From the 01.27.15 Issue
The laws of quantum mechanics and relativity are quite perplexing. However, it is when the two theories are merged that things get really confusing. This combined theory predicts that empty space isn't empty at all - it's a seething and bubbling cauldron of matter and antimatter particles springing into existence before disappearing back into nothingness. Scientists call this complicated state of affairs "quantum foam." In this video, Fermilab's Don Lincoln discusses this mind-bending idea and sketches some of the experiments that have convinced scientists that this crazy prediction is actually true.
Big questions: Dark matter
From the 01.22.15 Issue
Carl Sagan's statement that there are "billions and billions" of stars in the cosmos gives an idea of just how much "stuff" there is in the universe. However scientists now believe that in addition to the type of matter with which we are familiar, there is another kind of matter out there. This new kind of matter is called "dark matter" and there seems to be five times as much as ordinary matter. Dark matter interacts only with gravity, therefore light simply zips right by it. Fermilab's Don Lincoln tells us why we think this seemingly-crazy idea might not be so crazy after all.
Catching up on sleep science
From the 01.21.15 Issue
Be honest: Do you ever brag about how little sleep you get? If so, you're not alone. Humans are the only species that seems to deliberately deprive themselves of sleep. But if you've ever uttered a phrase like, "I'll sleep when I'm dead," scientists say it's time for a wake-up call.
Expansion Microscopy brings the brain in 3-D into focus
From the 01.16.15 Issue
Illuminating the brain and nervous system is one of today's greatest engineering challenges. A new technique called expansion microscopy uses chemicals commonly found in baby diapers to swell mouse brain tissue samples with water to nearly five times the usual size, with little distortion.
Enormous underwater fossil graveyard found
From the 01.08.15 Issue
Anthropologists and paleontologists uncovered what could be the largest single collection of lemur remains ever found. The remains were hidden in a series of underwater caves in a remote desert region of Madagascar. Described as a "lemur graveyard," the discovery of hundreds of potentially 1,000-year-old skeletons make it one of the most unique animal gravesites in the world. This discovery could be important for understanding animal and human ancestry, and result in a new era for underwater paleontology.
CES 14: SmarterShade uses optical filters to revolutionize window shades
From the 01.07.15 Issue
At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show--CES 14, small business SmarterShade shows one of several possible applications for their window shading technology. Though smart window technology has been around for a while, cheaper and more adaptable options are needed.