Editor’s Selections: Special relativity history, Mega eruptions and mass extinctions, and the Artifical Leaf that Could

Editor's Selections 8 Comments
By Sarah Kendrew

Sarah Kendrew Sarah Kendrew selects interesting and notable ResearchBlogging.org posts in the physical sciences, chemistry, engineering, computer science, geosciences and mathematics. She blogs about astronomy at One Small Step.

Another Monday, another week. Don’t forget to watch the penultimate Space Shuttle launch today, the last one for Endeavour. If you need distraction from the suspense, here is  some great reading from the past week on ResearchBlogging.

I loved Dr. Skyskull’s history-themed post on the work of 19th century physicist George FitzGerald, whose contributions to the study of the physical properties of objects in motion helped pave the way for Einstein’s theory of special relativity. It’s good to remind ourselves that even paradigm-changing ideas like Einstein’s build on a vast edifice of knowledge and research.

On The Artful Amoeba, Jennifer Frazer talks about a fascinating new study on the slow and seeping Siberian volcanic eruption 250 million years ago that is the likely cause of the cataclysmic mass extinction event known as the Great Dying. The sequence of events set in motion by this 1 million year-long eruption is quite stunning.

Converting sunlight into energy is a hot topic in science today. Paul Vallett of Electron Café describes new work in this field that harnesses sunlight to help with clean(er) energy production – not using traditional solar cells, but by creating hydrogen gas, a promising and storable clean fuel, out of water. The key innovation is the development of an “artifical leaf” solar cell, that uses sunlight to split water into its constituents, hydrogen and oxygen.

I’ll be back next week with more selections from the physical sciences.

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8 Responses to “Editor’s Selections: Special relativity history, Mega eruptions and mass extinctions, and the Artifical Leaf that Could”

  1. Paul V Says:
    May 16th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Thanks for the shout out!

  2. Albert Einstein Says:
    January 31st, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.

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