I don’t know about you, but for me, quantum physics is the stuff of sci-fi even before it’s part of a sci-fi plot. It’s disconcerting at a fundamental level (Yes. I just did that.) as it is. Add in some otherworldly considerations, and a sci-fi tale is born. In the case of The Three-Body Problem […]
My mission as a science writer is to make the complex simple. It frustrates me when I encounter well-educated people who insist there is no simple way to explain x, y, or z. Having written an entire book about applied fluid dynamics for laypeople, I also frankly find this hard to believe. SO – one ongoing project of […]
Here’s a shout out to Erwin Schrodinger, the Austrian physicist who formulated the thought experiment known as Schrodinger’s cat. The problem illustrates the contradiction to common sense that occurs when quantum mechanics is applied to everyday objects – in this case, to Schrodinger’s cat. According to the thought experiment posited in 1935, a cat sealed up in […]
The capability to magnify objects by a factor of up to one million was made possible with the invention of the first transmission electron microscope (TEM) by German scientists Ernst Ruska and Max Knoll in 1931.With the TEM, it was finally possible to view things at the molecular level. Studies were made of the proteins that make up the human body. Metals were also studied. The TEM made all of this possible by focusing a beam of electrons to pass through an object, rather than by focusing light on the object as was done with traditional microscopes. Particles smaller than 200 nm were able to be viewed.
You can tell a lot about an element from its position on the Periodic Table. In fact, the periodic table is designed to make information about the chemical properties of an element readily available. So all you need is the periodic table. Right? Not exactly. The periodic table tells you all about an element at the conventional scale. When you’re looking at an element at the nanoscale, things can change.