Celebrating the Life of Leon Theremin

Bridget Paulus | August 29, 2016

Leon Theremin, a Russian inventor, is best known for creating the theremin as well as the Thing, also called the Great Seal bug. Referred to as the “Russian Edison”, his passion for physics and music fostered the growth of electronic instruments on an international scale. Today, we celebrate the life and accomplishments of this influential figure.

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Caty Fairclough | July 29, 2016

Around the world, millions of people lack access to improved sources of drinking water. Pesticides, bacteria, organic matter, and other pollutants can make accessible water unsafe for human consumption. Finding a cost-effective and easy method to purify water is therefore a major global initiative. One possible solution is a nanoparticle biofoam, which may provide an efficient method for generating safe drinking water.

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Caty Fairclough | May 12, 2016

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose research advanced the field of X-ray crystallography and determined the structures of several important biochemical substances, including penicillin, vitamin B12, and insulin. Today, on the anniversary of her birthday, we’ll take a look at her life and accomplishments.

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Bridget Cunningham | March 7, 2016

Mildred Dresselhaus has been an influential figure in science and engineering for many years. She is recognized as a driving force behind innovative research in the field of carbon science, among other areas, and an influential supporter of female leadership and development in physics and other traditionally male-dominated fields. Today, we celebrate “the queen of carbon science”, highlighting her many achievements in both science and education as well as her encouragement for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

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Brianne Costa | October 22, 2015

Clinton Davisson is an American physicist best known for his discovery of electron diffraction through the Davisson-Germer experiment. His findings brought about important developments in the field of quantum mechanics. On this day, which would have been his birthday, we celebrate Davisson’s storied history and many contributions to science.

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Fanny Littmarck | August 12, 2015

Erwin Schrödinger is the man behind the famous Schrödinger wave equation that is used to predict the future behavior of a dynamic system in quantum mechanics. Today would have been Schrödinger’s birthday, had he still been alive. Let’s celebrate his birthday with a look at some of his accomplishments.

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Bridget Cunningham | June 13, 2016

Strong performance is a key focal point in designing any electronic device. In an effort to extend the design space for further applications and to take steps toward realizing the Internet of Things, the desire for high performance is now paired with an interest in achieving greater physical flexibility — a change from today’s rigid and brittle electronic devices. See how stretchable electronics are successfully blending strength and flexibility to offer new opportunities for technological growth.

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Bridget Cunningham | April 28, 2016

The ability to adapt to unpredictable or dangerous environments is an important advantage for any vehicle or device. Developing materials with the ability to shift in shape can offer potential for new technologies to handle such situations. With the design of a new hybrid material, engineers at Cornell University are bringing new developments of this nature to the fields of soft robotics and aeronautics.

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Brianne Costa | January 11, 2016

In 2012, guests at a California music festival called Coachella were shocked to see rap artist Tupac Shakur perform onstage. Why? Because the famed musician had been dead for nearly two decades. Viral reactions called the digitized performance a “hologram”, which is actually a misnomer. This stunt is an example of the Pepper’s Ghost optical illusion, which can be explained with ray optics.

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Brianne Costa | August 20, 2015

We sometimes hear of tourists getting into trouble for carving their initials into the walls of the Coliseum in Rome and other famous structures. However, the more serious damage to this architecture is caused by something else entirely — salt. Transported by wind and water droplets, and even found in some building materials, salt is a powerful mineral that can cause a building’s façade to crumble and break. Researchers studied this effect to better predict salt’s behavior and prevent damage.

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Brianne Costa | July 16, 2015

The ancient Japanese art of origami enables you to create many intricate designs out of folded paper. Recently, researchers drew inspiration from this craft to develop a fully functional battery consisting mostly of paper and water. They found that the simple device generates enough energy to power a biosensor.

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