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Stories by Lydia Chain

Celebrate Tau Day with an Extra Slice of Pi

To understand tau, you need to understand pi. Watch how mathematicians from Archimedes on have wrapped their heads around the math of circles.

June 28, 2018 — Shelley Sandiford, Lydia Chain and Deboki Chakravarti

Inflating the Universe with Prize-Winning Cosmologist David Spergel

This year’s Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to the team behind NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, or WMAP, a space telescope that launched in 2001 to map the cosmic microwave background—the earliest, oldest light we can detect from the universe’s infancy...

December 4, 2017 — Lydia Chain, Michael D. Lemonick and Lee Billings

New Frizzy-Haired Orangutan Species

An isolated group of orangutans in Sumatra is the first new great ape species described since the 1920s, and could be the most critically endangered. 

November 3, 2017 — Lydia Chain

Neutron Star Collisions Create Gold

Astrophysicists searching for gravitational waves have finally learned what happens when you crash two neutron stars together--and it's very, very shiny.

October 17, 2017 — Lydia Chain, Lee Billings and Michael D. Lemonick

What Is a Skin Allergy?

Poison ivy or a new perfume making you break out and itch? Your skin normally works as if in harmony to protect you from infection, but sometimes the tune your killer T cells are playing is bad news for your skin cells...

August 28, 2017 — Lydia Chain

Witness the Solar Eclipse without Frying Your Eyes or Your Camera

America is preparing for a sea-to-shining-sea solar eclipse. Here’s how you can watch the spectacular display, and maybe even snap a photo to commemorate the event, without burning your retinas or damaging your camera’s optics...

July 27, 2017 — Lydia Chain, Michael Lemonick and Lee Billings

Giant Model Mimics Damaged Dam Spillway

When the Oroville Dam spillway cracked and failed after a wet California winter, a team of scientists created a one fiftieth–scale model of the damaged concrete and eroded hillside to help guide the reconstruction...

June 28, 2017 — Lydia Chain

Why Do Allergies Make You Sneeze?

Do you suffer from allergies? Follow the dendritic cell and the entire Scientific American Allergy Orchestra to discover how allergens from pollen to pet dander can change the body's tune...

June 12, 2017 — Lydia Chain

Tackling China's Devastating Yellow River Floods

After learning how the waterway transports a billion tons of sediment into the sea each year, scientists built a tool that may help predict the inundations that impact some 80 million people...

May 15, 2017 — Lydia Chain
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End of Summer Sale

End of Summer Sale