Science Nation - Just by a Whisker

submitted by: nsf

From rats to robots: The story of the humble whisker. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Mitra Hartmann, associate professor at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering, and her students are beginning to get a feel for how animals perceive the world around them. The team starts by looking at one of the most powerful sensory systems in nature: the rat whisker system.

Chalk Talk - Polymers

submitted by: nsf

Muscle fibers, DNA and plastics are all examples of polymers. Watch this video to learn more.

Robotic Sharks

submitted by: nsf

Dive in with NSF funded researcher John Long and his robotic sharks. A professor at Vassar College, Dr. Long and his team study real live sharks and their vertebral columns. They then takes these findings and design computer models and artificial vertebral columns to understand sharks' movement and biomechanics.

CHALK TALK: TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS PART 2

submitted by: nsf

The tragedy of the commons says that self interest and competition can cause people to ruin a shared resource. If people ruin what they share, sometimes the best avenue is to have them not share. Research supported by the National Science Foundation has shown that privatization, cooperation, and regulation can all work to protect commons, but only if proper enforcement exists.

CHALK TALK: INFRARED

submitted by: nsf

Infrared can be divided into three separate categories – near, mid, and far, and even though we can’t see it, in some cases we can detect it. Many things, including people and planets, emit infrared. We also use it to transmit information via remote controls and video game consoles.

CHALK TALK: BINARY

submitted by: nsf

A binary system of numbers is one that is composed only of ones and zeros. It was the system of choice for people who developed early computers--they needed a reliable way to get information across electrical circuits, and a way that was easy for the systems to understand.

CHALK TALK: TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS PART 1

submitted by: nsf

The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma that developes when a group holds a limited resource in common. If each person acts rationally in his or her own self interest often the resource will be depleted or destroyed by the group even if the individuals know that their behavior will ultimately be harmful.

CHALK TALK: LIQUID CRYSTALS

submitted by: nsf

Liquid crystals are a kind of matter that exists somewhere between a liquid and a solid. We can control the order of the liquid crystals used in liquid crystal displays with electricity. Think of it like a valve for light. We can open and close the valve by changing the alignment of the liquid crystals using electrical fields.

CHALK TALK: LARGE HADRON COLLIDER

submitted by: nsf

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. It is expected to address some of the most fundamental questions of physics, advancing the understanding of the deepest laws of nature.

CHALK TALK: ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM

submitted by: nsf

The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all possible wavelengths of energy, including the visible light that makes plants grow, and the infrared that your remote control uses to command your television. Wavelength decreases as frequency increases, so we can say that it is inversely proportional to both frequency and energy.