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Your search has returned 11 articles:
  • Feature

    That's the Way the Spaghetti Crumbles

    Great scientists sometimes do silly experiments. The renowned physicist and Nobel prize winner Richard P. Feynman, for instance, once got it into his head to figure out why uncooked spaghetti doesn't snap neatly in two when you bend it far enough to break. Pay attention next time, and you'll notice that the pasta tends to shatter into three or more fragments of unequal lengths.

    11/08/2005 - 11:51 Physics
  • Food for Thought

    Leaden Chocolates

    Here's something that might give you pause after Halloween: Chocolates are among the more lead-contaminated foods. A new study has probed the source of chocolate's lead and concludes it's not the cocoa bean. Its concentrations of the toxic metal were among the lowest recorded for any foodstuff.

    The issue of lead-tainted chocolates is hardly new. Indeed, it was the...

    11/03/2005 - 16:10 Nutrition
  • News

    Champion of strength is forged in mighty anvil

    A newly created form of carbon has captured the crown of world's strongest known material. A team of researchers in Germany and France made the new material using a specialized, multijawed anvil that simultaneously squeezed and heated a powder of all-carbon molecules known as buckyballs.

    At 200,000 times atmospheric pressure and a temperature of 2,500 kelvins, the powder...

    09/13/2005 - 12:18 Physics
  • Food for Thought

    Omega-3's May Hit Food Labels

    The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will allow food manufacturers to make health claims for two omega-3 fatty acids—oils typically found in coldwater fish. Food labels can now note that products containing these oils might provide some protection from heart disease.

    The oils carry unwieldy names and so go by their acronyms: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and...

    09/22/2004 - 18:36 Nutrition
  • News

    Vanishing Vultures: Bird deaths linked to vet-drug residues

    The recent puzzling crash in vulture populations in Pakistan turns out not to be some new bird plague, as conservationists had first suspected. Instead, birds eating livestock carcasses are dying in response to consuming a veterinary drug, says an international research team.

    Three species of vultures–oriental white-backed, slender-billed, and long-billed–have been...

    01/29/2004 - 10:34 Animals
  • News

    Flexible E-Paper: Plastic circuits drive paperlike displays

    In a major step toward electronic paper that works like a computer monitor yet feels and behaves like a page of a book, researchers in the Netherlands have made electronic-ink displays on flexible plastic sheets.

    A U.S. company developed the electronic ink over the past several years. "Just like your newspaper, you can see it in bright light, dim light, or from all angles...

    01/28/2004 - 11:47 Materials
  • Feature

    In Search of a Scientific Revolution

    Plenty of people claim to have theories that will revolutionize science. What's rare is for other scientists to take one of these schemes seriously. Yet that's what's happened since May 2002 when theoretical physicist Stephen Wolfram self-published a book in which he alleged to have found a new way to address the most difficult problems of science. Tellingly, he named this treatise A New Kind...

    08/12/2003 - 12:48 Humans & Society
  • Feature

    Mastering the Mixer

    Part of the fun of experimenting with granular materials, says Stephen W. Morris, is the showmanship. In one stunt that he has demonstrated in settings ranging from high school classrooms to television studios, the University of Toronto physicist loads clear plastic tubes with white table salt and black sand and starts them rotating. What transpires in the tubes usually knocks the socks off...

    07/20/2003 - 13:13 Physics
  • News

    Answer blows in wind, swirls in soap

    Besides using up energy to move sand dunes, create waves, and otherwise rearrange the scenery, winds exhaust their force on inner processes, too. Collisions between gas molecules, for instance, convert kinetic energy to heat in so-called viscous processes.

    Using a soap film that mimics the atmosphere of Earth or other planets (SN: 8/22/98, p.118), physicists now have measured how...

    04/21/2003 - 20:13 Physics
  • News

    Electronics in the Round: Mixing plastic and silicon yields form-fitting circuitry

    It's already possible to make circuitry that flexes and can even roll up like a scroll. What's not yet available are circuits that can conform to more-complicated surfaces, like robotic bodies and eyeball-shape cameras.

    Pai-Hui I. Hsu and her colleagues at Princeton University now report taking steps toward that goal. Aiming to make a circuit that could fit closely to a spherical...

    08/29/2002 - 09:17 Technology