Dinosaur Fossils Flaunt Physics

Recent announcements about dinosaurs show that even the large ones exhibited physics fitness.  Their size did not inhibit their mobility. T. rex racer:  Maybe Jurassic Park got it right after all.  According to Science Daily, “Tyrannosaurus rex was far from a plodding Cretaceous era scavenger whose long tail only served to counterbalance the up-front weight […]

Maxwell’s ID Demon Converts Info to Energy

Information can be converted into energy – provided it is guided by intelligent design.  That’s what researchers demonstrated with an experimental setup of “Maxwell’s Demon,” a famous thought experiment about how to overcome the Second Law of Thermodynamics.     James Clerk Maxwell knew that the laws of thermodynamics did not allow the spontaneous separation […]

Plasma May Revamp Cosmology

A “diverse new field” of astrophysics is poised to revolutionize our understanding of stars, energetic galaxies, and perhaps the entire universe.  The properties and interactions of plasma, that hot, electrically-charged gas that makes up the sun and stars, have not been considered as often as matter and light have in astronomy.  A set of top […]

A Tale of Two Mavericks

Two men who recently died are now being honored for their willingness to have stood up to the majority and advanced views that were unpopular at the time.

Are Saturn Rings Like Galaxies?

Dramatic photos of dynamic processes in Saturn’s rings have been released by the Cassini mission at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  The photos, taken near Saturn’s equinox last year, show ruffled edges of the B ring made of particles lofted as high as 2 miles above the ring plane, casting long shadows across the rings.  By watching […]

Purpose-Driven Science Ignores Darwin

While some Darwinists feel that the Intelligent Design (ID) movement is a major threat to science, many scientists unconnected to ID are acting as if it provides for them a more fruitful approach to research.  Several recent examples illustrated what might be called a silent “de facto” intelligent design movement. Purposeful proteins:  PhysOrg reported work […]

Cells Know Their Physics

At the microscopic level of cells, forces come into play that are unfamiliar to us at the macro level: quantum mechanics, Brownian motion, and subtle elastic forces that we might overlook.  Two recent papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explored physical mechanisms cells use to good advantage.  Good thing cells know […]

Biomimetics Frontier: The Wild Wet

Some animals have figured out how to turn wetness into an ally instead of a nuisance, and some research teams are hard on their heels trying to learn how to settle that frontier. Wet feet:  Geckos cling to walls and ceilings even when their feet are wet.  How do they do it?  It would be […]

Cosmology Faces More Chaos

Most of us have experience with orderly things going to chaos: an unkept room, the garden, our list of things to do.  We all work hard to overcome that universal tendency.  Clara Moskowitz reported on two cosmologists who think the universe went the other way.  She wrote in, “The universe was in chaos after […]

SETI Calls Alien Signals Unnatural

It may be harder to find alien radio signals than thought.  If aliens follow the human technological path of progress, they will move from analog to digital broadcasting in a century or less.  In that case, it will be much more difficult to eavesdrop on intelligent signals, because digital signals tend to be more focused, […]

SETI Uses Design Inference

Some astronomers are concerned that we may never detect aliens.  If alien civilizations “go digital” within a short time period, as humans have in a century since the invention of radio, the possibility of detecting their radio signals may be much smaller than earlier thought.  Zoe Macintosh wrote for Live Science, “Finding E.T. May Become […]

Many Stars Are Planet Destroyers

A NASA study is being called “Bad news for planet hunters.”  A survey of stars in globular clusters has not turned up the number of planets expected.  Astronomers conclude that stars in these presumably ancient clusters have long since devoured their planets or sent them careening out into oblivion.     The leading popular science […]

Flying Fish Tested in Wind Tunnel: Match Bird Flight

Sometimes engineers investigate things biologists take for granted.  Flying fish have been observed by countless sailors and cruise passengers, and have been described by life scientists.  It took an engineer, however, to investigate these “unexpected fliers” in a wind tunnel.  Surprisingly, though many have speculated about these creatures, “detailed measurement of wing performance associated with […]

What’s Flipping the Earth’s Magnetic Field?

Why has the earth’s magnetic field changed orientation in the past?  How often does it happen?  How long does it take?  Such questions arise from a story reported by New Scientist that claims, “Second super-fast flip of Earth’s poles found.”  This implies there was a first case – and that “super-fast” reversals are strange.   […]

Asteroid Pi

Asteroids are much more diverse than previously imagined.  The Spitzer Space Telescope (now in its “warm” mission after the liquid coolant has dissipated) is targeting about 700 asteroids in a program called ExploreNEOs (Near-Earth Objects).  NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope website reported results from the first hundred studied.  The scientists found that near-Earth asteroids… …are a […]
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