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Your search has returned 318 articles:
  • 50 years ago, scientists wanted to build solar panels on the moon

    Solar power from moon to Earth —

    An almost unlimited supply of electricity could be generated on the moon’s surface by huge arrays of solar cells and beamed to Earth by laser. Sunlight falling on a crater … could produce from 10,000 to 100,000 megawatts of power. By comparison, a large hydroelectric dam on Earth produces about 100 megawatts. Solar cells would be more efficient on...

    06/07/2019 - 08:00 Astronomy, Technology, History of Science
  • Context

    Murray Gell-Mann gave structure to the subatomic world

    In Bernard Malamud’s The Natural, Iris (played in the movie version by Glenn Close) tells Roy Hobbs that we all have two lives, “the life we learn with and the life we live with after that.”

    Murray Gell-Mann, the Nobel laureate physicist who died Friday, May 24, at age 89, also lived two lives. But both were spent learning — about how the world works.

    In his first life Gell-Mann...

    05/24/2019 - 17:09 History of Science, Physics
  • Context

    These are the top 10 landmarks in the history of making measurements

    In no field of science is the gulf between appreciation and importance as wide as it is for metrology.

    It’s not about the weather. Metrology is the science of measuring. It has a longer history than the modern sciences taught in school, and it’s essential to all of science’s usefulness and power. Without sound metrology, there’d be no trips to the moon, no modern medicine, no self-...

    05/20/2019 - 09:00 History of Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘An Elegant Defense’ explores the immune system’s softer side

    An Elegant DefenseMatt RichtelWilliam Morrow, $28.99

    We like to think of the immune system as our own personal military, ready to attack foreign invaders. Slice your finger, and immune cells rush in to destroy rogue pathogens.

    But it’s misleading to think of the immune system as solely a war machine. It must also keep the peace, assessing each threat and, in many cases,...

    04/23/2019 - 08:00 Immune Science, History of Science
  • Context

    Black hole image validates imagining the unimaginable

    Black holes capture everything they encounter. From subatomic particles to stars, solids, gases, liquids and even light, everything falls irretrievably in. And even more assuredly, black holes capture the popular imagination.Thinking about space, as humans have since they first gazed at the points of light decorating the nighttime sky, triggers the mind to imagine things that cannot be...

    04/12/2019 - 06:00 History of Science, Astronomy
  • Context

    This Greek philosopher had the right idea, just too few elements

    Long before there was a periodic table of the elements, there was no need for a table — just four chairs.

    From ancient through medieval into early modern times, natural philosophers could count the known elements with the fingers of only one hand (with no need for the thumb). All material reality, nearly every authority concurred, was built from only four elements. And those four...

    04/03/2019 - 12:00 History of Science
  • Reviews & Previews

    How a tiger transforms into a man-eater

    No Beast So FierceDane HuckelbridgeWilliam Morrow, $26.99

    At the heart of No Beast So Fierce is a simple and terrifying story: In the early 20th century, a tiger killed and ate more than 400 people in Nepal and northern India before being shot by legendary hunter Jim Corbett in 1907. Rather than just describe this harrowing tale, though, author Dane Huckelbridge seeks to explain how...

    03/19/2019 - 07:00 Animals, Conservation, History of Science
  • Context

    Top 10 science anniversaries to celebrate in 2019

    Identifying anniversaries to celebrate is not exactly the most pressing issue facing the scientific community these days.

    There’s much more important stuff. Like articulating the seriousness of climate change and searching for new knowledge that will aid in combatting it. Or coping with sexual harassment and discrimination. Or securing reliable funding from a nonfunctioning government....

    02/24/2019 - 08:00 History of Science
  • Editor's Note

    The periodic table remains essential after 150 years

    It’s another raw day in St. Petersburg, Russia, but the man striding down the University Embankment along the Neva River isn’t pondering how the icy wind off the Gulf of Finland chills his bones or whether Emperor Alexander II’s reforms will increase salaries for professors like him. Instead, Dmitrii Mendeleev is imagining how he could reveal the chemical underpinnings of the universe...
    01/08/2019 - 07:15 History of Science, Chemistry