Today in History for October 18Th

Highlights of this day in history: Inventor Thomas Edison dies; Three scientists share Nobel prize for DNA work; Anthrax scare hits CBS in New York; Two U.S. athletes suspended for Mexico City Olympics protest; Rock star Chuck Berry born. (Oct. 18)


Richard Feynman Rubber Bands

Richard Phillips Feynman was an American physicist known for the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the super fluidity of super cooled liquid helium, as well as work in particle physics (he proposed the Parton model). For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman was a joint recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965, together with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga. Feynman developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions governing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime and after his death, Feynman became one of the most publicly known scientists in the world.


CrashCourse: Animal Behavior

CrashCourse Biology #25

Hank and his cat Cameo help teach us about animal behavior and how we can discover why animals do the things they do.


Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss: Something from Nothing at ASU

Join critically-acclaimed author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and world-renowned theoretical physicist and author Lawrence Krauss as they discuss biology, cosmology, religion, and a host of other topics.

The authors will also discuss their new books. Dawkins recently published The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True, an exploration of the magic of discovery embodied in the practice of science. Written for all age groups, the book moves forward from historical examples of supernatural explanations of natural phenomena to focus on the actual science behind how the world works.

Krauss's latest book, A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing, explains the scientific advances that provide insight into how the universe formed. Krauss tackles the age-old assumption that something cannot arise from nothing by arguing that not only can something arise from nothing, but something will always arise from nothing.

Founded in 2008, the ASU Origins Project is a university-wide transdisciplinary initiative aimed at facilitating cutting edge research and inquiry about origins questions, enhancing public science literacy, and improving science education. Since its inception, the Origins Project has brought the world's leading scientists, including Nobel Prize winners, to Tempe to explore origins questions. The Origins Project has hosted workshops and public events that have focused on questions as fundamental as the origin of the universe, how life began, the origins of human uniqueness, and the origins of morality.


Runaway Universe Discovery

Why the Runaway Universe Discovery Won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

From EsoCast, Dr. J. explores the upheaval in our understanding of the universe brought on by the discovery that the universe is not just expanding, but is accelerating outward at an ever increasing pace. Was Einstein wrong? Are we missing something crucial in our understanding of how it all began? Either way, this is one of the most exciting scientific discoveries in a long time.


Today in History for October 18Th

Highlights of this day in history: Inventor Thomas Edison dies; Three scientists share Nobel prize for DNA work; Anthrax scare hits CBS in New York; Two U.S. athletes suspended for Mexico City Olympics protest; Rock star Chuck Berry born. (Oct. 18)


Mysteries of a Dark Universe

Enjoy in Full HD 1080p. Cosmology, the study of the universe as a whole, has been turned on its head by a stunning discovery that the universe is flying apart in all directions at an ever-increasing rate.

Is the universe bursting at the seams? Or is nature somehow fooling us?

The astronomers whose data revealed this accelerating universe have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.

And yet, since 1998, when the discovery was first announced, scientists have struggled to come to grips with a mysterious presence that now appears to control the future of the cosmos: dark energy.

On remote mountaintops around the world, major astronomical centers hum along, with state of the art digital sensors, computers, air conditioning, infrastructure, and motors to turn the giant telescopes.

Deep in Chile's Atacama desert, the Paranal Observatory is an astronomical Mecca.

This facility draws two megawatts of power, enough for around two thousand homes.

What astronomers get for all this is photons, tiny mass-less particles of light. They stream in from across time and space by the trillions from nearby sources, down to one or two per second from objects at the edge of the visible universe.

In this age of precision astronomy, observers have been studying the properties of these particles, to find clues to how stars live and die, how galaxies form, how black holes grow, and more.

But for all we've learned, we are finding out just how much still eludes our grasp, how short our efforts to understand the workings of the universe still fall.

A hundred years ago, most astronomers believed the universe consisted of a grand disk, the Milky Way. They saw stars, like our own sun, moving around it amid giant regions of dust and luminous gas.

The overall size and shape of this "island universe" appeared static and unchanging.

That view posed a challenge to Albert Einstein, who sought to explore the role that gravity, a dynamic force, plays in the universe as a whole.

There is a now legendary story in which Einstein tried to show why the gravity of all the stars and gas out there didn't simply cause the universe to collapse into a heap.

He reasoned that there must be some repulsive force that countered gravity and held the Universe up.

He called this force the "cosmological constant." Represented in his equations by the Greek letter Lambda, it's often referred to as a fudge factor.

In 1916, the idea seemed reasonable. The Dutch physicist Willem de Sitter solved Einstein's equations with a cosmological constant, lending support to the idea of a static universe.

Now enter the American astronomer, Vesto Slipher.

Working at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, he examined a series of fuzzy patches in the sky called spiral nebulae, what we know as galaxies. He found that their light was slightly shifted in color.

It's similar to the way a siren distorts, as an ambulance races past us.

If an object is moving toward Earth, the wavelength of its light is compressed, making it bluer. If it's moving away, the light gets stretched out, making it redder.

12 of the 15 nebulae that Slipher examined were red-shifted, a sign they are racing away from us.

Edwin Hubble, a young astronomer, went in for a closer look. Using the giant new Hooker telescope in Southern California, he scoured the nebulae for a type of pulsating star, called a Cepheid. The rate at which their light rises and falls is an indicator of their intrinsic brightness.

By measuring their apparent brightness, Hubble could calculate the distance to their host galaxies.

Combining distances with redshifts, he found that the farther away these spirals are, the faster they are moving away from us. This relationship, called the Hubble Constant, showed that the universe is not static, but expanding.

Einstein acknowledged the breakthrough, and admitted that his famous fudge factor was the greatest blunder of his career.


Pavlov's Dog

The Pavlov's Dog game and related reading are based on some of the scientific achievements of Ivan Pavlov, who was awarded the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Even though the first image that comes to mind with Ivan Pavlov is his drooling dogs, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his pioneering studies of how the digestive system works.


The Nobel Funk Off Auditions: Gorby

Diddy Lama and Mother T, founding members of The Nobel Funk Off, recently came to the conclusion that Funk is indeed the basis of World Peace.

To once again show the world that Peace Has A New Tune, The Nobel Funk Off called secret auditions at a low-key location and invited a select group of worthy musicians/peacemakers to show their talents.

Mikhail Gorbachev is a very funny man and a talented magician. He also digs the axe. Since 1990, Mikhail has had a regular lead guitar gig with South Central Moscow-based funk metal quartet Perestroika, but recently realised that his exposure needed some restructuring. He's also after a change and a little excitement in his life.

Mother T first got a glimpse of Mikhail's penchant for funk while touring through Eastern Europe, and convinced Diddly Lama to audition him.

Musical Background: Mikhail has always had a passion for music since picking up the Balalaika as a five-year old at his local village market. In fact, he chose politics over music only at the insistence of his music teacher when she said "It is much easier for a politician to become a musician than the other way around". He got wind of the auditions through Mother T and hopped on the first plane downunder from Mother Russia.

Peace Credentials: Mikhail Gorbachev is a peace-nik from way back. His has led antiwar demonstrations on every continent apart from Antarctica, finally being recognized with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.