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.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Finally Ice on Mars found!!!

There have been lot of speculation on whether ice is present on Mars or not,many people choosing to disagree. But finally the verdict is out.The Phoenix Mars Lander has finally “tasted” and “touched” water ice, mission scientists reported. Detecting the water ice in this latest sample was a surprise, said Phoenix scientist William Boynton of the University of Arizona in Tucson during a July 31 mission press briefing. The Phoenix team has been trying to analyze a sample from a hard layer beneath the topsoil, but delivering such a sample to the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA, instrument has proven difficult for the past month. The TEGA ovens are designed to bake samples, identifying components primarily by their melting points as a way to directly detect the presence of certain compounds, such as water ice. When the oven heated the soil, some of the sample melted at 0° Celsius, the melting point of ice, and the TEGA also detected water vapor during the analysis, Boynton noted. Satellites orbiting Mars had given scientists their first clues that water ice might exist in the Martian polar regions. But TEGA’s ability to “sniff” out the water ice is the first test that gives direct confirmation that the water ice exists.

“Now, we have finally touched and tasted ice on Mars,” Boynton said, “and I can say it tastes very fine.”

So finally scientists instead of searching water on Mars can concentrate more on finding life on Mars.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dressing in red could make you win!

It has been found in a study that in a close game,team dressed in red was more likely to win.British anthropologists Russell Hill and Robert Barton of the University of Durham that conclusion by studying the outcomes of one-on-one boxing, taekwondo, Greco-Roman-wresting, and freestyle-wrestling matches at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.In each event,the olympic staff randomly assigned blue or red dresses to competitors.It was found that when there was a large point difference presumably because one opponent was superiour to other,the colour of the clothes did not matter but in close contests the player having red dress was more likely to win. In equally matched bouts, the preponderance of red wins was great enough that it could not be attributed to chance, the anthropologists say.Of 441 bouts the reds won 242 and in all four sports the reds won more contests.In close encounters 62 percent of red garbed competitors won.
Evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar from the University of Liverpool speculates that primate eyes may be sensitive to the colour red.Such effects could be due to instinctive behaviour says Barton.In animal displays red in particular seems to vary with dominance and testosterone levels.Human competitors may feel a testosterone surge while wearing red or may feel submissive when facing a scarlet opponent.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sharks Beware!!!

Humans always have found new ways to keep various pests away from them.But they have not been successful with the sharks so far.
A lot of sunscreens and lotions have been experimented with but hardly have been effective.Then, in 2005, scientists accidently discovered something far simpler -- something that sent sharks swimming away from it like people running from a burning building.They found that sharks did not attack fish which had magnets tied to their bodies .

The interaction of salt water and charged metals produces a weak electrical field. When a shark comes close to that field, the field seems to disrupt the sharks' special sixth sense which they use to 'smell ' the fish from a far distance.There has been a lot of research in this which has led to the conclusion that magnetic filed deters sharks upto a foot(0.3 metres) away.That is if you are going swimming you could wear special Lanthanide belts whose magnetic field would keep those dangerous sharks off you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


What is sleep? How does this thing gets indispensable in your life?
According to definition Sleep is a state in which our body cells undergo repair from the wear and tear of day-to-day activities.Hence sleep is necessary in order to be healthy.
According to scientists lack of sleep may cause serious brain damages,make you obese or even cause a heart-attack.
Also during sleep the nerve-receptors rest and hence if we don't sleep enough we may feel giddy and we may have problems doing simple tasks.

But sleep is not just that,during sleep we also dream and scientists have shown that everybody dreams so dreams must have a special significance.Dreams enable us to set our priorities.This gets seriously affected if we don't have adequate sleep.It has been found that college students who sleep more have higher grades than those who sleep less.

Newborn babies have it made -- they sleep 16 to 18 hours every day. An adult needs about 8 hours a day of sleep.

Militaries of several countries, including the US, the UK, Pakistan and France, have been exploring the use of a drug called modafinil (sold as the brand Provigil in the United States), which has prevented negative effects of sleep deprivation. Although modafinil is not a typical stimulant, it eliminates fatigue, promotes wakefulness, and improves alertness; it was initially developed for sufferers of narcolepsy.

But beware of over-sleeping.Those who average more than nine hours of sleep per night are twice as likely to develop Parkinson's disease as those who get six hours or less [source: The New York Times].
So sleep for the right amount of time to be healthy.

Bizarre Science facts

Did you know?

1) Do you know what colour is the sky on Mars?
Ans-The sky on Mars is pinkish-orange. Mars is covered with a layer of orange dust called iron oxide. Wind catches the dust, forming during dust storms, and the dust colors the Martian sky.

2)Why do some potato chips have green edges?
Ans-Potatoes, like most other plants, contain a chemical called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll helps plants turn sunlight into energy and makes them green. Usually potatoes grow underground, but sometimes they can grow near the top of the soil. If the sun shines on a potato, it will begin to produce chlorophyll and turn a little green.

3)What rock floats in water?
Ans-Pumice, a rock that comes from volcanoes. Pumice can float because it is full of holes that hold air and make the rock buoyant.

4)What's the coolest place on Earth?
Ans-Plateau station, Antarctica—which holds the record as the coldest place on the planet. The average annual temperature there is minus -89°C.

5) What's the hottest place on Earth?
Ans-Dallol, Ethiopia holds the record for the hottest place on Earth. The average annual temperature there is 34.4°C. That's almost human body temperature!

6)Which resource can you live without longer—food or sleep?
Ans-Food. You can live for only about ten days without sleep, but you can survive for several weeks without food.

7)Which animal sleeps for most of its life?
Ans-The Western European hedgehog loves to sleep. In the summer it sleeps about 18 hours a day, waking only at night to eat. During the winter it sleeps constantly, curling into a prickly ball to protect itself from curious animals.

8)What is the oldest living thing on Earth?
Ans-The oldest living thing is a bristlecone pine tree that is more than 4,600 years old. It lives in the White Mountains of California.

9)What kind of bird can fly upside down?
Ans-The tiny bird called a hummingbird can fly forward, backward, and even upside down! Hummingbirds are the smallest kind of bird, and they eat nectar from flowers. Their wings move so quickly that they can hardly been seen, and the fast flapping makes a soft noise like a hum.

10) What kind of bird can fly when it is asleep?
Ans-The albatross can fly while it sleeps. These large birds spend a lot of time flying over the ocean looking for food. If an albatross cannot find land or a ship where it can stop to rest when tired, the bird can sleep while it flies at about 40 kilometers per hour.

Bizarre Science Quiz

The galaxy we live in is called the Milky Way. It is shaped approximately like:

A) A round ball
B) A doughnut
C) A pretzel
D) A flat spiral

The Milky Way has four spiral arms radiating out from a central cluster of stars or "nucleus". Our solar system is located on one of the spiral arms, quite far from the center.

2. Not found in sharks

Unlike most other fish, sharks have no:

A) Bones
B) Teeth
C) Gills
D) Liver

A shark’s skeleton is made of cartilage, a material somewhat softer and more flexible than bone.

3. End of an era

It is now believed that dinosaurs became extinct because of:

A) Viral diseases
B) Hunting by early humans
C) A worldwide period of climatic cooling
D) A meteorite

A large meteorite is thought to have collided with the earth at the end of the Cretaceous period, some 65 million years ago. It probably struck near Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. The extinctions were caused by climate changes resulting from the collision.

4. Darwin sailed the ocean blue

Charles Darwin began developing his theory of evolution while voyaging on a ship named:

A) The Enterprise
B) The Beagle
C) The Santa Maria
D) The Endeavour

Darwin was particularly intrigued by the many unusual plants and animals he observed in the Galapagos Islands. The beagle is the correct answer.

5. Droid definition

An android is any robot that:

A) Has more than one basic function
B) Has the ability to make decisions and formulate plans
C) Is built by other robots
D) Looks and acts like a human

So far, androids exist only in science fiction; engineers cannot yet build a robot that comes anywhere near human appearance or behavior.

6. Sky dog

What is special about Sirius, the Dog Star?

A) It is the only star first observed by Albert Einstein
B) It is the brightest star in the sky
C) It always lies directly above the North Pole
D) It emits staccato barking sounds which radio telescopes can detect

Sirius belongs to the constellation Canis Major (the Big Dog).It is the brightest star.

10. Not your average mammals

The platypus and the echidna are the only mammals that:

A) Lay eggs
B) Have green blood
C) Live in Antarctica
D) Eat eucalyptus leaves

These animals, called monotremes, are true mammals, but have some reptile-like features.They lay eggs.