Post List

Physics posts

(Modify Search »)

  • November 27, 2015
  • 03:43 PM

How to Build an Ant Bridge: Start Small

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

You know when you're out walking with a big horde of your friends and you come to a chasm you can't step across, so a bunch of you clasp each other's limbs and make yourselves into a bridge for the rest to walk on?


Eciton army ants do this. And they're not the only ants that build incredible structures out of their strong, near-weightless bodies. Weaver ants make chains between leaves by holding onto each other's waists. Fire ants cling together to form rafts and survive floodin........ Read more »

Reid CR, Lutz MJ, Powell S, Kao AB, Couzin ID, & Garnier S. (2015) Army ants dynamically adjust living bridges in response to a cost-benefit trade-off. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26598673  

  • November 21, 2015
  • 10:40 AM

Where Are All the Wearables We Want to Wear?

by Aurametrix team in Health Technologies

Millions of years ago our ancestors straightened up and started carrying tools around, instead of dropping them after use. And so technology became a part of daily routine.​As time passed, more useful tools were made than it was feasible to carry or wear over the shoulder. One solution to this problem was monetary exchange, the other was a better technology. Wearables promised to add more convenience than carryables and, ever since humans started to wear clothes some 170,000 years ag........ Read more »

Bouzouggar A, Barton N, Vanhaeren M, d'Errico F, Collcutt S, Higham T, Hodge E, Parfitt S, Rhodes E, Schwenninger JL.... (2007) 82,000-year-old shell beads from North Africa and implications for the origins of modern human behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(24), 9964-9. PMID: 17548808  

Sungmee Park, & Jayaraman S. (2014) A transdisciplinary approach to wearables, big data and quality of life. Conference proceedings : .. Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference, 4155-8. PMID: 25570907  

  • November 18, 2015
  • 03:15 PM

Making climate change local: how to motivate city-wide adaptation strategies

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

More than 80% of the US population lives in cities, making their adaptation strategies one of the most important political decisions in the coming decades. Here we discuss a new study that identifies reasons why some cities have already prepared response programs while others haven't yet started.... Read more »

  • November 11, 2015
  • 11:10 AM

Short-term stability and long-term collapse: exploring the complex behavior of the Antarctic ice sheet

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A recent study indicates that Antarctic sea ice is growing, but what about its long-term evolution? Read on to see what scientists have discovered about the Antarctic's future.... Read more »

  • November 11, 2015
  • 08:40 AM

Where Do All Those Leaves Come From?!

by Mark Lasbury in The 'Scope

As you grab your rake or leaf-blower this fall, you might wonder how it is possible for trees to make so many leaves. Learn where they all came from.... Read more »

Pijpers, J., Winkler, M., Surendranath, Y., Buonassisi, T., & Nocera, D. (2011) Light-induced water oxidation at silicon electrodes functionalized with a cobalt oxygen-evolving catalyst. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(25), 10056-10061. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1106545108  

  • November 9, 2015
  • 01:17 PM

Solving the silicon swelling problem in batteries

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Silicon anodes offer great capacity for next-generation batteries but suffer from volume expansion that degrades batteries. Here new research has found a clever method to allow for volume expansion and maintain their high potential capacity!... Read more »

  • November 4, 2015
  • 03:58 AM

Earth has probably more diamonds than we think

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Scientists have suggested that we have more diamonds than we think, and the process of formation of diamond is probably not as complicated as we think.

Published in:

Nature Communications

Study Further:

In a recent study from scientists of Johns Hopkins University, it has been suggested that diamonds in the Earth are not as rare as once thought. They are of opinion that diamonds are commonly produced deep inside the Earth.

“Diamond formation in the deep Earth,........ Read more »

  • November 1, 2015
  • 05:42 AM

News on propulsion at NASA

by Marco Frasca in The Gauge Connection

There has been a lot of rumor on measurements performed by Eagleworks labs at NASA this spring. After that, NASA imposed a veto on whatever information should coming out about the work of this group until peer-reviewed work should have appeared. Most of the problems come out from the question of the EmDrive. This is […]... Read more »

  • October 29, 2015
  • 02:32 PM

Equity or inertia: how global emissions sharing philosophies shape climate policy success

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

The US, EU, and China have recently pledged emissions reductions. But are they enough? Read on about a policy analysis describing how more needs to be done.... Read more »

Peters, G., Andrew, R., Solomon, S., & Friedlingstein, P. (2015) Measuring a fair and ambitious climate agreement using cumulative emissions. Environmental Research Letters, 10(10), 105004. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/10/105004  

  • October 20, 2015
  • 02:30 PM

You too can learn to farm on Mars!

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Scientists at Washington State University and the University of Idaho are helping students figure out how to farm on Mars, much like astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, attempts in the critically acclaimed movie “The Martian.” Washington State University physicist Michael Allen and University of Idaho food scientist Helen Joyner teamed up to explore the […]... Read more »

Helen S. Joyner et al. (2015) Farming In Space? Developing a Sustainable Food Supply on Mars. National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. info:other/Link

  • October 15, 2015
  • 09:43 AM

Climate change in the classroom: visualizing global warming effects with nothing but water and a marble

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

How do we make sea level rise due to global warming more personal? A new educational experiment has been designed to show the physics behind this phenomenon that can be done in the kitchen or the classroom.... Read more »

  • October 7, 2015
  • 02:56 PM

Is radiation or human intrusion the more clear and present danger to animals near Chernobyl?

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Chernobyl has an unhospitable reputation for wildlife. But new research suggests that animals are thriving in the wild near the old reactor site.... Read more »

Deryabina, T., Kuchmel, S., Nagorskaya, L., Hinton, T., Beasley, J., Lerebours, A., & Smith, J. (2015) Long-term census data reveal abundant wildlife populations at Chernobyl. Current Biology, 25(19). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.08.017  

  • October 6, 2015
  • 10:11 AM

How Cuttlefish Stay Camouflaged On the Go

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Most camouflaged creatures try to hold still so they won't give away their ruse. But cuttlefish aren't most creatures. These masters of camouflage can change color to seamlessly match their background, and they can keep swimming while they do it.

"Cuttlefish are one of nature's fastest dynamic camouflagers," says Noam Josef, a graduate student at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. The cephalopods can change color in just one tenth of a second. They can also create different........ Read more »

Josef N, Berenshtein I, Fiorito G, Sykes AV, & Shashar N. (2015) Camouflage during movement in the European cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis). The Journal of experimental biology. PMID: 26385328  

  • September 30, 2015
  • 08:40 PM

Zooplankton migration traps carbon in deep ocean

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

A new mechanism of trapping carbon in the ocean has been proposed by researchers studying the migration of zooplankton!... Read more »

Jónasdóttir SH, Visser AW, Richardson K, & Heath MR. (2015) Seasonal copepod lipid pump promotes carbon sequestration in the deep North Atlantic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26338976  

  • September 24, 2015
  • 06:03 PM

New solar cells inspired by 400-year-old art

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Kirigami, the ancient art of paper cutting, has inspired a new type of solar cell that can track the sun without lots of expensive materials!... Read more »

Lamoureux, A., Lee, K., Shlian, M., Forrest, S., & Shtein, M. (2015) Dynamic kirigami structures for integrated solar tracking. Nature Communications, 8092. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9092  

  • September 17, 2015
  • 09:00 AM

The Martian: Getting Home Is Just Half The Problem

by Mark Lasbury in The 'Scope

"The Martian" movie opens soon! It's about an astronaut stranded on Mars who is trying to survive and find a way to get back home. But today, we humans here on Earth still have to think of clever ways to survive a trip to the red planet in the first place.... Read more »

  • September 16, 2015
  • 11:26 AM

Penguins Find Each Other's Beaks Sexy

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

If Tinder for penguins existed, birds with the best beak spots would get swiped right. King penguins are attracted to the colors on each other's beaks, scientists have found—including colors we clueless humans can't see.

King penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) live near the bottom of the world and are monogamous for about a year at a time. They're a little smaller than emperor penguins, the ones you saw in March of the Penguins, and have a less arduous lifestyle. In the spring, they gath........ Read more »

Keddar, I., Altmeyer, S., Couchoux, C., Jouventin, P., & Dobson, F. (2015) Mate Choice and Colored Beak Spots of King Penguins. Ethology. DOI: 10.1111/eth.12419  

  • September 11, 2015
  • 06:06 PM

Smart cells teach neurons damaged by Parkinson’s to heal themselves

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

As a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created smarter immune cells that produce and deliver a healing protein to the brain while also teaching neurons to begin making the protein for themselves.... Read more »

  • September 10, 2015
  • 02:26 PM

Physicists show ‘molecules’ made of light may be possible

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It’s not lightsaber time… at least not yet. But a team including theoretical physicists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has taken another step toward building objects out of photons, and the findings* hint that weightless particles of light can be joined into a sort of “molecule” with its own peculiar force.... Read more »

M. F. Maghrebi, M. J. Gullans, P. Bienias, S. Choi, I. Martin, O. Firstenberg, M. D. Lukin, H. P. Büchler, & A. V. Gorshkov. (2015) Coulomb bound states of strongly interacting photons. Physical Review Letters. arXiv: 1505.03859v1

  • September 9, 2015
  • 06:21 PM

Carving a path towards carbon pricing

by Jonathan Trinastic in Goodnight Earth

Why aren't carbon taxes more common? A new policy paper talks about the resistance and decreasing the cost of renewables can make carbon pricing the ONLY smart option.... Read more »

Wagner, G., Kåberger, T., Olai, S., Oppenheimer, M., Rittenhouse, K., & Sterner, T. (2015) Energy policy: Push renewables to spur carbon pricing. Nature, 525(7567), 27-29. DOI: 10.1038/525027a  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit