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i’LL BE bEck


i’LL BE bEck


Paradise lost


The Dark Knight Rises


Fibonacci Stools

Small Object Submission

This project looks at the potential for creating new learning spaces in previously undeveloped spaces in schools. 

The project is homage to Christopher Alexander’s premise that architects should themselves build parts of buildings they design. Ten stools numbered 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and 34, arranged around a Fibonacci mural combine to form a mathematical teaching game. The learning space occurs adjacent to the Skinner West Elementary Library, which contains a Fibonacci spiral embedded in a “green roof” and a cistern made from a historic water tank.

Fractal planet generator

Posted on May 18, 2012

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Why Does 0.999… = 1?


Consider the real number that is represented by a zero and a decimal point, followed by a never-ending string of nines:


It may come as a surprise when you first learn the fact that this real number is actually EQUAL to the integer 1. A common argument that is often given to show this is as follows. If S = 0.999…, then 10*S = 9.999… so by subtracting the first equation from the second, we get

9*S = 9.000…

and therefore S=1. Here’s another argument. The number 0.1111… = 1/9, so if we multiply both sides by 9, we obtain 0.9999…=1.

Vi Hart gives 9.9 reasons why .9=1


Isaac Newton Fun Facts
Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was without a doubt one of the most important scientists of all time, if not the most important. Here are some fun facts about ol’ Ike: 
  • Newton became a professor of mathematics at only 26.
  • Newton practiced Alchemy. 
  • Newton was elected as a member of parliment. His membership lasted only a year.
  • Newton earned the title of Warden of the Royal Mint.
  • Newton oversaw the recoinage of the whole country.
  • Newton was knighted because of his political activites.
  • He was named after his father who died three months before Isaac was born.
  • Isaac was born early. He was so small he could have put him in a quart jug.
  • Isaac’s father could hardly write his name.
  • Isaac was one of the worst in his class until a bully at school kicked him. Isaac challenged him to a fight even though he was smaller. He won. That wasn’t enough for him, he decided to be better than the bully at school as well.
  • Isaac liked to draw, his room was even colored on the ceilings and walls.
  • Newton was born on Christmas.


Some of the Founders of Quantum Mechanics

Left to Right: 

  • Niels Bohr: (1885-1962)
  • Max Planck: (1858-1947)
  • Max Born: (1882-1970)
  • Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)
  • Louis de Broglie: (1892-1987) 
  • Werner Heisenberg: (1901-1976) 
  • Erwin Schrodinger: (1887-1961) 
  • John von Neumann: (1903-1957) 
  • Paul Dirac: (1902-1984) 
  • Wolfgang Pauli: (1900-1958) 


Marie Curie

Few physicists throughout history, male or female, can match up to the greatness of Marie Curie. Besides her revolutionary, pioneering research into radiation, she also discovered the pathways to technologies such as chemotherapy and nuclear weaponry. If that wasn’t enough, she was the first person honored with two Nobel Prizes - at a time when women were not taken seriously in the scientific field. 

Maria Sklodowska was born on November 7th, 1867 in Warsaw, Poland. Her family had been involved with acts of Polish patriotism during a time where the Russians controlled the area, and the family had thus lost all of their wealth and property. As a young woman she studied at the clandestine Floating University, and acted as a tutor to Polish women in factories. 

Once she had moved to Paris to study physics, she met Pierre Curie. The two fell in love, and were married - creating arguably the greatest scientific partnership of all time. She worked towards earning her Ph.D by studying radioactive materials, a recent discovery by Henri Becquerel. At this time, the couple was effectively broke - and both worked as full-time teachers. They worked in a slipshod, homemade laboratory that they built in an old shed. Although they couldn’t afford assistants, proper supplies or even food at times - the couple still made outstanding discoveries. The couple discovered two new elements, Radium and Polonium. Marie, during this time, coined the term ‘radioactivity,’ and was so selfless that she didn’t patent her ideas. She didn’t want other scientists to deal with copyright issues, so the left her discoveries in the public domain, an uncommon act at the time. 

In 1903, Marie Curie cleaned up - earning both her Ph.D and the Nobel Prize. She became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, and once she was awarded the Nobel in Chemistry in 1911 she became the first person, regardless of gender, to win two Nobels in two different fields. To this very day, Madame Curie remains the only person to win the Prize in two different sciences. Later, in 1935 - her daughter Irene would win the Prize as well. 

In 1906, tragedy struck Marie when Pierre died from a horse-drawn carriage accident. Marie took over his chair at the Sarbonne Academy in Paris, thus becoming its first female professor. When World War I broke up, she donated her gold Nobel Prizes to be melted down to support the war effort, and hopped in a mobile radiation therapy truck. She used gamma rays to help alleviate the pain of wounded soldiers, thus essentially beginning the process of chemotherapy. 

After the war, Curie realized that working with nuclear materials was hazardous to her health, but at this point she wasn’t phased by the discovery. In fact, the Curie (Ci) has become the standard unit of radiation. She warned others against working with gamma rays without appropriate precautions, but she continued her own research. Marie Curie died on the 4th of July, 1934 - she was 66. 


Magnets FAQ

Magnetism is one of the most fascinating topics in physics, but one of the least understood. Here’s a little FAQ to answer some common questions about magnetism. 

  • What exactly is a magnet?
A magnet is defined as an object that has both a north and south pole, and that can create a magnetic field. Easily magnetized materials, such as iron, steel, nickel and cobalt have atoms arranged in small units, called domains. Each domain contains trillions of atoms and acts like an individual magnet. If the magnetic material is placed in a strong magnetic field,  the individual domains will generally swing around in the general direction of the field. When most of the domains are aligned to the field, the material becomes a magnet. 

Before magnetization:
After magnetization: 

  • What do magnets actually do? 

Magnets attract objects via a magnetic force on other ferromagnetic objects - some notable ones include objects composed of iron, nickel and cobalt. Magnets are also able to effect electrically charge particles and conductors. Because of these interesting properties, magnets are able to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy and vice-versa. Magnetism exists due to the motion of the electrical charges within the atomic structure of these materials.

  • What’s the difference between a “permanent” magnet and “electromagnet?”
Permanent magnets continuously emit a magnetic force, even in the absence of a power source. On the other hand, electromagnets require a power source in order to generate a magnetic field. Permanent magnets retain their magnetism unless affected by a strong outside magnetic/electrical force or extremely high temperature. Permanent magnets will lose their own magnetism eventually, but at an extremely slow rate - on the order of one percentage point every decade. 
  • How is a magnet’s polarity determined? 
If allowed to move freely and not under a strong force, a magnet will naturally align itself with the north-south polarity of the Earth. 
  • How are magnets made? 

Modern magnet materials are made through casting, pressing and sintering, compression bonding, injection molding, extruding, or calendaring processes.

  • What are superconductors? 

Superconductors are the strongest type of magnets. They don’t require a metal core, but are made of coils of wire made from special metal alloys cooled to very low temperatures. Superconductors have zero electrical resistance, which makes an electrical current flow very easily. 

  • How do lines of magnetic flux behave? 

Lines of force are three-dimensional, surrounding a bar magnet on all sides.

However, it is much simpler to think of them as two dimensional. Like poles repel and unlike poles attract. When opposite poles of a magnet are brought together, the lines of force join up and the magnets pull together.

When like poles of a magnet are brought together, the lines of force push away from each other and the magnets repel each other.


Alan Turing Statue

On display at Bletchley Park, UK. 

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