Physics World Highlights 04/07
Coming up this month in Physics World . . .
Scientist of the century
Leonhard Euler was the greatest scientist of the 18th century. So claims Ed Sandifer in this month's Physics World where he looks at the achievements of the gifted Swiss scientist, who was born 300 years ago this month on 15 April 1707.
In an illustrious career that saw him write over 800 books and papers on optics and mechanics, Euler earned part of the famous longitude prize to help sailors navigate at sea, designed the fountains for Frederick the Great's palace in Potsdam and developed ways to build lenses for microscopes and telescopes that yielded images undistorted by coloured rainbow-like fringes. Even in retirement, when he went blind, Euler continued to carry out research, calculating the orbit of Uranus and working out the buoyancy of hot-air balloons on the very day he died. (p. 35)
We are the physics WAGs
Anyone who watched last years football World Cup in Germany will have been shocked at how poorly the England team performed. Off the pitch, however, the wives and girlfriends of the England players excelled, with the acronym "WAG" being coined in the light of their antics, usually involving drinking and shopping to excess. Welcome now to the "physics WAGs" - non-scientists like Laura Phillips, a librarian at the University of Bristol, who are attached to a physicist. She has found plenty of reasons to enjoy living with a physicist, including having a life "that takes on new depth and meaning" and having someone who "can answer all your 'why' questions". But physicists are far from nerdy, Phillips points out. "Most of my boyfriend’s colleagues are cool, interesting, fun people," she says. (p. 24)
Also in this issue:
Linear collider faces lengthy delay
Quantum computing - a commercial reality?
Teacher training goes online
Big labs - a gift to the economy
The unitarity triangle: a triangle that matters
Plasma - a view from space
A tale of two Germans
Helen MacBain | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...