New ideas in physics often explain the fundamental mechanisms of other sciences, while opening to new research areas in mathematics and philosophy. Physical science is an encompassing term for the branches of natural science that study non-living systems, in contrast to the life sciences. However, the term “physical” creates an unintended, somewhat arbitrary distinction, since many branches of physical science also study biological phenomena. Their gravity is strong enough that they tend to kick asteroids and comets right out of the solar system. If Jupiter and Saturn didn’t exist, he notes, Earth’s gravity could have stolen 10 times as much water from the outer edge of the asteroid belt.
Giant planet ‘destabilization’ may have coincided with the birth of Earth’s moon
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They assumed that current rates—of sediment deposition and of salt transport by rivers—were the same as historical rates, despite the evidence they had that our own age is one of atypically high geologic activity. The rock cycle, as we now know, is driven by plate tectonics, with sedimentary material vanishing into subduction zones. And the oceans have long since approached something close to a steady state, with chemical sediments removing dissolved minerals as fast as they arrive. In the 1660s Nicolas Steno formulated our modern concepts of deposition of horizontal strata. He inferred that where the layers are not horizontal, they must have been tilted since their deposition and noted that different strata contain different kinds of fossil. Robert Hooke, not long after, suggested that the fossil record would form the basis for a chronology that would “far antedate … This position came to be known as uniformitarianism, but within it we must distinguish between uniformity of natural law and the increasingly questionable assumptions of uniformity of process, uniformity of rate and uniformity of outcome.
Genetic epidemiology is an applied science applying both biological and statistical methods. Applied science is the use of existing scientific knowledge to achieve practical goals, like technology or inventions. Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 17th century.
As parsimonious as the evidence allows: Different ways of seeing color
The nation would gain much if these two elements of our public life could be brought closer to create some better joined-up thinking. There should be some preparation, in their postgraduate training, for this aspect of the scientist’s role in society. Arctic sea-ice has decreased rapidly during the last decades in concert with substantial global surface warming. Both have happened much faster than predicted by climate models, and observed Arctic …
For those of us who cherish our memories and like to think they are an accurate record of our history, the idea that memory is fundamentally malleable is more than a little disturbing. Not all researchers believe Nader has proved that the process of remembering itself can alter memories. It might even be possible to put the phenomenon to good use to reduce the suffering of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, who are plagued by recurring memories of events they wish they could put behind them. Postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers should learn something of the way that policy is made and assessed – and the routes available to provide information and advice to the policy-makers. Newton’s Apple Foundation was established to help bridge this gap between the science community and the policy-making processes. Over the past four years, it has run workshops in universities, in Westminster and elsewhere to introduce early career researchers to the world of policy-making.
That takes us to the end of this series of papers but not to the end of the story. As with so many good scientific puzzles, the question of the age of the earth resolves itself on more rigorous examination into distinct components. Do we mean the age of the solar system, or of the earth as a planet within it, or of the earth-moon system, or the time since formation of the earth’s metallic core, or the time since formation of the earliest solid crust? Such questions remain under active investigation, using as clues variations in isotopic distribution, or anomalies in mineral composition, that tell the story of the formation and decay of long-vanished short-lived isotopes. Isotopic ratios between stable isotopes both on the earth and in meteorites are coming under increasingly close scrutiny, to see what they can tell us about the ultimate sources of the very atoms that make up our planet. For decades, researchers have debated whether comets or asteroids delivered Earth’s water. Originating beyond the orbit of Neptune, comets are the deep-freeze storage units of the solar system.
Nader thinks it’s likely that some types of memory, such as a flashbulb memory, are more susceptible to change than others. Memories surrounding a major event like September 11 might be especially susceptible, he says, because we tend to replay them over and over in our minds and in conversation with others—with each repetition having the potential to alter them. Education also influenced whether people felt that science drove societal change at an uncomfortably rapid pace. Thirty-six percent of those without college degrees felt that was the case, while 28 percent of those with them did. Only 24 percent of those under 30 years old felt that science was driving a too-rapid pace of change, while 38 percent of those over 50 did. A new poll examines how the US public views science and scientists.
The 1.5C and 2C limits are regarded as having been breached when average global temperatures over a 20-year period are 1.5C or 2C higher than in pre-industrial times. Arctic amplification, which is strongest in the winter months, is caused by several factors. One is the retreat of sea ice, meaning more sunlight is absorbed by water instead of being reflected back into space. Another factor is less vertical mixing of air in the poles than in the tropics, which keeps warmer air close to the Earth’s surface. Have you ever dreamed of traveling through time, like characters do in science fiction movies? For centuries, the concept of time travel has captivated people’s imaginations.