Happy Birthday, Ernst Mach

Thomas Forrister February 18, 2019

Ernst Mach made many significant contributions to the fields of wave dynamics, optics, mechanics, and more. A physicist by education and profession, his interest in psychology and philosophy sharpened his thoughts about physics, helping him make connections that he might not have otherwise made. In particular, Mach’s outlook on how we experience sensations from external stimuli informed his approach to physics experiments and led him to exciting discoveries.

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Brianne Christopher February 14, 2019

Price is a common lament among coffee drinkers, with upscale roasters and chains charging upwards of five dollars for a single caffeine fix. Brewing your own coffee can cut down on the expense, but if you invest in high-quality coffee beans, you’ll want to ensure that their flavor and aroma last. A popular “life hack” is to put them in the freezer, but is this effective? To answer this question, let’s turn to science…

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Emily Ediger February 8, 2019

In 1869, Dmitri Mendeleev organized the elements by atomic weight, creating a tool that not only arranged the discovered elements but also left gaps that predicted future discoveries. Mendeleev’s periodic table of elements evolved into a reference tool that would be used by scientists around the world for years to come.

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Emily Ediger January 24, 2019

Known for her work in radium research, Berta Karlik is one of two scientists credited with the discovery of the 85th element, astatine. Berta Karlik is also recognized as a pioneer for women in STEM and was the first female professor at the University of Vienna.

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Brianne Christopher January 8, 2019

It’s safe to say that Stephen Hawking is one of the most influential and highly regarded theoretical physicists in history. Besides contributing to the fields of astronomy and cosmology, Hawking inspired multiple generations with a curiosity for space exploration and a love of physics.

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Emily Ediger January 1, 2019

Whether you refer to it on a daily basis or it brings up memories of a middle school chemistry class, the periodic table of elements is a household name. The United Nations has even named 2019 as the International Year of The Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. Today, we discuss the history of the periodic table of elements as well as why it is being celebrated for an entire year…

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Thomas Forrister December 17, 2018

Émilie du Châtelet was a French physicist, natural philosopher, and mathematician who contributed to our understanding of Newtonian mechanics. Her translation of Sir Isaac Newton’s book the Principia is considered the standard version in French today. In addition to translating this work, she included her own commentary, adding a conservation law for total energy that emphasizes the role of kinetic energy. She is also famous for her masterful textbook, Foundations of Physics, which takes a philosophical approach to the sciences.

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Bridget Paulus December 3, 2018

A pioneer in chemistry, sanitary engineering, and human ecology, Ellen Swallow Richards paved the way for women in science. She was the first woman to attend, graduate, and teach at MIT. During her career, she developed standards for water quality and isolated the chemical element vanadium. In addition, Richards was passionate about using science to create a better home life, founding the field of home economics.

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Thomas Forrister November 27, 2018

Sir Horace Lamb was a British applied mathematician and professor who wrote several textbooks that became fundamental in physics. Among them is a comprehensive text that was considered the standard for hydrodynamics for many years. His work in this subject resulted in the Lamb vector, the Lamb-Oseen vortex, and Lamb surfaces. He also authored works on sound, statistics, and mechanics.

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Thomas Forrister November 22, 2018

Plastic floating at sea often winds up in debris-filled gyres, commonly known as garbage patches. These patches of plastic circulating in the ocean pose a danger to wildlife and are slowly entering the food chain. One project aims to remove this debris with floating boom technology, which is often used to contain oil spills.

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Thomas Forrister November 20, 2018

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure ‘science.’” — Edwin Hubble Imagine if the entire universe consisted of the Milky Way galaxy alone. Most scientists thought this was the case before astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered other galaxies. Considered the founder of extragalactic astronomy, Hubble was one of the leading 20th-century figures in observational cosmology and provided evidence that the universe expands at a constant rate.

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