Worth a Look Archive - Page 3

Morpho Towers, Two Standing Spirals - Dec 1, 2011

This video shows a ferrofluid work of art.

(This feature was updated on September 21, 2013.)

Particles break light-speed limit - Nov 1, 2011

You may have heard the shocking news that an experiment at an Italian laboratory found the speed of a neutrino beam to be slightly greater than the speed of light. This directly violates special relativity, which predicts that no particle can move faster than the speed of light (please note that the "speed of light" referred to here is the speed of light in a vacuum). To learn more about this experimental result, see Particles break light-speed limit.

Update: It turns out that the neutrinos observed in this experiment were not going faster than light after all. As you can read in this short Science Magazine article, the error in the measurement was due to a loose cable connection.

(This feature was updated on September 21, 2013.)

Aircraft Contrails - Oct 1, 2011

Visit Aircraft Contrails from NASA for more information on how contrails can cause global warming. For more from NASA, see Clouds Caused by Aircraft Exhaust May Warm the US Climate.

Einstein's Relativity and Everyday Life - Sep 1, 2011

If you rely on a GPS to navigate, then you need Einstein's theories of relativity--special relativity because the GPS satellites are moving fast relative to you, and general relativity because the GPS satellites are in a different gravitational field than you are. Without correction for relativistic effects, errors in GPS positions would increase by 10 km for every day the system operates! To learn more visit Einstein's Relativity and Everyday Life, and also this Ohio State astronomy page.

Sprott's Fractal Gallery - Aug 2, 2011

Fractals are an emerging form of art. Using mathematics, artists can create colorful and otherworldly visuals. To learn more, visit Wikipedia's Fractal Art, and check out "Fractal of the Day" at Sprott's Fractal Gallery.

What would it look like to fall into a black hole? - Jul 1, 2011

How about free fall into a black hole? Check out What would it look like to fall into a black hole? from NewScientist magazine. For related videos, visit Andrew Hamilton's Falling into a Black Hole.

Chaos and Fractals - Jun 8, 2011

Serious study of chaos began with Edward Lorenz's simplified three-equation model of the atmosphere. Visit Chaos and Fractals for a brief overview of chaos theory, including how Lorenz discovered "sensitive dependence on initial conditions", also known as "the butterfly effect." When he discovered this, he knew that long-range weather forecasting would never succeed.

(This feature was updated on September 2, 2013.)

MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering Education Hub - May 12, 2011

For information and background on the nuclear disaster at Japan's Fukushima power plant, check out MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering Education Hub. It offers news reports, nuclear science background, and special features such as A Chernobyl Primer.

For related art, see this New Yorker cover by Christopher Niemann.

Floating Flame Balls - Apr 12, 2011

In low gravity, fire behaves differently from our expectations, like in the image above. Read about the discovery of flame balls at Floating Flame Balls and more about the ongoing research in this Discover Magazine article.

3C273 Activity: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet... - Feb 1, 2011

How fast is that jet in the image above moving away from the quasar? You can calculate the velocity yourself in 3C273 Activity: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet... from Chandra. You'll find that it's moving impossibly fast--faster than the speed of light. The activity explains how this appears to be true. If you want to learn more about the calculations astronomers use for large distances, be sure to check out the other activities on 3C273, too.

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