My picks, 2015-3

These are the latest articles and videos I found most interesting.

  1. Fake Snow
  2. Making Small Things Big in the World of Organic Electronics
  3. See invisible motion, hear silent sounds. Cool? Creepy? We can’t decide
  4. Crazy Engineering: Ion Propulsion and the Dawn Mission
  5. Explorers Get Close to Boiling Lava Lake in Vanuatu
  6. Did Humans Make These Ancient Cave Paintings?
  7. Lawrence Krauss on Science Based Morality
  8. Incendiary Bombs
  9. Mimosa Pudica

Fake Snow

Periodic Table of Videos

Professor Poliakoff discusses Sodium polyacrylate – which has a variety of uses including artificial snow!
Even buy some on Amazon: amazon


Making Small Things Big in the World of Organic Electronics

Stephen Forrest

Organic electronics occupies a truly scalable world. Phenomena at the quantum level can provide solutions to applications as large as wall-mounted displays and lighting, to solar cells that cover the sides of buildings, to flexible electronic circuits that can mimic the eye and “see around corners”. Beyond the quantum, morphological control at the nano-scale, moving on to individual devices with micrometer and millimeter dimensions, to printing literally “kilometers” of circuits as if they were newsprint provides new and exciting challenges to the device physicist, applications engineer, and specialist in advanced manufacturing. In this talk, Stephen will discuss several important demonstrations of organic electronic devices that span this unprecedented range of dimensions. He will then consider what the future holds in this field that is rapidly emerging as a global industry.

About Stephen Forrest:
Professor Stephen Forrest received his B. A. Physics, 1972, University of California, MSc and PhD Physics in 1974 and 1979, University of Michigan. At Bell Labs, he investigated photodetectors for optical communications. In 1985, Prof. Forrest joined the Electrical Engineering and Materials Science Departments at USC where he worked on optoelectronic integrated circuits, and organic semiconductors. In 1992, Prof. Forrest became the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University. He served as director of the National Center for Integrated Photonic Technology, and as Director of Princeton’s Center for Photonics and Optoelectronic Materials (POEM), and from 1997-2001, he chaired Princeton’s Electrical Engineering Department. In 2006, he rejoined the University of Michigan as Vice President for Research, and is the Paul G. Goebel Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Materials Science and Engineering, and Physics. A Fellow of the APS, IEEE and OSA and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, he received the IEEE/LEOS Distinguished Lecturer Award in 1996-97, and in 1998 he was co-recipient of the IPO National Distinguished Inventor Award as well as the Thomas Alva Edison Award for innovations in organic LEDs. In 1999, Prof. Forrest received the MRS Medal for work on organic thin films. In 2001, he was awarded the IEEE/LEOS William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award for advances made on photodetectors for optical communications systems. In 2006 he received the Jan Rajchman Prize from the Society for Information Display for invention of phosphorescent OLEDs, and is the recipient of the 2007 IEEE Daniel Nobel Award for innovations in OLEDs. Prof. Forrest has been honored by Princeton University establishing the Stephen R. Forrest Endowed Faculty Chair in Electrical Engineering in 2012. Prof. Forrest has authored ~550 papers in refereed journals, and has 263 patents, with an h-index of 112. He is co-founder or founding participant in several companies, including Sensors Unlimited, Epitaxx, Inc., NanoFlex Power Corp. (OTC: OPVS), Universal Display Corp. (NASDAQ: OLED) and Apogee Photonics, Inc., and is on the Board of Directors of Applied Materials and PD-LD, Inc. He has also served from 2009-2012 as Chairman of the Board of Ann Arbor SPARK, the regional economic development organization, and serves on the Board of Governors of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of the University Musical Society and is on the Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The Lurie Nano Fabrication facility at the University of Michigan 2nd annual LNF Users Symposium:
Sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute http://energy.umich.edu/
For more lectures on demand, please visit the MconneX website: http://engin.umich.edu/mconnex


See invisible motion, hear silent sounds. Cool? Creepy? We can’t decide

Michael Rubinstein

Meet the “motion microscope,” a video-processing tool that plays up tiny changes in motion and color impossible to see with the naked eye. Video researcher Michael Rubinstein plays us clip after jaw-dropping clip showing how this tech can track an individual’s pulse and heartbeat simply from a piece of footage. Watch him recreate a conversation by amplifying the movements from sound waves bouncing off a bag of chips. The wow-inspiring and sinister applications of this tech you have to see to believe.


Crazy Engineering: Ion Propulsion and the Dawn Mission

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Ion propulsion isn’t something found only in science fiction. JPL engineer Mike Meacham looks at how ion engines are being used to drive NASA’s Dawn spacecraft through the solar system. Dawn is approaching dwarf planet Ceres in the main asteroid belt with arrival expected in March 2015. Previously, Dawn orbited Vesta, the second-largest body in the asteroid belt. Learn how ion propulsion works and why it’s the reason Dawn will be the first spacecraft ever to orbit two solar system bodies beyond Earth. More about Dawn at: http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/


Explorers Get Close to Boiling Lava Lake in Vanuatu

Wall Street Journal

GoPro camera footage from Aug. 2014 shows explorers Sam Cossman and George Kourounis getting as humanly close as possible to a boiling lava lake on Ambrym Island in Vanuatu.


Did Humans Make These Ancient Cave Paintings?

National Geographic

Or was it Neanderthals? This question and others tantalize researchers investigating early paintings in some of Europe’s caves. The paintings date back to a time when Neanderthals and early modern humans lived side by side.


Lawrence Krauss on Science Based Morality

Lawrence Krauss

Well, I would say morality is impossible without science. That’s the point. Because—and, and religion is an example, as I say, I can’t think of a more immoral document than the Old Testament. But, but the point is if you don’t know the consequences of your actions then you can’t even decide what’s right and wrong. And so to . . . we have seen people’s morality, if you want to call it morality, change. Slavery might have been O.K. because you might have believed that certain groups were inferior or not human; science has told us that’s wrong. You might have believed, as almost all religions do, that women are chattel; science has told us that’s wrong. You might have believed that homosexuality is evil, but science has told us that all mammalian species have homosexuality. That’s—There’s nothing unnatural or evil about it. So to have a morality without science is empty.

Read more: Life, the Universe, and Nothing (I): Has Science Buried God?


Incendiary Bombs

Military Forces

Incendiary bombs, filled with highly combustible chemicals such as magnesium, phosphorus or petroleum jelly (napalm), were dropped in clusters to spread fires. In the later stages of the Second World War they were employed by the Royal Air Force to create firestorms in places such as Dresden. The United States Army Air Force also used them extensively on cities such as Tokyo where there was a large number of buildings made of wood.


Mimosa Pudica

garland science

An overview of the cellular mechanisms of the remarkable movements of the “Mimosa Pudica,” created for the Sixth Edition of “Molecular Biology of the Cell.”



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