere? We would think that because of all the stars in the galaxy, their light should brighten the sky, but this video explains what actually occurs. 

I found this very interesting because it connected conceptual physics ideas that we have already learned about in the past (Universe Expanding, Doppler Effect) to explain a very intriguing question that I never really thought much about before this. 

Hope you enjoy!

Fractal music!

This comes courtesy of Jack N.:

You may (or may not, if you are on the brink of sanity) enjoy the following video whose music, by renowned algorithmic composer RenĂ©-Louis Baron (recipient of the first patent in mathematical music composition), is constructed entirely with fractal pattern employment. For those of you not following, that means every single note was chosen as part of a larger, iterated mathematical pattern translated to music. The crux of fractal music is often what is referred to as the Cantor set-a recursively-defined pattern whose elements are represented by:

Asub(n)=Asub(n-1) \ U < iterated: k approaches infinity from k=0> [(1+3k)/3^n, (2+3k)/3^n] 

...obviously. I mean, Beethoven did it for his first Ecossaise. The essence of fractal music created with Cantor's pattern lies in its iterated, fractal sequences based on multiples of sixteen often in what are hierarchical, or architectonic patterns-musicologist jargon for chromatic fractal arrangement. 
While the music may sound terrible, it's sadistically thrilling to think how much time one French guy wasted in composing it using Cantor's set and what sounds like the synthesizer from Super Mario 64. 
Think while you listen. 

PS: a helpful academic perspective on fractal composition---->

Black Holes

This comes courtesy of Shai M:

This is a cool video about black holes.  Black holes are large stars that collapse under their own gravity into a very small volume of space, called a Schwartzschild radius.  This video has some nice graphics that show what a black hole would look like from outside, including the gravitational lensing effects a black hole would have on light coming from behind it.


This comes courtesy of Taylor S:

This is a video about ferrofluid. Ferrofluid is a liquid that becomes strongly magnetized when exposed to a magnetic fluid. Ferrofluid is composed of a ferromagnetic solute is dissolved in a solute. The spikey portions are where the electromagnetic field is the strongest. I love ferrofluid because of the really cool-looking and interesting shapes it makes when the electromagnetic field is turned on and off.