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Today in Science Blog Posts

Happy Birthday, Clinton Davisson

October 22, 2015

Clinton Davisson is an American physicist best known for his discovery of electron diffraction through the Davisson-Germer experiment. His findings brought about important developments in the field of quantum mechanics. On this day, which would have been his birthday, we celebrate Davisson’s storied history and many contributions to science.

Studying Salt Damage to the World’s Crumbling Buildings

August 20, 2015

We sometimes hear of tourists getting into trouble for carving their initials into the walls of the Coliseum in Rome and other famous structures. However, the more serious damage to this architecture is caused by something else entirely — salt. Transported by wind and water droplets, and even found in some building materials, salt is a powerful mineral that can cause a building’s façade to crumble and break. Researchers studied this effect to better predict salt’s behavior and prevent damage.

Happy Birthday, Erwin Schrödinger

August 12, 2015

Erwin Schrödinger is the man behind the famous Schrödinger wave equation that is used to predict the future behavior of a dynamic system in quantum mechanics. Today would have been Schrödinger’s birthday, had he still been alive. Let’s celebrate his birthday with a look at some of his accomplishments.

Using an Origami Battery to Power a Biosensor

July 16, 2015

The ancient Japanese art of origami enables you to create many intricate designs out of folded paper. Recently, researchers drew inspiration from this craft to develop a fully functional battery consisting mostly of paper and water. They found that the simple device generates enough energy to power a biosensor.

Happy Birthday, Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot

June 1, 2015

Happy birthday to the Paris-born “father of thermodynamics”, Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot. A talented physicist and engineer, Carnot channeled his interest in steam engines into the creation of a theoretical thermodynamic cycle called the Carnot cycle. Through this theory, Carnot laid the groundwork for the second law of thermodynamics, which relates to entropy and heat loss and is still relevant in physics and engineering today.

Exploring the Natural Strength of Limpet Teeth

March 16, 2015

A recent study from researchers at the University of Portsmouth has deemed limpet teeth as the strongest biological material known today. We shed light on the unique properties of this material and how it compares to its predecessor: spider silk.

Happy Birthday, Gustav Kirchhoff

March 12, 2015

Gustav Robert Kirchhoff was a German physicist famous for his vast contributions to the study of spectroscopy, electrical circuits, thermochemistry, and more. Kirchhoff developed laws and theories fundamental to electrical engineering, heat capacity in chemical reactions, and the composition of light emission from incandescent objects. He even helped discover two new elements! In honor of what would have been his birthday, here is a look at Kirchhoff’s legacy.

In the Spotlight: Conserving and Restoring Art with Light

March 10, 2015

Conserving and restoring art requires a balance between maintaining the quality of the work and respecting the artist’s initial creation. Advancing technologies now offer less invasive ways of analyzing artwork and bringing pieces back to their original condition. Since 2015 is the Year of Light, let’s explore how light can be used to conserve and restore paintings.