Tag: science

7 Ways To Store Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is growing by leaps and bounds, but in order for much of it to work, it needs to be stored during peak production and released during low production.

The future of renewables may lie in our ability to store and use the energy they generate. Here are 7 big ideas to make that a reality.

The Greatest Science Experiment That Never Happened

The Superconducting Supercollider was set to be the largest particle accelerator in the world, by a long shot. In fact, it would still to this day be the biggest and most powerful. But history had other plans.

This is the story of America’s supercollider – the biggest failure in science history.

A Technology That Would Change The World (If It Exists)

Cold Fusion burst on the scene in 1989 with the announcement that researchers Fleischmann and Pons had created energy through a chemical process that induces fusion at room temperature.

When nobody else was able to replicate their findings, cold fusion went down as one of the biggest science fiascoes in decades. But some believe they were on the right track, and that their method could be the key to change the world.

What Is Time?

Time is something we experience every day, and it seems like something we’d be familiar with. But when you dig into it, it gets weird. So what exactly is it? And how does it work?

Saint Augustine, the Christian monk was once asked what is time, and his answer was, “If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know.”

The ancient Egyptians measured time with obelisks that served as sundials, water clocks that flowed at a steady rate, and of course hourglasses.

It was the Babylonians that first divided the day into hours made up of 60 minutes each with 60 seconds per minute, this was all the way back in 1800 BCE.

It was the great Dutch astronomer and physicist Christiaan Huygens who invented the first pendulum clock in 1656, which used a weight that swung at specific intervals to keep time. This would be the most precise way to keep time for nearly 300 years.

1927 saw the invention of the quartz crystal clock, which uses the piezoelectric properties of quartz which vibrates at a rate of 32,768 Hz, giving it an accuracy of 6 parts per million.

But the most accurate measure of time we’ve been able to conceive so far is the atomic clock, which uses the natural resonance of a cesium atom.

Ss the scientific revolution began to take hold, the main argument around time was had by the Absolutists and Relationalists.

Absolutists believed in absolute time. The idea that time was an independent, absolute constant of the universe, that it wasn’t affected by our perception of it or by the interaction of matter.

Sir Isaac Newton was one of these Absolutists.

The Relationalists saw time as a measure of change. Basically arguing that the only reason time exists is because of the changing state of matter.

Newton’s second law of thermodynamics states that in a closed system, entropy will always increase over time. Entropy being a movement toward a state of equilibrium.

By the way, another really interesting way to look at entropy is through a statistical mechanics model, which was championed by Ludwig Boltzmann.

There’s a more philosophical debate on the nature of time that has to do with how it actually progresses, between what they call tensed and tenseless theories of time.

The tensed theory of time states that the future doesn’t exist yet, that it’s a tree with branches that spread as the now passes through the tree.

The tenseless theory of time suggest that the past, present, and future are all equally real and what we experience as time is just the now passing down the timeline.

Einstein stated in his 1905 paper on special relativity that the laws of physics and the speed of light must be the same for all uniformly moving observers. And for this to be true, space and time can no longer be independent. This was the only way for the speed of light to be constant for all observers.

But it was Minkowski three years later who came up with the idea that space and time could be seen as a single four-dimensional spacetime fabric. He closed out his paper on the subject by saying, “Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality”.

What (Or Who) Is Sending Fast Radio Bursts?

Fast Radio Bursts are exactly what they sound like. They’re highly energetic bursts of radio waves that last mere milliseconds. And they’re totally random.

Because of how elusive they are, scientists are still trying to explain this weird phenomena. But thanks to new telescopes like CHIME in Canada, we’re getting closer to the solution to this science mystery.