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Stories by David Biello

Climate Change Has Helped Bring Down Cultures

Humanity has weathered many a climate change, from the ice age of 80,000 years ago to the droughts of the late 19th century that helped kill between 30 and 50 million people around the world via famine...

January 30, 2012 — David Biello

What's in a Femtosecond of Laser Light? A Map of Electron Energy

Illuminate a piece of metal, such as copper or silver, and the electrons get excited. These excitable particles in turn alter the electromagnetic fields that give rise to many of the properties technologists exploit, such as copper's excellent performance as a conductor of electricity.Efforts to observe electrons have become easier in recent years, thanks to advances with incredibly short laser pulses, despite the foundational principles of quantum mechanics that hold sway at this scale...

January 6, 2012 — David Biello

Do You Know What Happens to Your Cellphone When You're Done with It?

DURBAN, South Africa—I rented a cellphone during my sojourn here to cover the recent climate change negotiations. A local number enabled me to keep in touch with home and office but also, perhaps more importantly, to make appointments on the fly with ever harried international negotiators...

December 22, 2011 — David Biello
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