Science is not only beautiful, but delicious!
Posts from the ‘math’ Category
Researchers from the University of Bristol have found that for every equation per page of a scientific paper, the likelihood of it being cited in non-theoretical papers decreases almost 35%. While other theoretical papers will be more likely to cite it, total citations drop by 28%. This could be hindering science, as most non-theoretical designs rely upon good theoretical science and, inevitably, some higher level knowledge of mathematics. If you’re not great at math, that’s okay, but it should still have a presence in research even if you have somebody else doing it.
Inspiration for the new study, published in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society A, came after lead author Tim Leighton watched an episode of the Discovery Channel’s “Blue Planet” series and saw dolphins blowing multiple tiny bubbles around prey as they hunted.
“I immediately got hooked, because I knew that no man-made sonar would be able to operate in such bubble water,” explained Leighton, a professor of ultrasonics and underwater acoustics at the University of Southampton, where he is also an associate dean.
“These dolphins were either ‘blinding’ their most spectacular sensory apparatus when hunting — which would be odd, though they still have sight to reply on — or they have a sonar that can do what human sonar cannot…Perhaps they have something amazing,” he added.
photo credit: Corbis
Dolphins are just really cool animals, once you get past the rape and stuff.
It has baffled scientists for while now why the Sun’s atmosphere is hotter than its surface; a situation akin to having to shed clothing as you climbed Mt. Everest. Recent mathematical and astrophysics research from the University of Sheffield indicates that there are many magnetic plasma vortices (tornadoes) that bring up energy from inside the Sun and release it into the atmosphere. They’re relatively small compared to some of the ones that make the news occasionally, but still reach sizes greater than Great Britain and temperatures of several millions degrees kelvin.
Not only is the research answering questions about space, but the applications are important here too. If we can learn to use similar magnetic fields to control plasma here, there are ways to produce clean, green energy. The more ways we can do that, the better!
A World with No Math
It’s not a world I want to live in. This is a cause I support, help spread the word and do what you can to bring basic math skills to underprivileged kids around the world! The fastest ride up the ladder of opportunity is through education.
Also, we should start work on the marshmallow puppies.
A few years ago a Harvard mathematician, L. Mahadevan, proposed that if we could get a surface to undulate similar to that of a ray along the seafloor it was mathematically possible to have our own flying carpets. Last fall Princeton grad Noah Jafferis put that idea to the test and designed a small model. Using plastic sheets that expand or contract dependent on electric charge delivered to several areas on the sheet, it could produce the wave motion necessary to stay afloat. This prototype has a limited range due to being tethered by the wires to deliver charge, but Jafferis hopes to include some sort of power source soon. On a larger scale, it isn’t very feasible; a 50 square foot sheet would be required to get a human a millimeter off the ground. Jafferis thinks that the lower gravity on Mars is a more practical application. Once we get over the whole getting to and living on Mars, that is.
In this new video from RSA Animate, Microsoft’s Manuel Lima talks about our human desire for order, simplification and organization. How does this desire fit into our modern, hugely complex world?
The tree will no longer do as a model. THe animation has some neat ideas on what could take its place.
After you watch that, check out the rest of this Big Think article, where they offer the idea that certain fractals could be a sort of “universal pattern” for organization. But maybe that’s just what our brains are wired to think.
As our knowledge increases, so does the difficulty of connecting it all in a comprehensible way. This is a great visualization of how we need to train ourselves to think of the connectivity of ideas and concepts if we are to continue progressing in any field.