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Stories by Jennifer Ouellette

Physics Week in Review: May 9, 2015

Physics Week in Review: May 9, 2015

It’s back, baby! The Large Hadron Collider sees its first low-energy collisions after restarting. A government laboratory found a way to listen to recordings on fragile wax cylinders inside dolls made by Thomas Edison in 1890...

May 9, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review: May 2, 2015

Physics Week in Review: May 2, 2015

This week, Quanta featured a three-part series on spacetime. Part 1 is by K.C. Cole: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox. A bold new idea aims to link two famously discordant descriptions of nature...

May 2, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review: April 25, 2015

Physics Week in Review: April 25, 2015

Here’s a treat for fans of movies and the brain: an article called Strange Continuity. Throughout evolutionary history, we never saw anything like a montage.

April 25, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review: April 18, 2015

Physics Week in Review: April 18, 2015

In honor of Tax Day in the US, here is a piece on the IRS’s Favorite Mathematical Law: Armed with Benford’s law, “the IRS can sniff out falsified returns just by looking at the first digit of numbers on taxpayers' forms.” So, beware...

April 18, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette

Putting a New Spin on Space Elevators

Fans of sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke know and love his 1979 classic novel, The Fountains of Paradise. The plot centers on efforts of a visionary structural engineer in the 22nd century, Dr Vannevar Morgan, to construct a space elevator connecting the surface of the earth with a satellite in geostationary orbit, almost a kind [...]..

April 15, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette

Neutron Stars Serve Up Plates of Nuclear Pasta

Along with black holes, neutron stars are the result of stars collapsing under gravity once their fuel burns out, until their density is about the same as that of the nucleus of an atom, at which point the protons and electrons “melt” into pure neutrons...

April 14, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette

New Dark Matter Map Confirms Current Theories

The American Physical Society is holding its annual April Meeting at the moment in Baltimore, Maryland, and one of the highlights, research-wise, comes to us courtesy of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration...

April 13, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review: April 11, 2015

Physics Week in Review: April 11, 2015

The Large Hadron Collider's Second Run broke its own energy record for accelerating particles when it started up again this week. Here’s an inside look at how the atom smasher has been amped up.  Related: The LHC made simple: here's what it's doing in five simple steps...

April 11, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review: April 4, 2015

Physics Week in Review: April 4, 2015

First up: a spot of science-y April Foolery: Physicists Warming Up the LHC Accidentally Create a Rainbow Universe. Related:  CERN researchers confirm existence of the Force (the photos alone are hilarious).  Also: Smithsonian displays Wonder Woman's invisible jet for April Fools' Day...

April 4, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review: March 28, 2015

Physics Week in Review: March 28, 2015

The much-ballyhooed Large Hadron Collider restart hit a snag this week, thanks to an electrical short discovered over the weekend, apparently caused by a metal particle.

March 28, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review: March 21, 2015

Physics Week in Review: March 21, 2015

That deafening sound you heard over Wednesday and Thursday was the sound of millions of science-minded folks collectively banging their heads against their computer screens in frustration...

March 21, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette

Picasso: X-Rays Reveal the Master’s Materials

Every field has its raging debates among impassioned experts, and the art world is no exception. Case in point: some art historians long suspected that master painter Pablo Picasso used common house paint rather than the oil paints traditionally used in his era, which would make him the first known artist to do so...

March 18, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review (Pi Day Edition): March 14, 2015

Physics Week in Review (Pi Day Edition): March 14, 2015

Today we celebrate the Pi Day of the Century: March 14, 2015, is the first five digits of pi, or 3.1415.  It’s also Albert Einstein’s birthday, so Sean Carroll reminded us how they are intimately connected; yes, Pi has something to do with gravity...

March 14, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review: March 7, 2015

Physics Week in Review: March 7, 2015

Brrr! Winter still has much of the country in its iron grip. While you’re waiting for spring to make its presence known, perhaps you’d like to try your hand at photographing Snowflakes in Freefall.  A team of researchers at the University of Utah have developed a Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera to do just that...

March 7, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette

The Physics of Diving Gannets, Bird Navigation, and Speedy Tiger Beetles

Jen-Luc Piquant was at the APS March Meeting in San Antonio, Texas this week, a longtime favorite conference, and often touted as the largest physics conference of the year, covering a diverse range of topics: biophysics, fluid mechanics, materials (exotic or otherwise), complex systems, quantum mechanics — it’s a treasure trove of cool cutting-edge physics...

March 6, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review: February 28, 2015

Physics Week in Review: February 28, 2015

Science fared pretty well at this year’s Academy Awards. Case in point: Here’s Best Actor Eddie Redmayne on Portraying Stephen Hawking.

February 28, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review: February 21, 2015

Physics Week in Review: February 21, 2015

Winter is in full force in the Northeast, so naturally science has some insights to share for those caught in the snowdrifts. For example: Don’t Jump Out of a Window Into Snow: But If You Do… it’s best to understand the physics of a snow jump...

February 21, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
What Does It Take to Change a Mind? A Phase Transition [UPDATED]

What Does It Take to Change a Mind? A Phase Transition [UPDATED]

This week’s Virtually Speaking Science episode featured yours truly in conversation with Laurie Paul, a philosopher at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and author of a new book, Transformative Experience...

February 13, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
Physics Week in Review: February 7, 2015

Physics Week in Review: February 7, 2015

The physics in-jokes came fast and furious in this week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory. While telling Penny about his latest research over dinner, Leonard has a brainstorm insight, and ends up collaborating with Sheldon on a cosmology paper, which they post to the online arXiv...

February 7, 2015 — Jennifer Ouellette
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Scientific American Health & Medicine

Scientific American Health & Medicine