A Snap of Saturn

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NASA has released a spectacular new picture of the planet Saturn taken by the Cassini spacecraft in July. The image was produced as part of The Day The Earth Smiled Project, led by Dr Carolyn Porco. The image was taken during a routine imaging sequence during an event that was anything but routine! Four months […]

Particle Size Optimisation of Sand to Improve Water Treatment Efficiency

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Chemistry, Issue 14

More efficient treatment methods must be developed for ensuring the future availability of drinking water. The purpose of this project was to determine how particle size composition can be optimized to improve the performance of sand as a natural, inexpensive, sustainable water filtration media.
Calibrated sieves were used to selectively remove specific particle size fractions from all-purpose sand. Permeation times, together with pH and calcium concentrations of filtered water samples were used to prove that the water filtration rate of sand can be increased by 65% by removing the <150 micron particle size fraction (11.3% by weight), while maintaining pH buffering performance.

Massive DNA Hunt Begins…

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Scientists are looking for 100,000 volunteers who are prepared to have their DNA sequenced and published online for anyone to look at. However although the participants will receive a full analysis of their DNA, anonymity isn’t guaranteed. The UK Personal Genome Project, who are running this are expecting that this will give a deeper understanding […]

Paramagnetic fluids optimization of the chemical synthesis of magnetite ferrofluids

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Abstract Ferrofluids are paramagnetic liquids. The fluid is made up from a stable suspension of magnetic nanoparticles. This study investigates the synthesis of magnetite based ferrofluids with focus on the parameters of the precipitation of magnetite particles using iron(II), iron(III) and ammonium ions. Under the hypothesis that the precipitation speed and pH value had major […]

An Introduction to Chaos Theory

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Issue 14, Mathematics

Abstract Nature is complex. It features a multitude of systems which, simple though they may be, are unpredictable in their behaviour, and seem not to be governed by the established deterministic laws of classical physics. For many years, scientists ignored such systems claiming that their unpredictability was a result of the limitations in the accuracy […]

A Brave New World

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Introduction Ever since we came out of the trees and into the plains man has tried to predict the future, and even though our methods and predictions have changed, two features have remained invariably true; firstly it has been extremely difficult to do, and secondly the have usually been wrong. If you look over the […]

The 21st Century – The Turning Point?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Technology

Today, science is developing at an incredible rate, and offers promising prospects in the future, including: in medicine, in nano-, cyber-, and biotechnology, in communication, and perhaps the most exciting of all, mankind’s ascension into outer space. However, as well as these enthralling benefits, any scientific or technological progression often results in a drawback. Any […]

A Sense of Scale

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Astronomy, Issue 14

From sub-atomic to Universal, the range of scale tends towards infinity – in both directions. It could be argued that the small can be imagined as our minds can attempt to grapple with the concept of nothing and then it is only a case of imagining something getting infinitesimally closer to that limit. Yet with large scale we become stuck – viewing from or within a constricted radius of planet Earth it is difficult to put scale into perspective. We quickly lose our ability to compare the large with the larger which soon appear to be both insignificantly small in comparison to the larger still. This article helps rebalance scale. What you once thought big, you’ll think big no longer.