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E.g., 11/21/2017
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  •  S-3 Viking aircraft
  • air pollution
  • kilogram standards
Your search has returned 1272 articles:
  • 50 years ago, engineers tried catching commercial planes in nets

    Net to halt runaway airliners

    A gigantic emergency arresting gear system, capable of stopping the largest four-engined jet aircraft without discomfort to passengers, is being developed for the French Ministry of Transportation. The system consists of a nylon net … which engages the aircraft for the full width of its wingspan. Net and airplane are brought to a slow stop by energy...

    10/19/2017 - 07:00 Technology
  • Feature

    The list of diseases linked to air pollution is growing

    To the residents of Donora, Pa., a mill town in a crook of the Monongahela River, the daily haze from nearby zinc and steel plants was the price of keeping their families fed. But on October 27, 1948, the city awoke to an unusually sooty sky, even for Donora. The next day, the high school quarterbacks couldn’t see their teammates well enough to complete a single pass.

    The town was...

    09/19/2017 - 07:00 Pollution, Climate, Health
  • Feature

    Units of measure are getting a fundamental upgrade

    If scientists had sacred objects, this would be one of them: a single, closely guarded 137-year-old cylinder of metal, housed in a vault outside of Paris. It is a prototype that precisely defines a kilogram of mass everywhere in the universe.

    A kilogram of ground beef at the grocery store has the same mass as this one special hunk of metal, an alloy of platinum and iridium. A 60-kilogram...

    11/02/2016 - 12:00 Physics, Numbers
  • Feature

    Archival Science

    The July afternoon was oppressively hot in Dayton, Tenn. After a steamy morning session in the county courthouse, the judge had ordered that the trial of teacher John T. Scopes be moved outdoors. As the afternoon wore on, more and more townspeople joined the crowd, which eventually numbered at least several hundred. It was the final day before the case was to go to the jury, and, in a...

    12/18/2005 - 17:36 Humans & Society
  • Science Surfing

    Pioneers in Science Writing

    Starting in the early 1920s, Science Service, which publishes Science News, played a significant role in promoting the public understanding of science. Its staff of writers included several women who were pioneers in the emerging field of science journalism. The Smithsonian Institution Archives has a Web exhibit that highlights the careers of five of these women: Jane Stafford, Marjorie Van...

    12/15/2005 - 00:51 Humans & Society
  • Feature

    Making Stuff Last

    Around the world, archives, museums, and their storage facilities brim with society's most prized objects. Some have been stashed on dusty back shelves for decades, while others bask under spotlights and curious gazes.

    If you're a patron of museums and archives, how can you be sure that on those shelves or under that glass, the treasures you value aren't...

    11/08/2004 - 17:25 Materials
  • Feature

    Reflections on Art

    Like a defense lawyer in court, David G. Stork was eager to know whether his closing argument was winning over his audience. Would a jury vote to convict? Stork asked the group assembled at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center early this month. None of the of the 100 or so people in the Greenbelt, Md.–facility raised a hand–just the response that Stork, chief scientist of Ricoh Innovations in...

    05/28/2003 - 14:39 Physics
  • Science Surfing

    Chip Collection

    The Smithsonian's "Chip Collection" Web site offers all sorts of nuggets of information for those interested in the history of integrated circuits. Developed and frequently updated by Nance L. Briscoe of the National Museum of American History, the site features more than 2,000 images, a "chip talk" glossary, examples of chip graffiti, information on patents, and much more archival resource...

    03/11/2003 - 10:27 Technology
  • Feature

    Are They Really Extinct?

    After 22 years, is it time to give up looking? Are searchers deluding themselves when they refuse to say that long-sought species have gone extinct? Such questions come to mind when talking to botanist Larry Morse of NatureServe, a biodiversity conservation group in Arlington, Va. Every summer since 1980, he's looked for a little tidal-flat plant called Micranthemum micranthemoides. The plant...

    03/12/2002 - 12:20 Ecology
  • Feature

    Back Matter

    12/11/1999 - 00:00