Category Archives: Science

Extended and refined by Bloch and others during the 1930s, Bloch’s theory, known as the band theory of solids, accounts very well for the conducting behaviour of materials. When atoms are joined together into a crystal, each of the individual […]

We’ve known for decades there was a time when mammoths, saber-tooth cats, and other big mammals walked the Earth like it was no big deal. We also know that at some point of the Ice Age, a mass extinction made […]

Topological insulators are electronic materials that have a bulk band gap like an ordinary insulator but have conducting states on their edge or surface. The conducting surface is not what makes topological insulators unique, but the fact that it is […]

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“Ashtekar’s formulation of general relativity taught us to think of gravitational theories as theories of connections, on a bare manifold with no metric structure. […] The idea that general relativity has its deepest formulation […]

For centuries, metals were employed in optical applications only as mirrors and gratings. New vistas opened up in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the discovery of surface-enhanced Raman scattering and the use of surface plasmon (collective electronic oscillations […]

When we talk about nucleic acids we generally think of DNA and RNA that code for proteins, and when we talk about brain cells we tend to think of neurons and their nerve impulse transmission. However, it is not news […]

Over geologic time scales, seawater transforms the basalt of the ocean floor by chemical attack. At the end of this alteration process, the basalt turns partly into clays and partly into dissolved salts in sea water. Lithium, a chemical element […]

 
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a spirochete, a bacterium, Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The main route of infection is by sexual contact but is also transmitted from the mother to the newborn in what is […]

The idea that certain natural products such as rubber are composed of giant molecules, or polymers, consisting of many repeating units linked by covalent bonds arose largely from the work of the German chemist Hermann Staudinger (1881–1965) in the early […]

After all those big discoveries of the latest years (LIGO’s gravitational waves, or NASA’s TRAPPIST system, for example) I felt the need to explain how normal everyday astrophysics is dealt with. To explain the little things behind any discovery, and […]