When Felix Baumgartner dove out of a capsule head first
at the edge of space over 24 miles above Earth, he didn’t just have
technology helping him break the world record, he had science on his
Those simulations can look like these from SolidWorks,
using sophisticated software that not only takes into account all the
mathematical probabilities of a jump that high, but also show, in vivid
detail, the physics and the physical forces that are working on his body
as he plummets earthward. Using these simulations before his jump
proves why Felix had to stay in a head down position in order to break
the sound barrier.
The full article
by Dr. Stephen Endersby from SolidWorks gives all the math and
equations involved, but the basic problem was which would come first,
the sound barrier or terminal velocity? Taking the opposing forces on
Felix’s body — the accelerating force vs. the retarding drag — Dr.
Endersby found that at 25 seconds of free fall from a height of 120,000
feet, Felix would still be accelerating. Read more.
Labelled ‘Planet Hunters 1′ (or PH1) in a paper released today
and submitted to the Astrophysical Journal, it is the first planet in a
four-star system. It is a circumbinary planet – one which orbits a
double star – and our follow-up observations indicate that there is a
second pair of stars approximately 90 billion miles (1000 Astronomical
Units) away which are gravitationally bound to the system.Read more.
Chemist Sven Hovmöller of Stockholm University had been trying for nearly
a decade to determine the structures of materials known as
quasicrystals and their nearly identical approximants.
Since their discovery in the lab, physicists had been working tirelessly
to better understand the structure of quasicrystals. But because the
existence of such materials was doubted for so long, computer programs
currently used to interpret imaging data aren’t equipped to analyze the
Then, last summer, he had a seemingly off-the-wall idea. He’d enlist the aid of his 10-year-old son, Linus. “I thought, He’s a smart guy; maybe he could help me,” Hovmöller says.
father-and-son team sat at the kitchen table for 2 days, poring over
the dozens of electron microscopy images Döblinger had generated, as
well as some X-ray diffraction data, which provides more precise
information on the materials’ atomic positions.
Hovmöller would explain
to Linus what he was thinking about how the images all fit together, and
when Linus didn’t understand something, he’d interrupt his father to
ask. This made Hovmöller realize that he was rushing to conclusions.
When he slowed down to clear up Linus’s confusion, he’d get new ideas.
“In 2 days, we solved four new structures.” Read more.
Um modelo que permite determinar a correção
individualizada e adequada de cada olho humano está a ser desenvolvido
por três cientistas portugueses, que viram o resultado do seu estudo
publicado numa revista especializada norte-americana.
O objetivo é conseguir um modelo que permita encontrar
uma "solução personalizada para cada doente, indo ao encontro das suas
necessidades", disse à agência Lusa a médica oftalmologista Filomena
Ribeiro, um dos elementos da equipa. São também autores do trabalho, publicado na revista online PLoS ONE, o
oftalmologista António Castanheira-Dinis, da Faculdade de Medicina da
Universidade de Lisboa, e o físico de Instituto Superior Técnico e
especialista em ótica João Dias. Ler mais.
Yale researchers have discovered that a rocky super-Earth orbiting a nearby star is a diamond planet. “This is our first glimpse of a rocky world with a fundamentally
different chemistry from Earth,” said Dr Nikku Madhusudhan, a Yale
researcher in physics and astronomy and lead author of a paper to be
published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters (arXiv.org version).
“The surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite.”
The planet, called 55 Cancri e, has a radius twice Earth’s, and a
mass eight times greater, making it a so-called super-Earth. It is one
of five planets orbiting a sun-like star, 55 Cancri, that is located 40
light years from Earth yet visible to the naked eye in the constellation
of Cancer. The planet orbits at hyper speed – its year lasts just 18
hours, in contrast to Earth’s 365 days. It is also blazingly hot, with a
temperature of about 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit, researchers said, a far
cry from a habitable world. Read more.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 was awarded jointly to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems".
How do magnets affect things at a distance? How does the Sun heat our
planet from 93 million miles away? How can we send messages across the
world with our cell phones? We take these seemingly simple things for
granted, but in fact there was a time not too long ago when the
processes behind them were poorly understood, if at all… and, to the
uninformed, there could seem to be a certain sense of “magic” about
them. Read more.
Do you want a chance to name an piece of the Solar System?
In 2016 the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will fly out to an asteroid and bring
us back some samples. At the moment the asteroid has the code name 1999
RQ36, but the Planetary Society is offering students under the age of 18 the chance to come up with a cooler name.
To take part a parent or teacher must fill in an online formby 2 December 2012, including the name and a brief explanation as to why it was chosen. Read more.
O objectivo deste blogue é partilhar ideias e materiais úteis para o estudo e para o ensino da Física e da Química. Destinatários: alunos, professores e outros eventuais interessados. Críticas e sugestões são bem-vindas. A autora reserva-se ao direito de apagar comentários despropositados.