Article archives

The origins of neural variability

The origins of neural variability

Neuroscience

By Jorge Mejías

Neurons are known to display irregular behavior in many areas of the brain. When recording the evolution of the membrane potential of a given neuron in the prefrontal cortex (for instance, during in vivo electrophysiology), we can observe its erratic dynamics, with spikes occurring in a random and rather unpredictable fashion. This one and other […]

The comfort of modern trains

The comfort of modern trains

Mechanical Engineering

By Carlos Casanueva

High speed trains are the best example of vehicles that, although operating at somehow extreme conditions, are very comfortable. And by comfort I mean that the vibration level that passengers feel is relatively low. The components that allow this level of comfort are the pneumatic springs, torus-shaped rubber elements filled with pressured air. Their behaviour […]

The ongoing debate about the foundations of quantum mechanics

The ongoing debate about the foundations of quantum mechanics

PhysicsQuantum physics

By Daniel Manzano

Quantum mechanics is one of the most fruitful and accepted physical theories. Nevertheless, its foundations and philosophical implications are still a vivid topic of debate. Because of that reason, during the conference “Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality,” held in July 2011 and organized by Anton Zeilinger, a set of experts were polled. A […]

MI weekly selection #6

MI weekly selection #6

Humanities & Social SciencesScienceTechnologyWeekly Selection

By César Tomé

Anyone can find an exoplanet A team of volunteer amateur astronomers has discovered evidence of 42 alien planets. The volunteers were sorting through NASA data as part of the Planet Hunters crowdsourcing program. Professional astronomers have yet to confirm the proposed planets. Space.com Planethunters.org Drought predictions in East Africa Variations in sea-surface temperatures of the […]

MI weekly selection #5

MI weekly selection #5

Humanities & Social SciencesScienceTechnologyWeekly Selection

By César Tomé

When a standard kilogram is not a kilogram Tens of micrograms worth of surface contamination have caused the international standard kilogram to gain weight, according to new research, causing concern that each country’s standard weight for a kilogram is now slightly different. The cylinder-shaped piece of metal is key for scientific experiments that require exact […]