Saturday, December 27, 2008

Top Five Scientists of the world

1) Albert Einstein

We all know him as the Scientist Ultimus who discovered the Theory of Relativity.His discovery of the Photoelectric effect and the discovery of the Brownian motion along with the quantum theory of a monoatomic gas propel him to the top of this list.
Einstein published over 300 scientific and over 150 non-scientific works.
His name is synonymous with the word genius.
His full name is Hans Albert Einstein and he was born into a Jewish family in Ulm in Germany on 14th March 1879.

His works on the nature of light are unparalleled and incomparable.

His personal life was as interesting as his professional as he married twice and his second wife was also his cousin.He was known to have a good ear for music.

2) Sir Isaac Newton

We all know him as the founder of the theory of Gravitation and the discovery of the Laws of motion. His work in Optics is also highly admirable.He enunciated the law of Conservation of Momentum and Angular Momentum.He also developed an empirical law of cooling and he was the first to observe that light could be split by a prism.He also studied the speed of sound.

In mathematics, also he developed Integral Calculus.He also contributed to the formation of power series.

Isaac Newton was born on 4 January 1643 in Lincolnshire in England.
He was the president of the Royal Society till his death.

3) Galileo Galilei
It is true that Galileo who is generally credited with the invention of the Telescope was not the one to invent it. But he was the first person to make full use of it as he observed the Jupiter's rings with it.(Read more about this here)

4) Thomas Alva Edison
The greatest inventor of all times with more than 1000 inventions to his name did not even get a Nobel prize.His inventions were not only useful to everyone but also so sturdy that they are being used with little modification even today.


The law of buoyancy and his discovery of the laws of Fluid Mechanics make him one of the greatest.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Firstborns are more intelligent!!

Eldest children are more likely to be intelligent than their younger siblings, according to a study. Eldest children have IQs 2 to 3 points greater than younger siblings', and the reason is not genetics, but the way their parents treat them, according to the study published in the latest issue of the journal Science researchers at the University of Oslo collected data from 2,40, 000 Norwegian men and found that firstborns had an average IQ of 103.2, about 2 points higher than second-born males and about 3 points higher than men born third.

The researchers surmised that older children are showered with attention early in life and treated as leaders in the family. They are handed more responsibility after younger siblings are born and live with higher expectations from their parents.

Another reason thought by me could be that the intelligence of a child is directly proportional to certain hormones he is exposed to in the mother's womb.So it may be that firstborns receive more of those hormones. This logic is not completely wrong as it has been found already that the brain development of a child can be influenced in the mother's womb itself by some omega oils (found in fish fat).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Eureka! Eureka!

How many times have you spent hours slaving over an impossible problem, only to take a break and then easily solve the problem, sometimes within minutes of looking at it again? Although this is actually a common phenomenon, up until now the way that this occurs has been unclear. But new research in the September issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, demonstrates the answer is more complex than simply having an "Aha!" moment.

The new research, led in part by Kellogg School of Management Professor Adam Galinsky, suggests that unconscious thought results in creative problem-solving via a two-step process. 

According to Galinsky and fellow psychologists Chen-Bo Zhong from the University of Toronto and Ap Dijkstererhuis of Radboud University Nijmegen, distractions may be helpful in coming up with creative solutions to a certain problem, but must be followed by a period of conscious thought to ensure that we are aware of those solutions and can apply them. Likewise, while distractions are more useful in solving difficult problems, it may be better to stay focused on finding the solution when confronted with easier problems. 

The researchers conducted two experiments to test their idea. In the first experiment, 94 subjects participated in a Remote-Association Test (RAT), which tests for creativity. In this test, participants were presented with three words (a triad) and were asked to come up with a fourth word that is linked with all three words. For example, if presented with the words cheese, sky and ocean, the correct answer would be blue (blue cheese, blue sky, blue ocean). Subjects were shown nine very difficult triads (but were instructed not to solve them yet) and were then divided into groups. For five minutes following the RAT, participants were either concentrating on the triads they had just seen (the conscious thought group) or engaging in a test completely unrelated to the RAT (the unconscious thought group). Following the five-minute interval, all of the subjects participated in a lexical decision test. During this test, subjects were shown sequences of letters and had to indicate as quickly as possible if the sequences were English words or not. The sequences presented included answers to the RAT triads, random words and non-words. Finally, subjects were again shown the RAT items and had to write down their answers. 

The second experiment involved 36 subjects and had a similar set up to the previous experiment, although the RAT triads presented were much easier to solve compared to those in the first experiment. 

The results showed that in the first experiment, during the lexical decision test, members of the unconscious thought group had much faster responses to letter sequences which were answers to RAT items, compared to the conscious thought group. However, when it came time to solve the RAT problems, both groups had similar results. In the second experiment (using an easier set of RAT triads), the conscious thought group had more correct RAT answers compared to the unconscious thought group, but there was no difference in response time during the lexical decision test. 

"Conscious thought is better at making linear, analytic decisions, but unconscious thought is especially effective at solving complex problems," said Galinsky and his co-authors. "Unconscious activation may provide inspirational sparks underlying the 'Aha!' moment that eventually leads to important discoveries." 

Now you know how Archimedes could discover the laws of buoyancy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Definition of Atheism

According to a new research people who are better educated are more prone to being atheists than others. Their inference is people who have thought more about God tend to disbelieve in him.

So from this there is a new definition of Atheism-
People who think logically are Atheists. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dark Energy v. The Void

Dark energy is at the heart of one of the greatest mysteries of modern physics, but it may be nothing more than an illusion, according physicists at Oxford University. The problem facing astrophysicists is that they have to explain why the universe appears to be expanding at an ever increasing rate. The most popular explanation is that some sort of force is pushing the accelerating the universe's expansion. That force is generally attributed to a mysterious dark energy.

Although dark energy may seem a bit contrived to some, the Oxford theorists are proposing an even more outrageous alternative. They point out that it's possible that we simply live in a very special place in the universe - specifically, we're in a huge void where the density of matter is particularly low. The suggestion flies in the face of the Copernican Principle, which is one of the most useful and widely held tenants in physics.

Copernicus was among the first scientists to argue that we're not in a special place in the universe, and that any theory that suggests that we're special is most likely wrong. The principle led directly to the replacement of the Earth-centered concept of the solar system with the more elegant sun-centered model.

Dark energy may seem like a stretch, but it's consistent with the venerable Copernican Principle. The proposal that we live in a special place in the universe, on the other hand, is likely to shock many scientists. The maverick physicists at Oxford conclude their paper by pointing out that forthcoming tests of the Copernican principle should help us sort out the mystery in the next few years.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Is Pluto back?

New suggestions for defining a planet would put Pluto and many other objects back on the list.
Ask planetary scientist Mark Sykes where NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is headed, and he will say it is on its way to the largest asteroid and the smallest planet.A planet in the solar system, the IAU says, must:-
orbit the sun; have enough gravity to make it nearly round; and have gobbled up or sent packing any objects found in its orbit. 

A dwarf planet, under IAU rules, is not a planet. The IAU says a dwarf planet orbits the sun, is not a satellite, has enough mass to make itself nearly round and has not booted objects from its orbit.
But how can a dwarf of something not be considered one of that thing? Sykes asked.

That sentiment was expressed again and again by many scientists at the conference. “It is grammatically and logically weird that a dwarf planet is not a planet. That rule is unacceptable and violates laws of logic and grammar,” said planetary scientist David Morrison of the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. And that is what Sykes is doing, he said — at least partially. He is selecting the part of the IAU definition that he finds useful, arguing that a planet is anything that orbits a star, doesn’t fuse elements in its core and has enough internal gravity to be nearly round.

Those criteria would make Ceres a planet. It would remake Pluto one too. There would be at least 13 planets in the solar system with many more, possibly thousands to come, he said. 

The thousands would lie in the Kuiper Belt, the ring of planet-like chunks of rock and ice in Pluto’s neighborhoodStern countered by saying that his concept of a definition — one “based on the physical, the intrinsic properties of a planet” — is how he defines a planet. It also pushes the bounds of what a planet is. When, or if, there is ever a consensus, he thinks the definition of planet should fall between his “radical” definition and the more restrictive, dynamics-based IAU definition.

At any rate, when Dawn gets to Vesta and then Ceres, and NASA’s New Horizon mission gets to Pluto and other Kuiper Belt objects in the 2010s, the information gathered is going to be important, whether or not the objects are planets, said planetary scientist Hal Levison of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder,Colo.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Martian soil may contain toxic compounds harmful to life: NASA

Martian soil could contain a toxic substance that would make it less likely that life formed there, data gathered by NASA's Phoenix lander on the red planet has revealed.

Earlier NASA said Phoenix analysers detected water in the soil, which suggested that Mars could have the conditions for life. However, if the presence of perchlorate were confirmed, the probability of detecting living organisms there would be reduced.

'The Phoenix team has been waiting for complementary results from the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyser, or TEGA, which also is capable of detecting perchlorate. TEGA is a series of ovens and analyses that 'sniff' vapours released from substances in a sample,' NASA said on its website.

Whatever it be there is still a slight chance of finding life on Mars since water has already been found there . And what may be poisonous for us may not be poisonous for them.