Today is the birthday of Jean Bernard Léon Foucault, born in 1821 to a publisher in Paris. In addition to defining and inventing the Foucault pendulum, Foucault is credited with naming the gyroscope. But first, the pendulum. Since the time of Galileo who defined the laws governing the motion of pendulums, but Foucault was the first to use the pendulum to show the rotation of the earth independent of celestial observation. Before he was thirty he devised an experiment to measure the speed of light. Today he is known more for the pendulum that bears his name than any of his other achievements. The word pendulum is a New Latin neuter of the noun pendulus meaning hanging down from the verb pendere meaning to hang.
Image of a Foucault pendulum at the Pantheon in Paris.
I had no idea about Foucault coming up with the name Gyroscope.
Scottish referendum: Scotland votes ‘No’ to independence
In other words, The Scots have voted for “United” in the United Kingdom.
2014 winners : Astronomy Photographer of the Year -
The winners of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 has been announced. Check them out!
My 2nd contribution to SciNote touches on a controversial way of extracting fossil fuels.
What is Fracking? How Is It Dangerous?
Fracking has been a hot-button issue among policy-makers, scientists, environmentalists, and the general public alike. But what exactly is fracking?
Fracking, or “hydraulic fracturing”, is a way of extracting the oil or gas that’s embedded in subterranean rocks. It’s achieved by forcing liquid— usually water— through the fissures of those rocks at high pressure.
Jaime Trosper over at From Quark to Quasars provides a good overview of this process. She then answers a lot of questions about fracking, such as:
- Does fracking makes economic sense?
- Does it harm the environment?
- Does it endanger the communities that live around fracking sites?
- Does fracking harm the workers involved in the process?
Click on the image above to read Jamie’s article.
Submitted by Srikar D., Discoverer
Edited by Ashlee R.
What is actually in one drop of blood? -
What is actually in one drop of blood?
Quite a lot, it turns out!
In each drop of blood,roughly 60% is plasma, a liquid containing proteins, nutrients, hormones, and waste products— you know, all the things that blood is so famous for carrying around— dissolved in water.
The other 40% of your blood is made of cells. The most abundant are oxygen-bearing red blood cells (orerythrocytes, if you can pronounce that).Each drop of blood contains around 5 million red blood cells!
But red blood cells aren’t the only cells in that drop of blood. You’ll also find7,000 to 24,000 white blood cells, orleukocytes, which play a key role in your immune system’s ability to protect your body from infection and fight off disease. There are also around 250,000 platelets, orthrombocytes, which promote blood clotting. should you be bleeding anywhere in your body.
Want to learn more? Trythis videofrom Khan Academy, or check outthis site. Thanks for your question!
Answered by Claire R., Expert Leader.
Edited by Dylan S.
SciNote is quickly become one of my favourite Science blogs. Excellent stuff.
This world would be much better place if everybody thought like this.
(Source: thedragoninmygarage, via sciencealert)
Real-time map of aurora borealis -
Hey guys, I just found out that the NOAA space weather prediction centre has a real time map of the aurora’s that are going on right now due to the X-class solar flare from the sun.
It shows the areas that the aurora is visible from and is updated every 30 seconds.
There is also a map for the south pole.
WOW! I didn’t have a clue about this resource. Kudos to Tynan Plillips for the find.
Map of football clubs in Europe with most league titles for each country.
Glory! Glory! Man United!