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The 13 Most Important Numbers in the Universe - James D. Stein's Cosmic Numbers

The 13 Most Important Numbers in the Universe - James D. Stein's Cosmic Numbers
In the 17th century, scientists understood three phases of matter—solids, liquids and gases (the discovery of plasma, the fourth phase of matter, lay centuries in the future). Back then, solids and liquids were much harder to work with than gases because changes in solids and liquids were difficult to measure with the equipment of the time. So many experimentalists played around with gases to try to deduce fundamental physical laws. Robert Boyle was perhaps the first great experimentalist, and was responsible for what we now consider to be the essence of experimentation: vary one or more parameter, and see how other parameters change in response. It may seem obvious in retrospect, but hindsight, as the physicist Leo Szilard once remarked, is notably more accurate than foresight.

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DRY MIX Experimental Variables Acronym You control and measure variables in an experiment and then record and analyze the data. There is a standard way to graph the data, with the independent variable on the x-axis and the dependent variable on the y-axis. How do you remember what independent and dependent variables are and where to put them on the graph?

The History of Encryption The History of Encryption 700 BC Scytale The Spartan military used scytales to send sensitive missives during times of battle. Scientists Find a Population of Butterflies That Appears to Be Splitting Into Two Species Nov. 5, 2009 AUSTIN, Texas — Breaking up may actually not be hard to do, say scientists who've found a population of tropical butterflies that may be on its way to a split into two distinct species. Polymorphic mimicry in Heliconius cydno alithea in western Ecuador, where the white form (middle left) mimics the white species Heliconius sapho (top left) and the yellow form (middle right) mimics the yellow species Heliconius eleuchia (bottom right). Image: Marcus Kronforst and Krushnamegh Kunte The cause of this particular break-up? A shift in wing color and mate preference.

Vertical Farms Sprout into Reality NEW YORK — Seven billion humans need farms that cover a land mass equal to South America, but tomorrow's farmers may need even more space to grow food for hungry mouths. Such urgency has given root to a new agricultural idea in the past few years — building vertical farms that climb toward the sky or burrow beneath the Earth. Vertical farming got a big boost from a class taught by Dickson Despommier, a microbiologist and ecologist at Columbia University, in 1999. The students' ideas spread virally across the Internet and led to the rise of the first modern vertical farms in the U.S., South Korea, Japan and Singapore.

What Is the Speed of Sound? Image: Red Bull Stratos This seems to be the most common discussion regarding the recent Red Bull Stratos Jump. Unless you have been living under a rock lately, you have probably seen the awesome jump from 128,000 feet. Here is a great summary video to get you pumped up. The official fastest free fall speed was reported as 373 m/s. AH HA! The Story of Mathematics - Sumerian/Babylonian Mathematics Sumer (a region of Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq) was the birthplace of writing, the wheel, agriculture, the arch, the plow, irrigation and many other innovations, and is often referred to as the Cradle of Civilization. The Sumerians developed the earliest known writing system - a pictographic writing system known as cuneiform script, using wedge-shaped characters inscribed on baked clay tablets - and this has meant that we actually have more knowledge of ancient Sumerian and Babylonian mathematics than of early Egyptian mathematics. Indeed, we even have what appear to school exercises in arithmetic and geometric problems. As in Egypt, Sumerian mathematics initially developed largely as a response to bureaucratic needs when their civilization settled and developed agriculture (possibly as early as the 6th millennium BCE) for the measurement of plots of land, the taxation of individuals, etc. in the Babylonian system represented 3,600 plus 60 plus 1, or 3,661.

Neuroscience For Kids The smell of a flower - The memory of a walk in the park - The pain of stepping on a nail. These experiences are made possible by the 3 pounds of tissue in our heads...the BRAIN!! Neuroscience for Kids has been created for all students and teachers who would like to learn about the nervous system. Discover the exciting world of the brain, spinal cord, neurons and the senses. The 6 Most Mind-Blowing Things Ever Discovered in Space #3. A Cold Star Here's the very first lesson you learned about the cosmos: The sun is hot. Even before you knew what the sun was, or what a star was made of, you knew that.

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