Scientific

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Scientific News (June 2017)

Newquay Airport in Cornwall has been chosen for conducting ‘slow speed trials for Bloodhound – a supersonic car manufactured in the UK, and designed to break the land speed record in South Africa next year. The tests are an opportunity for the development team to gain early key data while Bloodhound is in motion. Chief Engineer, Mark Chapman explained in a recent report, “We’ve gone from a computer design to an actual thing that will move down the runway, it will be a huge validation for the people who’ve stood by us all these years and it’s happening.” The trial will also be used as a promotional event in order...

Tech Update (May 2017)

Andy Cormack gives us the heads up on what’s on the horizon in hardware and technology, giving you the lowdown on the next big thing.   This month,  flying suits, issues with Windows 10 and fonts that may take your fancy. Inventor creates flying suit Richard Browning, a Royal Marine Reserve, has created a device to enable humans to fly, not dissimilar to that of Iron Man from the popular Marvel franchise. The technology behind it, at its core is simple enough; attaching kerosene micro gas turbines to both his arms and, initially both legs, but then switching from legs to two turbines on his back with angled positioning to...

Scientific News (May 2017)

Vaping for beginners Impressionable children as young as 12 are more likely to vape than smoke cigarettes, not only because they are attracted to the various flavours –  they also do not contain tobacco which to them apparently makes it safe.  There is growing evidence to suggest that this isn’t the case. Recent research has proved vaping is not risk free, and tests have shown that vaping has introduced new risks to users. These risks including damaging immunity, causing ‘smokers’ coughs and body sores with lower aged users.  Fresh new data has also suggested that E-cig vapours may also contain cancer-causing chemicals like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.  Researchers want teenage users...

Scientific News (April 2017)

Re-cycled Rockets Californian based SpaceX have recently had success after they reused a segment from one of its Falcon 9 rockets and returned it to space. The first stage booster, had been used on a mission 11 months prior when it was used to send a telecommunications satellite into space. This is a massive achievement for SpaceX in its pursuit of reusable space vehicles. Traditionally rockets have been expendable; this is due to the various launch segments being destroyed during their ascent. The ongoing work of the Californian outfit has been to recover the first stages of the Falcon and then use them multiple times in order to reduce its operating costs....

Scientific News (March 2017)

Recognition of Female Scientists February 11th saw the Institute of Physics (IOP) celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This was done by posting profiles of 20 female physicists who are currently working in STEM subjects on social media. The aim of this was to highlight the diverse roles occupied by women in science. Heather Williams, a senior medical physicist and chair of the IOP’s Women in Physics Group, Ceri Brenner, a senior scientist at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Wendy Sadler, director of Science Made Simple and Jessamyn Fairfield, a lecturer at NUI Galway who gave one of the IOP’s Summer Sessions lectures last year, were...

Twenty Five Years of the World Wide Web

Angela Sweeney takes a look at the last twenty five years since the World Wide Web was born, what it actually is, and how it has been longer with us than we think.  She looks at developments to date, and why now more than ever, we should look after the internet, perhaps one of the human race’s most important achievements. Introduction We all take it for granted now; and forget just how much of a miracle the World Wide Web actually is. In information terms, it is a quantum leap in human evolution equivalent to the Industrial Revolution, driving technological change in much the same way many wars have and will....

2020 Vision – Part Two

Last week, we looked at the physical world, cars and energy, how our computers were becoming more powerful, and how we can interface and interact with them. Other changes are around the corner too. Nanotechnology The potential applications for nanotechnology are already outstanding, but the main areas of benefit will be in environmental control, wearable technology and medicine. Imagine lots of tiny machines swimming in a polluted environment, moving those pollutants from the contaminated area to a storage or containment medium. Similarly, cancer treatments may be revolutionised by little cancer killing machines, designed to latch onto tumours and deliver precisely targeted medicines to where they are needed the most. Remember...

2020 Vision – Part One

Introduction If you look back at the past ten or so years, a lot of things have changed, and strangely stayed the same. Take the MP3 player for example; it has evolved rapidly from something that stores about an album of songs, to whole record collections, pictures, video clips. And yet they have stayed virtually the same size physically. Back in 1965, the co-founder of Intel, George Moore noted that the number of transistors per square inch on a chip had doubled every year since the integrated circuit had been invented back in the 1950s. Apart from a few plateaus over the years, it has tended to hold mostly true....

Technical revolution is child’s play thanks to the Micro:bit

Alison Jackson looks at the modern day BBC B…the Micro:Bit. I am proud to say my love for everything computing started aged 14 when our computer studies class was given free BBC Micro computers. Large desktop based keyboards and simple, four colour text screens combined with an education plan and willing minds set the first generation of technical pioneers on their journeys. Fast forward thirty years and the next revolutionary chapter in this story has just begun. Only this time the computer the BBC, along with their 29 partners are introducing to classrooms, fits into the palm of your hand and can already do things we could barely imagine would...

Are bullies scared of bugs?

The answer is maybe, but not as much as they could be in the future. With bullying being the topic of almost 26,000 child counselling sessions in the UK last year. It’s clearly a problem that needs fixing. A group of 11 year old students from Ireland have designed a product that they think will help. No, it’s not a bully eating caterpillar, it’s a Bully bug. A colourful, child friendly wristband with a simple button which when pressed, tells a teacher or any other person whose phone is linked to it via Bluetooth, that they are being bullied so someone can come to their aid. It also records the...