Author Topic: Science in the News (please post articles of general interest here)  (Read 21222 times)

Probeman

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Re: Science in the News (please post articles of general interest here)
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2021, 09:09:00 AM »
I'm sure many of you know about this Youtube channel Veritasium...  Here's a nice video on "potash" where the name for potassium comes from:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMDJA4UvXLA

Does a nice potassium in water explosion demonstration!
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Probeman

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Re: Science in the News (please post articles of general interest here)
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2021, 11:55:40 AM »
This was a story I think I missed at the time (late 2001) because our family was moving from Berkeley to Oregon and I was trying to re-configure the UofO probe lab which was in a bit of a mess, because the previous staff person had left about 6 months prior and the students, well you know.

But recently I came across a book (Plastic Fantastic) in my office bookshelf which I probably bought some time later when I started teaching a freshmen seminar on critical thinking called "Weird Science". Well I finally got around to reading it and it's an absolutely fascinating (true) story about one of the biggest cases of scientific fraud, and in the physical sciences!

I mean, we all know about various medical science frauds (e.g., cloning, vaccine toxicity) but in the physical sciences?  And this was at Bell (Lucent) Labs, a highly regarded research institution.

Anyway, here is a link to the wiki page on the scandal:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3%B6n_scandal

The book (Plastic Fantastic) is very much worth a read. Head spinning how he got away with the deceit for so long.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 04:10:37 PM by Probeman »
The only stupid question is the one not asked!

Probeman

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Re: Science in the News (please post articles of general interest here)
« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2021, 11:19:25 AM »
I've mentioned the Youtube channel Veritasium in a previous post (see above), but their latest video is quite interesting and of some significance to anyone using a computer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaZ_RSt0KP8

The part on satellites and high radiation environments reminded me of the high threshold logic (HTL) chips utilized in the 1970s by ARL on the SEMQ microprobe vacuum logic:

https://probesoftware.com/smf/index.php?topic=1275.0

The story I heard was that ARL decided to use these HTL chips for their vacuum logic circuits. These chips which were originally designed to run at 15 volts (as opposed to 5 volts in normal TTL chips) for better reliability in high radiation environments such as space. 

Unfortunately for whatever reason, the vacuum logic in the SEMQ was extremely unstable, and one time at UC Berkeley the logic circuit closed the 12" sample chamber isolation valve while the stage was in the analysis position, shearing off the entire stage assembly and venting the sample and spectrometer chamber to air through the diffusion pump, thus coating all the mechanicals and lenses with a polymerized coating of hard plastic.

That was my first introduction to EPMA- repairing all that damage.
The only stupid question is the one not asked!