Daily Archives: April 22, 2012

How a book about fish nearly sank Isaac Newton’s Principia

Poor sales of lavishly illustrated book forced Royal Society to go back on promise to finance publication of Newton‘s Principia It was a salutary lesson for the Royal Society and made clear that the formidable intelligence of its scientific membership was no guarantee of sound business judgement. The debacle played out in the 17th century when the country’s most prestigious scientific organisation ploughed its money into the lavishly illustrated Historia Piscium, or History of Fishes, by John Ray and Francis Willughby. Though … Continue reading

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Light bulb with 20-year life unveiled

A prize-winning, super energy saving LED bulb from Dutch electronics giant Philips, said to last over 20 years, went on sale online and in stores Sunday to coincide with Earth Day. The bulb that won the 2011 US Department of Energy’s “Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize,” was available from retailers for $50, and the company said it was planning discounts to bring the cost down to as little as $25-$30. The 10-watt light bulb was deemed an efficient alternative to the standard … Continue reading

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Acoustic wind pavilion


Aeolus, a fascinating acoustic wind sculpture made by prolific Bristol artist Luke Jerram, is as much a feast for the ears as it is for the eyes. Named after the mythical Greek ruler of the four winds and built in conjunction with the University of Southampton’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and the University of Salford’s Acoustics Research Center, the giant aeolian wind harp is intended to inspire the public to learn more about the amazing things that can … Continue reading

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Physicists turn to Maxwell for self-bending light

ring of light

Can light self-bend into an arc? Can shape-preserving optical beams truly bend along a circular path? A confident answer emerged in this week’s Physical Review Letters. Researchers at Israel’s Technion reported their findings, saying that solutions to Maxwell’s equations suggest it is possible. They have found solutions to Maxwell’s equations— the equations governing electromagnetism–that precisely describe initial phases required for truly self-bending light. Light travels in a straight line; light beams tend to propagate along a straight path. Under forced … Continue reading

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Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein (October 27, 1923 – September 29, 1997) was a prominent American pop artist. During the 1960s, his paintings were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City and along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and others he became a leading figure in the new art movement. His work defined the basic premise of pop art better than any other through parody. Favoring the old-fashioned comic strip as subject matter, Lichtenstein produced hard-edged, precise compositions that documented while it parodied often in a tongue-in-cheek humorous manner. His work was … Continue reading

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