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ComicFeaturedphysicsScience

She Sang the Arc Electric: Hertha Marks Ayrton (Women in Science 65).

Sometimes, simplicity dooms.  In World War I, chlorine gas rained down upon the British soldiers blearing through their semi-lives in the trenches, killing thousands outright and leaving tens of thousands with permanent neurological damage.  The solution to this tragedy was simplicity itself, an elegant fan designed by a female physicist that, when …

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lab blacklight
ActivitiesElectronicsFeaturedPhotographyphysics

Can you make a blacklight with your phone and markers?

Somewhere on the internet, whether it were Tumblr, or Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest or… you know just somewhere, I saw this little post about turning your phone camera into a black light. I know, I know, I thought the same thing. “That’s not how blacklights work.” You can’t just …

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ComicFeaturedMathphysicsScience

Trajectories: Katherine Johnson’s Orbital Mathematics. (Women in Science 60)

Before NASA, there was NACA, an oddball collection of aeronautics nerds using black box data and wind tunnel analysis to figure out as much as they could about the science of flight.  Calculations, done almost entirely by hand, were the coursing lifeblood of the organization.  Those calculations were handled by …

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GeekeryInterviewsMad Art CastphysicspodcastRoboticsScience

Mad Art Cast and The Orbital Mechanics of Starkiller Base

Welcome to the latest episode of Mad Art Cast! We have a special guest! Joining us this week is Mindy Townsend who is a lawyer who has now decided to get a physics degree! Her interest? Space! That not enough to convince you that she is fabulous? Well in her …

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Astronomymusicphysics

There’s a Science Rap Battle Brewing and We Couldn’t Be More Thrilled

It’s not every day you get a highly publicized, totally sincere spat between two celebrities about science. It’s so rare that people actually create parody videos about imagined battles between scientists, just so we can imagine some drama between the press conferences and the journal publications. Here’s how it all …

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Brancusi's Golden Bird 1920
ArtFeaturedMathPhilosophyphysicsQuantum MechanicsScience

Is the LHC an expensive art installation?

There are reams of writing, hours of talks, and TV programs by scientists on the manifestation of beauty in physics and mathematics. Obviously, beauty is a great angle for science communication, but their appreciation for beauty has a pragmatic purpose. From Albert Einstein to Edward Frenkel; Werner Heisenberg to Frank …

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AstronomyBiologyChemistryElectronicsfeminismMathPaleontologyphysicsScienceScience & Nature

The Women in Science Reading List: The Twenty Best (And Four Not Best) Books To Read and Own

When I first started collecting biographies of female scientists, I thought the genre, thanks to the historical and systemic neglect of the subject matter, would be fun to collect and relatively easy to complete.  Some Curie, some Meitner, a Franklin or two, and done.  Six years later, and my shelves …

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AstronomyComicphysicsScience

Hydrogen Rules the Universe: Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and the Composition of Stars (Women in Science 48)

“You are young, and wrong. You must retract.” When fresh-faced zeal confronts experience, it usually loses.  Scientists who think they’ve solved everything on day one usually find that they’ve merely wandered into a seductive semblance of a solution, the first of many in the years to come, and firmly correcting …

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