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Science

Lightning, decoded

Last week, more than 70 people died when thunderstorms and lightning hit five states of the country - West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi. And last month, there was a news report that said Andhra Pradesh recorded 36,749 lightning strikes in a span of 13 hours, which is usually the number registered for a whole month in peak season.
May 21, 2018 00:00 IST

Microscope

Many have heard of Alan Turing (in pic), the mathematician and logician who invented modern computing in 1935. But did you know that Turing also explained patterns in nature with math? Recently, chemical engineers in China used the pattern generation described by Turing to explain a more efficient process for water desalination, which is increasingly being used to provide freshwater for drinking and irrigation in arid places. 
May 21, 2018 00:00 IST

Ice spies

In 1893, Norwegian explorer and zoologist Fridtjof Nansen set off on a mission to the North Pole in a wooden vessel named Fram. His plan was to steer the manoeuvrable ship, made of the toughest oak timbers, in such a way that it got engulfed by sea ice and then use the natural drift of polar ice to reach the North Pole. All this would, of course, happen during peak winter.
Prasun Chaudhuri May 14, 2018 00:00 IST

Microscope

Call it a galaxy in a bottle. Last month, astronomers in Europe released a detailed, three-dimensional map of the Milky Way, which contains the vital statistics of some 1.3 billion stars - about 1 per cent of the entire cosmic panoply of which earth and the sun are part. 
May 14, 2018 00:00 IST

Hawking, finally

The final scientific paper by the late British physicist Stephen Hawking may be a gift, a challenge, or just speculative conjecture for fellow physicists trying to understand the birth and nature of the universe. About three years ago, Hawking began collaborating with Thomas Hertog, a former student and cosmologist in Belgium, to tackle what some physicists consider an uncomfortable and disturbing idea in cosmology. Their work has culminated in a 14-page scientific paper published on May 2, weeks after Hawking's death earlier this year.
G.S. Mudur May 07, 2018 00:00 IST

Microscope

Recently, tiny diamonds were discovered in pieces of a meteorite that crashed in the Sudan desert a decade ago. These stones may have come from a destroyed planet that orbited our sun billions of years ago, scientists now believe. 
May 07, 2018 00:00 IST

Try another time

Gursaran Parshad Talwar, now approaching 92, appears excited that the Indian government is once again backing an idea he had conceived more than 40 years ago - a birth control vaccine for women.
Apr 30, 2018 00:00 IST

Microscope

Gigantic dinosaurs frolicked and splashed some 170 million years ago in the lagoons of what is now Scotland. That's what a team of paleontologists has concluded after discover-ing dozens of jumbo-sized footprints belonging to long-necked sauropods on the Isle of Skye. 
NYTNS Apr 30, 2018 00:00 IST

Malaria menace

Orlando Brooke was 18 and on a gap year in Africa when he was struck down by malaria. His symptoms appeared as he attempted to scale Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and, mistaking them for altitude sickness, he descended.
Anne Gulland Apr 23, 2018 00:00 IST

Microscope

Sea turtles use the Earth's magnetic fields to navigate back to the area where they were born decades earlier, according to a study published recently in Current Biology. It used loggerhead turtle genetics to investigate their travels from nesting grounds in North Carolina and Florida to North Africa and back again. 
Apr 23, 2018 00:00 IST

Magic Matter

Remember when you learnt about the three states of matter - solid, liquid and gas - in school? Well, things are not so simple now. There are other states - plasma and Bose-Einstein condensate and superconductors. Superconductors are materials through which electricity can flow without any resistance once they are cooled below a certain critical temperature. Resistance leads to loss of energy. No resistance means no energy lost. It is not surprising, therefore, that there are immense practical applications of superconductivity.
Aswin Sekhar Apr 16, 2018 00:00 IST

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