Scientific

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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...

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....