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ComicphysicsScience

First: The Astrophysics and Astronautics of Sally Ride. (Women in Science 43)

Heroes are supposed to be monodimensional, startling and exceptional in one narrow aspect of life and a complex, barely functioning mess when it comes to everything else.  It makes us comfortable as normal humans – “Well, I might not have written Der Ring des Nibelungen, but at least I’m not …

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ComicphysicsScience

Corralling the Light Elements: The Nuclear Spectroscopy of Fay Ajzenberg-Selove (Women in Science 41)

In the opening days of the Nazi attack on France, a Jewish engineer took his family aside and instructed them on how to commit suicide by slitting their wrists, explaining that death by one’s own hand was more honorable than what would happen to them if they fell to the …

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ComicFeaturedphysicsQuantum MechanicsScience

Quantizing the Nucleus: Maria Goeppert-Mayer and the Creation of Nuclear Shell Theory (Women in Science 40)

How does radioactive decay know when to stop? When Uranium-238 breaks up, it goes through twenty-two intermediate isotopes before finally coming to rest at Lead-206, but why remain there? What’s so special about Lead-206, or Calcium-48, or any of the other isotopes that nature seems to particularly favor? The answer …

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BiologyChemistryMathNaturephysicsScienceScience & Nature

The stars in our cells

A relatively recent study showed that transcription factors tend to hang out in specific areas of the nucleus, clustering like stars in galaxies. And it’s been rattling around in my head as potentially perfect for Mad Art Lab because they do, in fact, cluster like stars in galaxies — the …

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BiologyChemistryComicFeaturedMathphysicsScience & Nature

The Illustrated Women In Science: Year One!

Thrill to the jungle-crawling entomology of Maria Merian, cheer at the multi-dimensional mathematics of Maryam Mirzakhani, weep at the tragic end of Sofia Kovalevskaya, and gasp at the universe-cracking insights of Emmy Noether!  All 26 of the MadArtLab Women In Science cartoons and essays are now available in one handy …

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ChemistryComicphysicsScience

Of Artificial Radiation and Natural Genius: The Chemistry of Irène Joliot-Curie (Women In Science 29)

  Radioactivity is a great thing. Terrible, but great. The medical applications of radioactively tagged molecules, as Rosalyn Yalow proved, are legion, and have saved millions of lives since their introduction. Tricky thing, though – the big atoms that tend to be radioactive also tend to be achingly rare and …

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ChemistryComicphysics

Queen of Carbon: The Ongoing Materials Science Legacy Of Mildred Dresselhaus (Women In Science 27)

  Carbon. Its astounding versatility is matched only by our total and historic complacency in the face of its wonders. “Carbon? Whatever – it’s, like, all over the place. Now, protactinium, there’s an element…” Working on the logic that exotic elements must breed exotic properties, and intoxicated by the trans-Uranium …

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EventsPerformance Artphysics

A Tale of Physics, Betrayal, and Art: The World Premiere of Delicate Particle Logic

It has been 70 years since nuclear fission co-discoverer Lise Meitner was passed over for the Nobel Prize, and for many, the wound is still raw and open. While we largely understand why Chien-Shiung Wu or Rosalind Franklin were denied the award (the former, because experimentalists are always passed over …

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