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Salted Earth – At one Corner of the Lithium Triangle

04/24/2014 14:45:03 PM

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, The Lithium Triangle A crisp and perfectly flat white plain lies like freshly fallen snow, 100 kilometres 60 miles across and 3,600 metres 12,000 ft up in the remote Bolivian Andes.  This hauntingly beautiful place, ...

We Delve into Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry Forensics!

04/18/2014 16:35:02 PM

Sleuthing with Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry is a technique for separating ions of different masses by measuring the time taken to traverse a fixed distance through a magnetic field.  Sounds a bit arcane?  ...

Fuelling our Lust for Copper – Mining in Afghanistan…

04/09/2014 11:35:36 AM

Versatile Copper: Connecting Us for Generations Copper occurs naturally in rocks, as native copper, and the history of its use by the oldest civilizations dates back to at least 10,000 years.  These days, copper is in ever increasing demand ...

Global Weirding: Why The World Must Acclimatise

04/04/2014 15:23:10 PM

Loading Up the Dice for Extreme Climate Events The impacts of climate change include a higher risk of flooding and changes to crop yields and water availability.  No single country causes climate change, and no one country can stop it.  ...

Meanwhile Major Tim has been Training for Space in Cologne, Germany…

03/29/2014 11:14:28 AM

Space Training in Kölnisch Waters Major Timothy Peake has been training for space underwater in Germany to prepare for work in zero gravity.  The British astronaut who is set to go into space next year said that learning how to live and ...

The Enduring Mystery of Earthquake Lights – What Makes a Miracle?

03/25/2014 15:10:42 PM

Earthquake Lights in the Sky Mysterious flashes of light and clear-sky lightning, blue flames?  Glowing orbs and fireballs?  Will-o'-the-wisps?  Stand-alone rainbow clouds and light pillars?  How could this be...? Scientists in the ...

Quantum Physicists in Disguise…

03/14/2014 12:19:55 PM

Celebrities you Thought you Knew Everything About This blog isn't really "trendy"...  "Physicists aren't cool, and you never meet them anywhere anyway because they are all lesser known characters, some of them shady, who spend all their time ...

Earth’s Crust – Could the Jack Hills Zircon be its Oldest Piece collected to date?

03/02/2014 07:17:30 AM

Zircons are Forever The oldest remaining grain of early Earth's original solid rock crust has now been confirmed to be a 4.374-billion-year-old old zircon crystal from Jack Hills, Australia.  That age should settle a scientific debate over ...

Global Forest Watch Map Recording Tree Loss in “Real Time”

02/25/2014 08:06:43 AM

A Watchful Eye on the Global Forest A new global monitoring system, Global Forest Watch has been launched that promises "near real-time" information on deforestation around the World.  GFW uses information from hundreds of millions of satellite ...

Magnetic “Monopole” Observed in Quantum System – The Lowdown on Electromagnetism

02/23/2014 04:20:34 AM

On the Trail of the Elusive Magnetic Monopole Break a magnet into two pieces, and what do you obtain?  What you get, unsurprisingly perhaps, are two new magnets - each one with two sides of opposite polarity.  You don't get a north half ...

Euler’s Equation: A Thing of Great Beauty

02/20/2014 10:23:49 AM

Euler's Identity Please take a moment to enjoy this thing of great beauty...  Simple to look at.  Yet incredibly profound.  Does it get any better than this?  The likes of Euler's identity or the Pythagorean identity are rarely mentioned ...

Are the Jet Streams Dynamics Santa’s Revenge? No, really.

02/18/2014 06:35:33 AM

Unprecedented Weather Events If you have had it up to here with floods in England, if you are left cold by the snow in the United States or mystified by the unseasonal mild temperatures in Scandinavia, blame it on Santa Claus!  That’s the ...

Mercury: Beautiful Poison

02/16/2014 07:52:13 AM

Overused for Millenia... Ancients called mercury the "first matter" from which all other metals were formed.  For centuries, the heavy metal was also used in medicine.  Yet mercury is now in such disfavour that an international treaty ...

Algae to Bio-Crude Oil in 60 Minutes?

02/15/2014 15:00:08 PM

Evergreen Energy from Algae Engineers have designed a continuous chemical process that produces useful crude oil in under an hour.  All from a verdant green algae paste with the consistency of pea soup...  The crude oil produced at the ...

Sea Level Rise vs Atmospheric CO2

02/11/2014 11:11:12 AM

Manmade Carbon CO2 Pollution Has Already Put Us on Track for 20 Metres of Sea Level Rise The bad news is that we’re all but certain to end up with a coastline at least this flooded: 20 metres or 69 feet.  The “good” news is that this ...

Silent Sun

02/05/2014 08:44:59 AM

Why has the Sun been so quiet? The Sun ought be awash with activity right now.  But space scientists are baffled...  The Sun has reached its solar maximum: the point in its 11-year cycle where activity is at a peak.  Yet it has hit a lull.  ...