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26 Feb

Those tectonic plates moving in slow-motion on the ocean floor miles underneath the water’s surface have been sucking in about 300 percent more water than previously believed.

 

So says a unique seismic study encompassing the Mariana Trench, performed by researchers from Washington University in St. Louis.

 

The study, which was published in late 2018 in the journal Nature, involved listening to over a year’s worth of various Earth noise, including earthquakes, the were picked up by a network of sensors laid across the famous trench in the western Pacific that plunges deep into the planet’s mantle.

24 Feb

The race is on to find a way to save the planet from climate change, so it’s no surprise that scientists are looking at natural processes for answers. The latest innovation has to do with the way leaves create oxygen and energy through photosynthesis.

A team of researchers at the University of Chicago have been working to develop an artificial leaf that can emulate this natural process. They believe the leaf they’ve created would be even better than a natural leaf, proving 10 times more efficient than natural leaves at converting CO2.

22 Feb

Plastics have come a long way in recent years, especially when it comes to products like eyeglasses and computer monitors. The antireflection coatings found on certain products are great for reducing glare and keeping eye strain at bay.

A new development could take antireflective coatings to the next level. A group of researchers at Penn State have created an antireflective coating that makes a piece of plastic transparent, meaning that it would look like it isn’t even there. The technology could prove essential to high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles, which deal with an unusual amount of glare. It would also be ideal for the domes that cover security cameras, where glare can obscure the video.

20 Feb

There’s no shortage of space debris orbiting Earth. However, occasionally an object comes along that perplexes scientists. Such is the case with an unidentified “empty trash bag object” recently discovered.

Scientists are fairly certain the object is simply something left over from a rocket launch, such as a piece of metallic foil. This particular object first stood out because it was orbiting in the opposite direction from which it normally would. It was examined by experts working at London’s Northolt Branch Observatories, who dubbed it an empty trash bag object.

18 Feb

Try playing certain string instruments without amplification and you'll soon see why the electric versions were created. Some, like the double bass, almost always require some form of artificial amplification in order to be heard in open-air or concert-hall venues, where sound takes time to travel and dissipates along the way.

Instrumental amplification is often provided by something known as a pickup, a device that collects mechanical vibrations and then transforms them into electrical signals that can be amplified to play through a speaker system. In many amplified instruments, the pickup is located internally; others, like the aforementioned double bass, can use an external pickup that attaches to the bridge of the instrument.

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