Friday, 11 January 2013

Powers of Ten

Bear with the cheesy accent and bad (but pioneering) 1970s CGI, this is an amazing video made by IBM which takes you on an adventure by moving up one 0 at a time.

Friday, 28 December 2012

The Sins of the Father (of science)

Isaac Newton is, without a doubt, one of the greatest scientific minds of history. He, as is most known, came up with the theory of gravity, revolutionizing science in the process. This keen intellect also invented the Spectrometer, which helped many great chemists discover elements of their own. However, there is always a dark side to such great scientific minds. In Newtons case his 49 sins. As a deeply religious person he noted down the 49 sins he could remember in a notebook at Whitsun.Here are a selection of his heinous crimes:

Using the word (God) openly
Making a feather on Thy day
Denying that I made it
Squirting water on Thy day
Making pies on Sunday night
Threatning my father and mother Smith to burne them and the house over them
Wishing death and hoping to some
Having uncleane thoughts words and actions and dreamese
Stealing cherry cobs from Eduard Storer
Denying that I did so
Setting my heart on money,learning, pleasure more than thee
Punching my sister
Robbing my mother's box of plums and sugar
Calling Dorothy Rose a jade
Peevishness with my mother
Idle discourse on Thy day and at other times
Not loving Thee for Thy ordinances
Fearing man above Thee
Using unlawful means to bring us out of distresses
Not craving a blessing from God on our honest endeavours
Missing chapel
Beating Arthur Storer
Peevishness at Master Clarks for a piece of bread and butter
Striving to cheat with a brass halfe crowne
Twisting a cord in Sunday morning

p.s. I have decided to write in my blog every other Friday, sometimes in every Friday.

I want to eat those

Sorry for the poor quality of posts recently, but I have a good one about Newton. Anyway though, here's a picture of a periodic table of biscuits.

Pink Fairies!

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest of the armadillos, the family Dasypodidae. They are, like the Marsupial Mole, sand swimmers. They are able to move through the sand as if they are swimming through the water. Their torpedo shape and large claws mean that they can burrow through the deserts easily whilst the shield on their back, a feature notable of the Dasypodidae family, protects it from abrasion.It is also known as the pichicego, and is not data sufficient for a place in the IUCN Redlist.

Friday, 7 December 2012

The Ununs.

What are the Ununs? They are a group of elements on the Periodic Table near the end which have not existed or been around long enough to have a verified name. Until they have a proper name or have been verified they remain as elements with the Unun- prefix. They are, with their Atomic Number:

  • Unununium- 111
  • Ununbium- 112
  • Ununtrium- 113
  • Ununquadium- 114
  • Ununpentium- 115
  • Ununhexium- 116
  • Ununseptium- 117
  • Ununoctium- 118
They appear to have the Unun- Prefix then a suffix of a Latin phrase relating to the number above 110. The reason they have not been certified and have not been specified with a permanent name are that with this high an atomic Number they have a very short half life. More could be created with protons above 118 could be made however it would be hard to detect them with that short a half life. Sadly, even the ones that exist are a dying breed. I have included Unununium and Ununbium and Ununquadium along with Ununhexium however these are no longer accepted as elements by IUPAC. They have now been replaced with Roentgenium, Copernicum, Flevorium, and Livermorium. How long is it until those elements have been confirmed and labeled with some other famous historical scientists name?

However, Copernicum is an interesting name in itself. There was controversy as when the discoverers of the element proposed the name Copernicum and the symbol Cp they delayed the decision by six months. This was due to the fact that Cp was related to other things in chemistry. The first was that it was related to cassiopeium, now known as Lutetium (Lu). It is also related to organometallic chemistry to denote a cyclopentadienyl ligand. In the end the symbol Cp  was retracted and instead Cn was used as the symbol. On the 19th of November 2010, the 537th anniversary of Copernicus's birth, IUPAC officially accepted the proposed name and symbol of Copernicum and Cn.


What is this all about? This is a blog based on the best names and most curious pearls of  strangeness in the sciences. It is a re-incarnation of my previous blog the Ununununununiuns but with a fancy new name (thought of on the school bus) and a better background (alas, still not the periodic table biscuits). I thought of the idea whilst on the toilet, listening to Material World on BBC Radio 4, and thinking of what I should search on Wikipedia. The fact that I Wikipedia-ed Unununium is itself due to the argument me and my friend had as to whether Unununium or Ununoctium existed. I will post on this whenever I feel like it or I find something that catches my attention and imagination. So, without any further adieu, I give you... (Drum-Roll Please)... Half-Way to Infinity!