When Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon in 1969, he carried a piece of muslin fabric from the left wing of the original 1903 Wright Flyer in his spacesuit pocket.
There was also a piece of wood from the airplane’s left propeller.
The 1903 Wright Flyer was the first successful powered aircraft while the Apollo 11 spacecraft made the first manned mission to the moon.
Both objects are in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
As of today, no human will ever get physically near to the other planets of our solar system apart from earth, moon or mars. But thanks to the wonderful artwork of Katie Paterson, Candle (from Earth into a Black Hole), we now have the opportunity to experience at least the smell of our neighbours.
"Candle (from Earth into a Black Hole) is a scented, white candle which burns down over 12 hours. The candle creates a journey through space via smell; as if taking off from Earth, journeying to the Moon, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, the stars, all the way into a Black Hole. The candle is formed of 23 layers, each containing a unique scent reflecting each place or planet. The Clouds and Troposphere smell like ‘water, humidity, wet basement, washed towels’ and the Ozone like ‘the clean smell after a thunder storm.’ The Moon is scented like ‘burnt gunpowder’ and Titan, Saturn’s Moon with ‘sweet and bitter almonds, cherry, slight benzene.’ Mars, an ‘old penny’.
‘Produced for the exhibition at the Frac Franche-Comté, Candle (from Earth into a Black Hole) was designed after an analysis of our universe’s molecules. This work shines like a candle composed of different strata whose perfume corresponds to the odor of each star, planet and space making up our system: a smell of gunpowder for the moon, geranium for the stratosphere, raspberry and rum for space and sulfuric acid for Venus... From Earth’s forest smell to odorless empty space and Black Holes, Katie Paterson invites us on an olfactory voyage to the ends of the Earth.’" FRAC Guide
Nam June Paik - Magnet TV (1963-65)
"«Magnet TV» was developed relatively late by Paik. By then he had already engaged in numerous complex operations on the inner-workings of television sets, but was yet to consider how magnets applied from outside were also well-suited to altering the electromagnetic flow of electrons.[...] At first Paik worked with only a horseshoe-shaped electromagnet and a degausser, used by technicians to deactivate the television screen’s state of being charged.[...] The magnet’s force of attraction hindered the cathode rays from filling the screen’s rectangular surface. This pushed the field of horizontal lines upward thus creating baffling forms within the magnet’s gravitational field. If the magnet maintained its position, the picture remained stabile—apart from minimal changes caused by fluctuations in the flow of electricity. Moving the magnet caused endless variations on the forms. "
(Source: Edith Decker, Paik Video, Cologne, 1988, p. 60ff.)
The phrase "water seeks its own level" is a metaphor for how things equalize.
In physics it stands for hydrostatics and is influenced by atmospheric pressure, water pressure depending on depth and water's density. A good example for this process are 'Communicating Vesels', where several containers connected through pipes are filled with liquid. That liquid will reach the same level in all parts of the system, regardless of what the lowest point is of the pipes.
The artist Allan Wexler created a brilliant artwork Coffee Seeks its Own Level about this phenomenon:
"Coffee Seeks its Own Level choreographs group dynamics. If one person alone lifts his cup, coffee overflows the other three cups. All four people need to coordinate their actions and lift simultaneously."
"Phototaxis is an organism’s automatic movement toward or away from light. So a cockroach has negative phototaxis, because it’s always scuttling into dark corners while a moth has positive phototaxis because of it’s preference for bright lights.
Why are they attracted to bright lights?
We have several theories but no definite answers. Here are the theories:
In case you observe a strange, colorful vortex in the sky and think of an UFO, please read this before. :-)
"Twilight phenomenon is produced when unburned particles of missile or rocket propellant and water left in the vapor trail of a launch vehicle condenses, freezes and then expands in the less dense upper atmosphere. The exhaust plume, which is suspended against a dark sky is then illuminated by reflective high altitude sunlight, which produces a spectacular, colorful effect when seen at ground level. The phenomenon typically occurs with launches that take place either 30 to 60 minutes before sunrise or after sunset when a booster rocket or missile rises out of the darkness and into a sunlit area, relative to an observer’s perspective on the ground.
This phenomenon usually produces a cloud of green, blue, white and rose colored hues which takes on a corkscrew appearance as it is whipped around by wind currents. It is seen within two to three minutes after a launch has occurred. Depending on weather conditions, it could remain in the sky for up to half an hour before dispersing.
Pre-dawn launches are probably less spectacular than their dusk counterparts. During dusk launches, the sunlight shines through the exhaust plume. Pre-dawn launches, on the other hand, produce a more subtle display because the sunlight directly reflects off the plume."
A few days ago I luckily stumbled upon some interesting artworks by Jesse Houlding, whose kinetic sculptures perfectly combine art and science by using iron filings, magnetism and motion to draw on paper. "As the magnets move, the friction between the iron and the paper makes different kinds of marks depending on the strength of the magnetic field."
I love these drawings because of their purity, grace and tenderness.
Below you can watch Jesse's kinetic sculpture 'Loop' in action.
Via Jesse Houlding
Ann Hodges became the only confirmed person in history to be hit by a meteorite. She wasn't injured seriously. Sure, it was a big sensation, but Ann lived in a small-minded community, suffered a nervous breakdown and died at the age of 52 of kidney failure.
Read the full story:
"On a crisp November afternoon in the small town of Sylacauga, Alabama, in 1954, Ann Hodges was napping on the couch when a softball-sized chunk of rock crashed through the ceiling, bounced off her radio and hit her in the hip.
Other than the roughly 30-cm bruise above her hip that you can see being examined by doctor Moody Jacobs above, Ann was relatively uninjured.
This bruise is the result of the only confirmed meteorite strike on a human ever
On a crisp November afternoon in the small town of Sylacauga, Alabama, in 1954, Ann Hodges was napping on the couch when a softball-sized chunk of rock crashed through the ceiling, bounced off her radio and hit her in the hip.
Other than the roughly 30-cm bruise above her hip that you can see being examined by doctor Moody Jacobs above, Ann was relatively uninjured.
A government geologist was sent in to inspect the object and eventually determined that it was a meteorite, and not a communist weapon. But that was even more rare, and Ann became the only confirmed person in human history to have been struck by a meteorite.
As Michael Reynolds, an astronomer from Florida State College, told Justin Nobel for National Geographic, being hit by a meteorite is an incredibly unlikely event.
"Think of how many people have lived throughout human history," Reynolds told Nobel. "You have a better chance of getting hit by a tornado and a bolt of lightning and a hurricane all at the same time."
But unfortunately, the meteorite continued to cause drama. Although the government agreed to give it back to Ann and her husband Eugene, the couple were renters, and so their landlord sued them for custody of the space rock.
After much public fighting, Eugene and Ann did end up with the meteorite, and in 1956 donated it to the natural history museum, where it’s still on display.
But the frenzy had taken its toll, and Nobel reports that Ann later suffered a nervous breakdown and died at the age of 52 of kidney failure.
New pieces from the Valentino Pre-Fall 2015 runway are covered with gorgeous galaxy details:
Zodiac signs, comets, planets and moons accompanied by countless stars stun me and make me dizzy!
Valentino found a wonderful way to bring the sky to earth!
"This is a remarkable record of the Sun's yearly journey through planet Earth's sky, made with planned multiple exposures captured on a single frame of a film. Exposures were made at the same time of day (9:00am local time), capturing the Sun's position on dates from January 7 through December 20, 2003. The multiple suns trace an intersecting curve known as an analemma."
An analemma is caused by the 23.5 degree tilt of the earth and the elliptical orbit.
Other planets produce, due to their different tilts and elliptical orbits, different looking analemmas. The image below is a simulation from Mars - called a Martian Analemma:
"It shows the late afternoon Sun that would have been seen from the Sagan Memorial Station once every 30 Martian days beginning on Pathfinder's Sol 24 (July 29, 1997). Slightly less bright, the simulated Sun is only about two thirds the size as seen from Earth, while the Martian dust, responsible for the reddish sky of Mars, also scatters some blue light around the solar disk."
Well, people who have grown up with Celsius, they are afraid of Fahrenheit with its high temperatures.
In this case... knowledge is power... let us compare F, °C and K:
"Fahrenheit is based on a brine scale and the human body. The scale is basically how cold does it have to be to freeze saltwater (zero Fahrenheit) to what temperature is the human body (100-ish Fahrenheit, although now we know that’s not exactly accurate). Fahrenheit was designed around humans.
Celsius and Kelvin are designed around the natural world.
Celsius is a scale based on water. Zero is when water freezes, 100 is when water boils.
Kelvin uses the same scale as Celsius (one degree, as a unit, is the same between the two), but defines zero as absolute zero, which is basically the temperature at which atoms literally stop doing that spinning thing. Nothing can exist below zero Kelvin. It’s the bottom of the scale.
Fahrenheit: what temperatures affect humans
Celsius: what temperatures affect water
Kelvin: what temperatures affect atoms."
Via workman tumblr
"The word electricity is thought to derive from the ancient Greek elektron, meaning “amber.” When subject to friction, materials such as amber and fur produce an effect that we now know as static electricity. Related phenomena were studied in the eighteenth century, most notably by Benjamin Franklin. To test his theory that lightning is electricity, in 1752 Franklin flew a kite in a thunderstorm. He conducted the experiment at great danger to himself; in fact, other researchers were electrocuted while conducting similar experiments. He not only proved his hypothesis, but also that electricity has positive and negative charges. In 1831, Michael Faraday’s formulation of the law of electromagnetic induction led to the invention of electric generators and transformers, which dramatically changed the quality of human life. Far less well-known is that Faraday’s colleague, William Fox Talbot, was the father of calotype photography. Fox Talbot’s momentous discovery of the photosensitive properties of silver alloys led to the development of positive-negative photographic imaging. The idea of observing the effects of electrical discharges on photographic dry plates reflects my desire to re-create the major discoveries of these scientific pioneers in the darkroom and verify them with my own eyes."
The following two images are contemporary artworks (2008) by Hiroshi Sugimoto, using static electricity and photographic film.
Already in 1897 Thomas Burton Kinraide, a Boston electrician and the inventor of a high-frequency x-ray coil, "made images with his x-ray apparatus that were both scientifically didactic and aesthetically beautiful. He placed glass plate negatives in the path of the spark gap between the two poles of his coil, recording the different phases of electrical discharges. The positive phase of the discharge created a branching and fern-like design that Kinraide called “filiciform,” while the negative phase showed a soft feathery appearance that he called 'plumous'.”
Glass plate negative of electrical discharges by Thomas Burton Kinraide
The idea that gold and other heavy elements came from outer space sounds like science fiction, but it has become well-established.
So, how did this theory come up?
"During the formation of the solar system Earth underwent an event known as the late bombardment. This was a time of a high amount of asteroid collisions hitting the Earth’s surface. These objects painted the surface of our planet with heavy elements such as gold, silver and titanium.
But how did these asteroids form and where do they come from? Scientists still don’t know the full answer to this question. The issue here is that even our Sun can only produce up to a certain level of heavy materials. Star power works because atoms of hydrogen combine to form helium, but the size and density of most stars can only produce Iron until they lose power and collapse.
One theory is that the biggest stars in our universe live these short lifespans. When they die they explode and produce these very dense stars known as neutron stars. The explosion itself is known as a supernovae and in this event it is thought that there is enough heat to produce heavy elements.
However even with this scenario, the computer models are not completely conclusive and so Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz at UC Santa Cruz has been developing alternative theories."
Is Fire a Plasma? What is Plasma?
"Generally speaking, by the time a gas is hot enough to be seen, it’s a plasma.
The big difference between regular gas and plasma is that in a plasma a fair fraction of the atoms are ionized. That is, the gas is so hot, and the atoms are slamming around so hard, that some of the electrons are given enough energy to (temporarily) escape their host atoms. The most important effect of this is that a plasma gains some electrical properties that a non-ionized gas doesn’t have; it becomes conductive and it responds to electrical and magnetic fields. In fact, this is a great test for whether or not something is a plasma.
Even small and relatively cool fires, like candle flames, respond strongly to electric fields and are even pretty conductive."
This video demonstrates this pretty good:
"A candle flame in an electric field between two dissimilarly charged plates will be oriented sideways because a flame is a partially ionized plasma. It therefore responds more strongly to the electric force between the plates than to the thermal convective forces in a gravity field."
Illustration by Athanasius Kircher from his book Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae (The Great Art of Light and Shadow).
"In 1646, Kircher published Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae, on the subject of the display of images on a screen using an apparatus similar to the magic lantern as developed byChristiaan Huygens and others. Kircher described the construction of a "catotrophic lamp" that used reflection to project images on the wall of a darkened room. Although Kircher did not invent the device, he made improvements over previous models, and suggested methods by which exhibitors could use his device. Much of the significance of his work arises from Kircher's rational approach towards the demystification of projected images.
For most of his professional life, Kircher was one of the scientific stars of his world: according to historian Paula Findlen, he was "the first scholar with a global reputation". His importance was twofold: to the results of his own experiments and research he added information gleaned from his correspondence with over 760 scientists, physicians and above all his fellow Jesuits in all parts of the globe. The Encyclopædia Britannica calls him a "one-man intellectual clearing house". His works, illustrated to his orders, were extremely popular, and he was the first scientist to be able to support himself through the sale of his books. Towards the end of his life his stock fell, as the rationalist Cartesian approach began to dominate (Descartes himself described Kircher as "more quacksalver than savant")."
"1. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking — A book in which Hawking attempts to explain a range of subjects in cosmology to the non-specialist reader.
2. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson — The history of science through the stories of the people who made the discoveries.
3. The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan — An explanation of the scientific method for laypeople.
4. Cosmos by Carl Sagan — Sagan explores 15 billion years of cosmic evolution and the development of science and civilization
5. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins — A look at evolution from the viewpoint of genes.
6. Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman — Six simplified chapters that explain the forces of the universe.
7. The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene — A non-technical assessment of string and superstring theory and some of its shortcomings.
8. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre — A look at how people bend science to fit their agendas.
9. The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins — A look at the flaws of intelligent design and why natural selection is the only reality.
10. Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan — A vision of the human future in space.
11. Physics of the Impossible by Dr. Michio Kaku — Kaku discusses speculative technologies to introduce topics of fundamental physics.
12. A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman — A look at how the different senses work and the varied means by which different cultures have sought to stimulate them.
13. Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter — Learn how concepts in mathematics, symmetry, and intelligence are connected."
"This artist's concept depicts a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. The blue color here represents radiation pouring out from material very close to the black hole. The grayish structure surrounding the black hole, called a torus, is made up of gas and dust."
"Black holes have long captured the public imagination and been the subject of popular culture, from Star Trek to Hollywood. They are the ultimate unknown – the blackest and most dense objects in the universe that do not even let light escape. And as if they weren't bizarre enough to begin with, now add this to the mix: they don't exist.
By merging two seemingly conflicting theories, Laura Mersini-Houghton, a physics professor at UNC-Chapel Hill in the College of Arts and Sciences, has proven, mathematically, that black holes can never come into being in the first place. The work not only forces scientists to reimagine the fabric of space-time, but also rethink the origins of the universe.
"I'm still not over the shock," said Mersini-Houghton. "We've been studying this problem for a more than 50 years and this solution gives us a lot to think about."
For decades, black holes were thought to form when a massive star collapses under its own gravity to a single point in space – imagine the Earth being squished into a ball the size of a peanut – called a singularity. So the story went, an invisible membrane known as the event horizon surrounds the singularity and crossing this horizon means that you could never cross back. It's the point where a black hole's gravitational pull is so strong that nothing can escape it.
The reason black holes are so bizarre is that it pits two fundamental theories of the universe against each other. Einstein's theory of gravity predicts the formation of black holes but a fundamental law of quantum theory states that no information from the universe can ever disappear. Efforts to combine these two theories lead to mathematical nonsense, and became known as the information loss paradox.
In 1974, Stephen Hawking used quantum mechanics to show that black holes emit radiation. Since then, scientists have detected fingerprints in the cosmos that are consistent with this radiation, identifying an ever-increasing list of the universe's black holes.
But now Mersini-Houghton describes an entirely new scenario. She and Hawking both agree that as a star collapses under its own gravity, it produces Hawking radiation. However, in her new work, Mersini-Houghton shows that by giving off this radiation, the star also sheds mass. So much so that as it shrinks it no longer has the density to become a black hole.
Before a black hole can form, the dying star swells one last time and then explodes. A singularity never forms and neither does an event horizon. The take home message of her work is clear: there is no such thing as a black hole.
The paper, which was recently submitted to ArXiv, an online repository of physics papers that is not peer-reviewed, offers exact numerical solutions to this problem and was done in collaboration with Harald Peiffer, an expert on numerical relativity at the University of Toronto. An earlier paper, by Mersini-Houghton, originally submitted to ArXiv in June, was published in the journal Physics Letters B, and offers approximate solutions to the problem."
Experimental evidence may one day provide physical proof as to whether or not black holes exist in the universe. But for now, Mersini-Houghton says the mathematics are conclusive.
Many physicists and astronomers believe that our universe originated from a singularity that began expanding with the Big Bang. However, if singularities do not exist, then physicists have to rethink their ideas of the Big Bang and whether it ever happened.
"Physicists have been trying to merge these two theories – Einstein's theory of gravity and quantum mechanics – for decades, but this scenario brings these two theories together, into harmony," said Mersini-Houghton. "And that's a big deal."
"In this commercial for au Hikari, one of Japan’s high-speed optical internet service providers, a Rube Goldberg machine is “powered” by a single beam of light that travels via mirrors, magnifying glasses, and reflective surfaces to burn through strings, melt ice, pop balloons, and brighten each smoky twist of physics along the way."
The video documents a long causal chain assembled of objects the same way as in The Way Things Go (German: Der Lauf der Dinge), an art film by the Swiss artist duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss.
Have you ever wondered why do you see a red Moon during a total lunar eclipse?
Well, here is the answer:
"Lunar eclipses occur when the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, however, for a total lunar eclipse to occur, the Moon and Earth have to be on the same orbital plane with the Sun — this is known as a syzygy.
During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon travels completely into the Earth’s shadow (umbra). Even though the Moon is immersed in the Earth’s shadow, indirect sunlight will still reach the Moon.
As sunlight passes through Earth’s atmosphere it gets absorbed and then radiated out (scattered). The atmosphere filters out most of the blue-colored light. What’s left over is the orange- and red-colored light. From the Moon’s perspective the Earth’s edge appears to glow bright orange or red. This red-colored light passes through our atmosphere without getting scattered, projecting indirect, reddish light onto the Moon."
"Not all total lunar eclipses are the same when it comes to color. Totality can appear anywhere from a dark brick color to a bright coppery red. This color can be quantified and described on what is known as the Danjon Scale, with 0 being a very dark eclipse with the Moon barely visible, to a 4, meaning a very bright eclipse."
This image was taken 1898 at The Field Museum in Chicago, showing a security guard with plaster, wood, and metal moon model.
The Field Museum "houses a collection of more than 26 million biological specimens and cultural artifacts contain the magnificent story of our planet, its life, and its cultures. The research unlocks the information in these objects, solving mysteries from our past and present."
You can explore other vintage photographs of The Field Museum.
"This is an excerpt from the record Years, created by Bartholomäus Traubeck, which features seven recordings from different Austrian trees including Oak, Maple, Walnut, and Beech. What you are hearing is an Ash tree’s year ring data. Every tree sounds vastly unique due to varying characteristics of the rings, such as strength, thickness and rate of growth.
Keep in mind that the tree rings are being translated into the language of music, rather than sounding musical in and of themselves. Traubeck’s one-of-a-kind record player uses a PlayStation Eye Camera and a stepper motor attached to its control arm. It relays the data to a computer with a program called Ableton Live. What you end up with is an incredible piano track, and in the case of the Ash, a very eerie one.
Hats off to Traubeck for coming up with the ingenious method to turn a simple slice of wood into a beautiful unique arraignment. It makes you wonder what types of music other parts of nature would play."
And this is what it sounds like:
"On the 29th August 1831 Michael Faraday achieved one of his greatest successes, discovering how to make electricity from magnetism.
Faraday’s first ‘Electromagnetic Induction Ring' is made from 2 sections of wire insulated with cotton and then coiled around opposite sides of an iron ring. When Faraday passed an electric current through one coil he induced an electric current in the other coil, which flowed for a very brief period of time and caused the needle on a galvanometer to move.
He wrote in his scientific notebook:
Aug 29th 1831
1. Expts on the production of Electricity from Magnetism, etc. etc.
2. Have had an iron ring made (soft iron), iron round and 7/8 inches thick and ring 6 inches in external diameter. Wound many coils of copper wire round one half, the coils being separated by twine and calico – there were 3 lengths of wire each about 24 feet long and they could be connected as one length or used as separate lengths. By trial with a trough each was insulated from the other. Will call this side of the ring A. On the other side but separated by an interval was wound wire in two pieces together amounting to about 60 feet in length, the direction being as with the former coils; this side call B.
3. Charged a battery of 10 pr. plates 4 inches square. Made the coil on B side one coil and connected its extremities by a copper wire passing to a distance and just over a magnetic needle (3 feet from iron ring). Then connected the ends of one of the pieces on A side with battery; immediately a sensible effect on needle. It oscillated and settled at last in original position. On breaking connection of A side with Battery again a disturbance of the needle.
4. Made all the wires on A side one coil and sent current from battery through the whole. Effect on needle much stronger than before.
5. The effect on the needle then but a very small part of that which the wire communicating directly with the battery could produce.
From this experiment Faraday would go on to develop the first ever generator a few months later.
Coin Battery, 2010
"Portland, Maine-based photographer Caleb Charland frequently merges art and science with his photographic experiments involving electricity, fire, and magnetism. One of his ongoing projects involves a series of alternative power sources created using fruit, coins, and even vinegar to power the lights in his long exposure photographs."
In Attraction I pieces of rocks are facing each other with a copper plate placed between them. Symbolizing the correlation between all entities and substances the artist adverts to elemental relations.
Oil, copper disc, coinage on grey board
108 x 150 cm, 2013
"One of the nicknames given to Mars by the ancient Egyptians was sekded-ef em khetkhet, which means “who travels backwards,” a clear reference to its apparent retrograde motion. It was mysterious to the early observers, but with our current understanding we know that this retrograde motion is entirely an illusion caused by the Earth passing the slower moving Mars, which has a larger orbit.
Image credit: Cenk E. Tezel & Tunc Tezel
Animation credit: Eugene Alvin Villar"
"Soo Sunny Park’s Unwoven Light, a large structure of flowing metal and plexiglass, mesmerizes and transports its viewers into dreamy, shimmering realm. The installation consists of 37 parts, each one made from iridescent pieces of plexiglass and chain link fencing. Although chain fences typically appear very industrial, the fencing in Park’s piece has a lively, natural quality to it.
Park was inspired to explore the rigid yet porous quality of chain links after spotting a styrofoam cup stuck in a fence. The artist was also interested in how light can affect the appearance of a room. The sculpture, part of Park’s continuous exploration of light, is meant to capture light and make it visible in the form of brightly coloured reflections."
"If, at first, you are unsure as to what you are looking at, you are not alone. On their own, these fantastic drawings by Jorinde Voigt allow for several interpretations. One could presume that they are diagrams of wind patterns or ocean currents, or even the model for a physics equation gone awry. They are none of the above.
Actually, these undulating forms are a sort of graph. They are created through a combination of freehand intuition and emotional interpretation on the artist’s part. Each drawing represents the intonations and dynamic notations of Beethoven’s sonatas for solo piano, 1 through 32, extracted after translating from German to either English or Italian. The main structures of the drawings are built up from these translated intonations, or what Voigt calls ‘extracted progressions’.
The swooping lines all emerge from a series of epicenters, or ‘internal centres’, representing the inner compass of the piece. Each internal centre is connected through an axis that churns the lines into a vortex. All of the lines within each drawing are connected to this axis. The ‘external centres’, on the opposite end of the spectrum, refer to outside influences that have affected the creation of the piece: geographical or social changes that have altered the emotional interpretation of each sonata. These external influences, adapting with her own emotional reactions as she listens to the music, are what allow Voigt’s patterns to remain fresh and non-repetitive."
"A selection of images from High Frequency Electric Currents in Medicine and Dentistry (1910) by champion of electro-therapeutics Samuel Howard Monell, a physician who the American X-Ray Journal cite, rather wonderfully, as having “done more for static electricity than any other living man”. Although the use of electricity to treat physical ailments could be seen to stretch back to the when the ancient Greeks first used live electric fish to numb the body in pain, it wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries – through the work of Luigi Galvani and Guillaume Duchenne – that the idea really took hold. Monell claims that his high frequency currents of electricity could treat a variety of ailments, including acne, lesions, insomnia, abnormal blood pressure, depression, and hysteria. Although not explicitly delved into in this volume, the treatment of this latter condition in women was frequently achieved at this time through the use of an early form of the vibrator (to save the physician from the manual effort), through bringing the patient to “hysterical paroxysm” (in other words, an orgasm).
These days electrotherapy has been widely accepted in the field of physical rehabilitation, and also made the news recently in its use to keep soldiers awake (the treatment of fatigue also being one of Monell’s applications)."
Via The Public Domain Review
This wonderful artwork combines different fields of physic: Newton's laws of Motion, Optics, and Electricity.
Unfortunately there are thousands of posts around but without mentioning the artist. Sorry.
"Newton's cradle, named after Sir Isaac Newton, is a device that demonstrates conservation of momentum and energy via a series of swinging spheres. When one on the end is lifted and released, it strikes the stationary spheres; a force is transmitted through the stationary spheres and pushes the last one upward. The device is also known as Newton's balls or "Executive Ball Clicker"."
Via Annie Show
This image was taken in 1930.
"In mineralogy and crystallography, a crystal structure is a unique arrangement of atoms or molecules in a crystalline liquid or solid. A crystal structure describes a highly ordered structure, occurring due to the intrinsic nature of molecules to form symmetric patterns. A crystal structure can be thought of as an infinitely repeating array of 3D 'boxes', known as unit cells. The unit cell is calculated from the simplest possible representation of molecules, known as the asymmetric unit. The asymmetric unit is translated to the unit cell through symmetry operations, and the resultant crystal lattice is constructed through repetition of the unit cell infinitely in 3-dimensions. Patterns are located upon the points of a lattice, which is an array of points repeating periodically in three dimensions. The lengths of the edges of a unit cell and the angles between them are called the lattice parameters. The symmetry properties of the crystal are embodied in its space group.
A crystal's structure and symmetry play a role in determining many of its physical properties, such as cleavage, electronic band structure, and optical transparency."
Image via Library of Congress.
Celine Semaan Vernon of Slow Factory designed a line of fantastically ethereal scarves and other silk wares around open-sourced images from the NASA Hubble Telescope.
"This is a NASA Hubble Space Telescope near-infrared-light image of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby stars in the tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. The image marks the 20th anniversary of Hubble's launch and deployment into an orbit around Earth.
The image reveals a plethora of stars behind the gaseous veil of the nebula's wall of hydrogen, laced with dust. The foreground pillar becomes semi-transparent because infrared light from background stars penetrates through much of the dust. A few stars inside the pillar also become visible. The false colors are assigned to three different infrared wavelength ranges."
"Leonhard Euler, the most prolific mathematician in history, contributed to advance a wide spectrum of topics in celestial mechanics. At the St. Petersburg Observatory, Euler observed sunspots and tracked the movements of the Moon. Combining astronomical observations with his own mathematical genius, he determined the orbits of planets and comets. Euler laid the foundations of the methods of planetary perturbations and solved many of the Newtonian mechanics problems of the eighteenth century that are relevant today. In his study of the three-body problem, Euler discovered two of five equilibrium points so-called the Lagrangian points. His pioneering work in astronomy was recognized with six of the twelve prizes he won from the Paris Academy of Sciences. In this article, we review some of Euler’s most interesting work in astronomy."
by Dora E. Musielak, University of Texas at Arlington
I warmly recommend to check out her interesting article about Euler here.
Looks like a meteor shower!
Here is some background information:
"Using data from Science-Metrix, a bibliometric consulting firm that licenses data from journal aggregators like Elsevier's Scopus and Thomson Reuter's Web of Science, Olivier Beauchesne build an intricate map of scientific collaborations between cities all over the world, between 2005 and 2009.
As Olivier explains: "...if a UCLA researcher published a paper with a colleague at the University of Tokyo, this would create an instance of collaboration between Los Angeles and Tokyo. The result of this process is a very long list of city pairs, like Los Angeles-Tokyo, and the number of instances of scientific collaboration between them."
The brightness of the lines is a function of the logarithm of the number of collaborations betweena pair of cities and the logarithm of the distance between those same two cities."
Wogender Bernstein / Cradled Amber consists of three wooden balls each hanging on a copper wire in different heights from the ceiling. Thick screws around which the wire is wrapped, stick out of wooden bodies. Reclined on the floor, three copper plates form the respective antipole while at the same time transferring the three-dimensional spherical shape into a two-dimensional surface. Scientific experiments with electricity are often conducted with balls or semicircular objects. The interspace between the two poles is of special relevance as it doesn't just disclose the void in between but reveals the hidden forces. Hence the work can be conceived artistically as well as scientifically - the boundaries between the two spheres of activity are becoming indistinct.
by Angelika J. Trojnarski
Wogender Bernstein / Cradled Amber, 2013
Wood, screws, copper wire and copper discs
Three wooden balls: each ø 17 cm
Copper discs: 2 x ø 16 cm, 1 x ø 18 cm
"Experiments demonstrate ‘quantum spin liquid,’ which could have applications in new computer memory storage.
Following up on earlier theoretical predictions, MIT researchers have now demonstrated experimentally the existence of a fundamentally new kind of magnetic behavior, adding to the two previously known states of magnetism.
Ferromagnetism — the simple magnetism of a bar magnet or compass needle — has been known for centuries. In a second type of magnetism, antiferromagnetism, the magnetic fields of the ions within a metal or alloy cancel each other out. In both cases, the materials become magnetic only when cooled below a certain critical temperature. The prediction and discovery of antiferromagnetism — the basis for the read heads in today’s computer hard disks — won Nobel Prizes in physics for Louis Neel in 1970 and for MIT professor emeritus Clifford Shull in 1994.
I've never seen a white aurora before! Magic!
"An aurora is a natural light display in the sky (from the Latin wordaurora, "sunrise" or the Roman goddess of dawn), especially in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision ofsolar wind and magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere). The charged particles and solar wind are directed into the atmosphere by the Earth's magnetosphere."
If you now plan a trip to Lapland, visit the Aurora Sky Station in Finland.
"Simulated views of the Moon over one month, demonstrating librations in latitude and longitude. Also visible are the different phases, and the variation in visual size caused by the variable distance from Earth."
Around 1670 Newton's experiments prove that light can be separated into its spectral colors.
"The history of spectroscopy began with Isaac Newton's optics experiments (1666–1672). Newton applied the word "spectrum" to describe the rainbow of colors that combine to form white light and that are revealed when the white light is passed through a prism. During the early 1800s, Joseph von Fraunhofer made experimental advances with dispersivespectrometers that enabled spectroscopy to become a more precise and quantitative scientific technique. Since then, spectroscopy has played and continues to play a significant role in chemistry, physics and astronomy."
Marcel Duchamp, Rotary Glass Plates (Precision Optics), 1920
If you are curious to see this artwork in motion, watch a video on vimeo.
"Five painted plastic plates turning on a metal axis and forming continuous circles when seen in motion from a distance of one meter. I made this version for a sculpture class, taught by artist Stephan von Huene, in response to a design problem dealing with spatial concepts. Chouinard Art Institue, Los Angeles, CA. 1969."