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E.g., 01/16/2018
E.g., 01/16/2018
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Your search has returned 123 articles:
  • Context

    Speed of universe’s expansion remains elusive

    Unless you are a recent arrival from another universe, you’ve no doubt heard that this one is expanding. It’s getting bigger all the time. What’s more, its growth rate is accelerating. Every day, the universe expands a little bit faster than it did the day before.

    Those day-to-day differences are negligible, though, for astronomers trying to measure the universe’s expansion rate. They...

    01/16/2018 - 12:52 Astronomy, History of Science
  • Context

    2018’s Top 10 science anniversaries

    With each new year, science offers a fresh list of historical occasions ideally suited for a Top 10 list.

    Science’s rich history guarantees a never-ending supply of noteworthy anniversaries. Centennials of births, deaths or discoveries by prominent scientists (or popular centennial fractions or multiples) offer reminders of past achievements and context for appreciating science of the...

    01/05/2018 - 09:00 History of Science
  • Context

    First controlled nuclear chain reaction achieved 75 years ago

    Some scientific anniversaries celebrate events so momentous that they capture the attention of many nonscientists as well — or even the entire world.

    One such anniversary is upon us. December 2 marks the semisesquicentennial (75th anniversary) of the first controlled and sustained nuclear fission chain reaction. Only four years after German scientists discovered nuclear fission,...

    11/29/2017 - 07:00 History of Science
  • Film

    Actress Hedy Lamarr laid the groundwork for some of today’s wireless tech

    Once billed as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” actress Hedy Lamarr is often remembered for Golden Age Hollywood hits like Samson and Delilah. But Lamarr was gifted with more than just a face for film; she had a mind for science.

    A new documentary, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, spotlights Lamarr’s lesser-known legacy as an inventor. The film explores how the pretty veneer...

    11/26/2017 - 08:00 History of Science, Technology, Science & Society
  • Reviews & Previews

    Climate foiled Europeans’ early exploration of North America

    A Cold WelcomeSam WhiteHarvard Univ., $29.95

    Many people may be fuzzy on the details of North America’s colonial history between Columbus’ arrival in 1492 and the Pilgrims’ landing on Plymouth Rock in 1620. But Europeans were actively attempting to colonize North America from the early 16th century onward, even though few colonies survived.

    As historian Sam White explains in A...

    11/25/2017 - 08:00 Climate, History of Science, Oceans
  • Exhibit

    A new map exhibit documents evolving views of Earth’s interior

    Much of what happens on the Earth’s surface is connected to activity far below. “Beneath Our Feet,” a temporary exhibit at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center in the Boston Public Library, explores the ways people have envisioned, explored and exploited what lies underground.

    “We’re trying to visualize those places that humans don’t naturally go to,” says associate curator Stephanie Cyr...

    11/19/2017 - 07:00 History of Science, Earth
  • Editor's Note

    In science, some big risks are worth the rewards

    At the end of my previous Editor’s Note (SN: 11/11/17, p. 2), I wrote about one of the great discoveries of the 1920s. By studying distant nebulae, Edwin Hubble found that our galaxy is not alone in the universe. Instead, it is one of an amazing multitude of “island universes.” When I wrote those words, I had no idea that just a couple of weeks later, I would get to visit the...
    11/15/2017 - 13:18 Science & Society, History of Science, Astronomy
  • Context

    An American astronomical evangelist coined the phrase ‘island universe’

    No other science engages human curiosity like astronomy. From antiquity onward, attempts to comprehend the architecture of the cosmos have commanded a substantial fraction of humankind’s mental budget for intellectual endeavor. Only in the last century, though, have astronomers grasped the structure of the cosmos accurately. Just a hundred years ago, a great debate raged about the fuzzy...

    10/13/2017 - 07:00 History of Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    New book offers a peek into the mind of Oliver Sacks

    The River of ConsciousnessOliver SacksKnopf, $27

    The experience of reading the essays that make up The River of Consciousness is very much like peering into an ever-changing stream. Pebbles shift as the water courses by, revealing unexpected facets below.

    The essays, by neurologist Oliver Sacks and arranged into an anthology two weeks before his death in 2015, meander through...

    10/06/2017 - 09:00 Neuroscience, History of Science, Human Evolution
  • Editor's Note

    Success in science depends on luck, plus much more

    Like anything else in life, there is a lot of luck in scientific success. Astronomers searching for new worlds have to pick the right sections of sky. Biologists cross their fingers that their cell lines will survive long enough for an experiment. Two paleontologists are excavating at a field site in Montana — both skilled, both committed. One turns up a T. rex skeleton; the other,...
    10/04/2017 - 13:43 Science & Society, History of Science, Human Evolution