Scientific

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Scientific News (February 2018)

The future is too bright The technology used in space exploration has dramatically advanced in recent years, and astronomers are able to look deeper into space more than they have ever been. However, these technological advances have the potential to cause mass pollution in our skies, meaning that astronomers could be denied a clear view into space, and have limited sensitivity in terms of remote sensing, leading to inaccurate measurements. Space debris, radio interference and light have already been highlighted as major causes of pollution within our skies, and the situation is set to deteriorate over the next 20 years following the launch of a further 20,000 satellites that would...

Scientific News (January 2018)

It came from outer space Astronomers are baffled by the presence of unusual recurring radio pulses that they are receiving from space. FRB – more commonly known in the space industry at Fast Radio Bursts – are proving to be astronomers most tenacious puzzle to date. The FRBs are frequently short-lived; however, astronomers have found a source of repeated flashes. It is believed that the unusual events have been caused by a dead star that possesses an extraordinarily strong magnetic field. Archives have shown that the first FRB was recorded in 2007 from the Parkes Radio Telescope based in Australia during their search for new examples of magnetised neutron stars,...

Scientific News (December 2017)

Well and truly rooked An AI program, has successfully taught itself the game of Chess, and within hours has triumphantly won against a world-leading professional chess program. The AlphaZero program, went up against specially designed software Stockfish 8, triumphantly dispatching its competitor with wins or final draws after 100 games according to Google’s, DeepMind Division. AlphaZero successfully won 25 games, playing the white pieces on the board and having the first move, 3 games were played using the black pieces of the board. A further 72 games ended with ties. Each computer program was given a minute for thinking time each move. Deepmind has continually proven successful, and has come up against some...

Scientific News (November 2017)

Measuring up The measurement systems that we take for granted are about to receive a long overdue overhaul. The original metric system was first created in France following the French Revolution in 1789. When first introduced, it had only two standard units, these being the kilogram and the metre. It was during the 1860’s that James Clerk Maxwell and William Thomson (also known as Lord Kelvin) developed a new system with three base units – known as length, mass and time. Scientific experiments involving electricity and magnetism led to the realisation that other units of measurement were required and needed to be introduced, as many confusing versions of the metric system...

Scientific News (October 2017)

It’s an ill wind A satellite, belonging to NASA has been providing fresh information involving carbon dioxide (CO2) and the way it moves through the atmosphere.  The satellite, known as the “Orbiting Carbon Observatory” (OCO) has been providing scientists with new insights into – and the behavioural movements of – CO2 throughout 2015/2016, during a time when Earth experienced an El Nîno event. This is when the Trade Winds weaken in the Central and Western areas of the Pacific.  The surface water temperatures in South America warm up, due to less cold water welling up from below to cool the surface. The clouds and rainstorms associated with warm ocean waters then move towards...

Scientific News (September 2017)

A salt and battery Non-explosive batteries have recently been developed by scientists. These Lithium-ion batteries provides an adequate power supply to use in your everyday household electronic devices. Researchers carried out a number of physical and destructive tests, however, no explosion or ignition was produced.  Their findings were published in the academic journal Joule at the beginning of September. The batteries have been developed using a saline solution as the electrolyte. This has removed any risk of explosion that some non-aqueous models are prone to.  Until recently, if you required a high energy battery, your first choice would be a non-aqueous lithium-ion battery, which could overheat and in some instances catch fire. For...

Scientific News (August 2017)

Eclipse Americans are in for a treat on August 21st, when the USA falls under the direct path of a total solar eclipse. Skies will darken across a 70 mile wide stretch from Oregon to South Carolina, and multitudes of onlookers will travel hundreds of miles in order to witness the unforgettable, jaw dropping ‘path of totality’ experience. Every 18 months, both the sun and moon complete their journey through space, the moon orbiting on average 239,000 miles from the Earth. Both the moon and sun’s paths line up against each other, forming the solar eclipse. Onlookers will watch the moon block the last of light from the sun. Once this has...

Scientific News (July 2017)

Unclear Industry A clause within Article 50 has been under put under the spotlight by members of parliament with concerns relating to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Atomic Energy Community – more commonly known as Euratom – following the decision to leave the EU. In the run up to Article 50, little was discussed surrounding the hidden clause and some MPs are preparing themselves for a fight on the subject with arguments for and against leaving Euratom. Regulating the nuclear industry throughout Europe, Euratom was set up in 1957 alongside the European Economic Community (EEC). Euratom ensures that nuclear materials are responsibly transported throughout the EU and the wider...

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...

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...