Distant Grind: The Sun Has 1.1 Billion Years Left to Sustain Life on Earth

The Sun produces energy through core thermonuclear fusion reactions which converts hydrogen into helium – for now. The Sun is becoming increasingly hotter (or more luminous) with time. However, the rate of change is so slight we won’t notice anything even over many millennia, let alone a single human lifetime. Eventually, however, the Sun will become[…]

Brain Waves, Transcendental Fields, and Techniques of Thought

Exploring the ‘half-second delay’ between the reception of sensory material and conscious interpretation of it. By Dr. William E. ConnollyKrieger-Eisenhower Professor of Political TheoryJohns Hopkins University Introduction Now I say that mind and anima are held in union with the other, and form of themselves a single nature, but that the head, as it were,[…]

Breaker, Breaker: The Science and Use of Radio Waves

Radio waves were first predicted by mathematical work done in 1867 by Scottish mathematical physicist James Clerk Maxwell. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum longer than infrared light. Radio waves have frequencies as high as 300 gigahertz (GHz) to as low as 30 hertz (Hz).[1] At 300 GHz, the corresponding wavelength is 1 mm (shorter than a grain[…]

Ground Zero: Radiometric Age Dating of Earth Materials

To determine the ages in years of Earth materials and the timing of geologic events, geologists utilize the process of radiometric decay. Radiometric dating calculates an age in years for geologic materials by measuring the presence of a short-life radioactive element, e.g., carbon-14, or a long-life radioactive element plus its decay product, e.g., potassium-14/argon-40. The[…]

Communication Revolution: A History of Radio

Radio development began as “wireless telegraphy”. Later radio history increasingly involves matters of broadcasting. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Invention and Early Growth The idea of wireless communication predates the discovery of “radio” with experiments in “wireless telegraphy” via inductive and capacitive induction and transmission through the ground, water, and even train tracks from the 1830s[…]

Distant Grind: New Radio Bursts from across the Universe

Researchers just released data on more than 500 new bursts, quadrupling the total number of detected events. By Dr. Emmanuel FonsecaAssistant Professor of AstronomyWest Virginia University Introduction On June 9, 2021, my colleagues and I announced the discovery of 535 fast radio bursts that we detected using the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment telescope (CHIME). Detected in 2018 and[…]

Heinrich Hertz and the Discovery of Radio Waves in 1886

Hertz’s experiments produced and received what are now called radio waves in the very high frequency range. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Biography Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was a German physicist who first conclusively proved the existence of the electromagnetic waves predicted by James Clerk Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism. The unit of frequency, cycle per second, was named the “hertz” in his[…]

Another Bite at the Apple: Isaac Newton’s Time as a Man of Politics and Economics

Providing a more realistic image of this man who was simultaneously unique and a product of his times. By Dr. Patricia FaraEmeritus FellowClare CollegeUniversity of Cambridge ‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there’. The opening sentence of L.P. Hartley’s The Go-Between (1953) has become a historical cliché. Yet contrary to its implications, the[…]

Philolaus: Philosophy and Science in Classical Greece

Philolaus is said to have claimed that mathematical reason has a certain affinity with the nature of the universe, By Daniel CostaHistorian Introduction Philolaus of Croton (c. 470 – c. 385 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher from Magna Graecia, in modern-day southern Italy. He shared the Pythagoreans’ interest in music, numbers and the soul, which shone through his output. He[…]

Science as We Know It Can’t Explain Consciousness – Yet

One day we will have a science of consciousness, but it won’t be science as we know it today. By Dr. Philip GoffAssistant Professor of PhilosophyDurham University Seeking Alternatives Explaining how something as complex as consciousness can emerge from a grey, jelly-like lump of tissue in the head is arguably the greatest scientific challenge of[…]

Jab over Java: How Brain Scientists Think about Consciousness

Exploring how neurologists and neuroscientists study and view the conscious mind. A Presentation by Closer to TruthYouTube Is consciousness a scientific problem to be solved? Or a philosophical problem that will remain a mystery? What do scientists who study the brain think? And why do they think the way they do? These leading brain scientists[…]

MUM’s the Word: The Science of Consciousness and a Minimal Unifying Model

Minimal unifying models characterize widely accepted, necessary properties of most conscious experiences. By Dr. Wanja WieseInstitute for PhilosophyRuhr-Universität Bochum Note: This is not a guest post. It is a republication of a scientific article published under a Creative Commons license (see bottom of post) for the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness 1:2020 (niaa013). under the title[…]

Brewminating: The Science behind the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Its chemical composition, flavor and shelf life, as well as the uses for coffee grounds after brewing. By Dr. Gabriel Keith HarrisAssociate ProfessorFood, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition SciencesNorth Carolina State University Introduction Coffee is a popular beverage around the world. About half of consumers drink coffee brewed from grounds. The other half drink instant coffee. In[…]

Sipping the Feels: Training Your Brain for Lucid Dreaming

Research on lucid dreams is still in its infancy, but some induction techniques already hold real promise – and most can be tried in the comfort of your own bedroom. By Achilleas PavlouPhD Researcher in Cognitive NeuroscienceUniversity of Essex Introduction Dreams can often be confusing and blurry experiences. Reduced critical thinking, little to no access to[…]

A Brief History of the Science of Color

Isaac Newton’s work led to breakthroughs in optics, physics, chemistry, perception, and the study of color in nature. In the 1660s, English physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton began a series of experiments with sunlight and prisms. He demonstrated that clear white light was composed of seven visible colors. By scientifically establishing our visible spectrum (the[…]

Brewminating: Somniloquy – Why Do I Talk in My Sleep?

Watching someone talk in their sleep can be funny and sometimes even scary, but what’s happening in the brain when this takes place? Presentation from Seeker From Wikipedia: Sleep-talking (or somniloquy) is a parasomnia that refers to talking aloud while asleep. It can range from simple mumbling sounds to loud shouts and long, frequently inarticulate speeches, and can occur[…]

A Brief History of Solar Panels since the 19th Century

Inventors have been advancing solar technology for more than a century and a half. By Elizabeth Chu and D. Lawrence TarazanoUnited States Patent and Trademark Office Long before the first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, generating awareness about the environment and support for environmental protection, scientists were making the first discoveries in[…]

Seven Ancient Cultures and How They Shaped Astronomy

With all their inventions and discoveries, it seems like the world connived to shape the astronomy of today. By Dr. Jason CookPlanetary AstronomerTelescopic Watch Introduction We as human beings are greatly attracted to beauty. And there is nothing more beautiful than the heavenly bodies set above us to see. From the stars, sun, moon, and[…]

The 17th-Century Cloth Merchant Who Discovered the Vast Realm of Tiny Microbes

Van Leeuwenhoek, who discovered bacteria, is one of the most important figures in the history of medicine. Introduction Imagine trying to cope with a pandemic like COVID-19 in a world where microscopic life was unknown. Prior to the 17th century, people were limited by what they could see with their own two eyes. But then[…]

The Vienna Dioscurides: A Medical and Scientific Text in Ancient Byzantium

The manuscript was produced around 512 C.E. for the imperial princess Anicia Juliana in Constantinople. By Dr. Courtney Ann TomaselliProfessor of Art HistoryElon University Introduction For many, the term “Byzantine art” conjures otherworldly images of holy figures in golden icons and mosaics. But opening the pages of the large, sumptuously illustrated Byzantine manuscript known as the Vienna Dioscurides (the colloquial[…]

Anna Atkins and the Cyanotype Process in Botanical Illustration in the 19th Century

Although today Atkins’s prints are sold and viewed as art, they were originally made as botanical illustrations. By Elliot KrasnopolerPhD Candidate in Art HistoryBryn Mawr College Who Was Anna Atkins? We are looking at a white-ish blue, organically-shaped form radiating from a central point, and surrounded by a rich, flat cyan-blue tone. Little here gives[…]

Francis Galton and the Racist Pseudoscience of Eugenics in the 19th Century

Smart people can have really bad ideas – like selectively breeding human beings to allegedly “improve” the species. Introduction A popular pseudoscience was leaving its mark on American culture a century ago in everything from massive reductions in quotas for immigration to the U.S., to thousands of “fitter family” contests at county fairs, to a[…]

Medieval Science and Mathematics

Examining early medieval approaches to various types of knowledge we might consider today to be ‘scientific’ and early universities. Introduction The idea of science in the early Middle Ages is a broad one that encompasses many subjects. To understand this, we should think of the root of the word ‘science’, which comes from the Latin[…]

European Science in the Middle Ages

Roman and early medieval scientific texts were read and studied, contributing to the understanding of nature in the light of reason. Introduction European science in the Middle Ages comprised the study of nature, mathematics and natural philosophy in medieval Europe. Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the decline in knowledge of Greek,[…]

The Uncertain Heavens: Christiaan Huygens’ Ideas of E.T. Life in the 1680s

During the 17th century, as knowledge of the Universe and its contents increased, so did speculation about life on other planets. This article, The Uncertain Heavens: Christiaan Huygens’ Ideas of Extraterrestrial Life, was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. If you wish to reuse it please see: https://publicdomainreview.org/legal/ The author[…]

The Rise of Fingerprint Technology in the 19th Century and Resulting Myths

In the 19th-century, society began to grapple with an emerging problem: How do you prove people are who they say they are? By Clive ThompsonScience and Technology Journalist At 9:00 a.m. last December 14 [2018], a man in Orange County, California, discovered he’d been robbed. Someone had swiped his Volkswagen Golf, his MacBook Air and[…]

The Orkney Finnmen Legends: From Early Modern Science to Modern Myth

How early modern science’s fascination with unfamiliar objects helped a new chapter of Scottish folklore. This article, The Orkney Finnmen Legends: From Early Modern Science to Modern Myth, was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. If you wish to reuse it please see: https://publicdomainreview.org/legal/ At the end of the 17th[…]

Biology in the Ancient and Medieval Eras

The earliest humans had and passed on knowledge about plants and animals to increase their chances of survival. Introduction The history of biology traces the study of the living world from ancient to modern times. Although the concept of biology as a single coherent field arose in the 19th century, the biological sciences emerged from[…]