Science

Henze/NASA / ligo.caltech.edu

News of the discovery of gravitational waves dominated the news a couple of weeks ago, and UWM scientists were among those who played a large role in that discovery.

Our astronomy contributor and the director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium, Jean Creighton, was not only excited about the discovery for its scientific importance, but also personal significance.

ardithelionheart@ymail.com / Flickr

What do two black holes sound like when they collide? Not much. But just detecting it is the first step in unlocking some of the biggest mysteries of our universe.

A century ago, Albert Einstein predicted the presence of gravitational waves - ripples in spacetime created by catastrophic events. Yesterday, researchers from UWM and around the world confirmed their existence with the help of LIGO, a gravitational wave detector that senses those ripples as they pass.

We all know about California’s Silicon Valley. A bunch of rockstar tech entrepreneurs who are changing the world through their innovations.

Throughout human history, there have been pockets in time and specific places that make a real impact on the way we live. Ancient Athens was home to geniuses like Plato and Socrates, whose contributions to philosophy changed the way the world thought. The Renaissance in Italy and Northern Europe created some of the greatest artists and innovators of all time.

Paul Sereno is proof that the dinosaurs don’t need to be alive for the adventure to be real.

Sereno is a paleontologist, National Geographic explorer-in-residence, and professor at the University of Chicago.  He’s also discovered several new species of dinosaur in places like Mongolia, Morocco, and Niger.

NASA, ESA and G. Bacon / Flickr

It’s always exciting when new scientific discoveries are announced. It’s even exciting to talk about scientific discoveries that aren't yet confirmed. Such is the case for the potential ninth planet that astronomers have been theorizing about based on observations of the solar system.

Alper Çuğun / Flickr

The last week of the year offers a good chance to look back at some of the stories that made news over the past 12 months. In the area of science, it seemed, at least to us lay people, like an unusually busy year for big developments in a variety of areas. The editors of Waukesha-based Discover can confirm that suspicion.

The magazine's January/February issue recaps the top 100 science stories of the year, and there are some that will undoubtedly be talked about for years to come.

Ray Cross / Flickr

For many of us, scientific curiosity extends beyond human biology. It’s for those people that the Wisconsin Science Festival is an exciting date on the calendar.

The 4th annual statewide festival opens Thursday and runs through Sunday with events ranging from the art and science of video games to the science of Manhattans. Director of the Wisconsin Science Festival  Laura Heisler says the event is focused "on anyone who has any curiosity at all." 

IceCube/NSF

The 2015 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded jointly to Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo, and Arthur B. McDonald of Queen’s University in Canada for the discovery that neutrinos have mass.

Neutrinos are basically particles of blue light that act as cosmic messengers from some of the most powerful processes in the universe, such as black holes and gamma-ray burst explosions.

Dave Schumaker / Flickr

Three earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater have shook parts of the American west in the last month, and several temblors hit Jamaica as well. However, those events were relatively mild compared to the recent spate of major earthquakes in places like Japan and the Afghanistan-Pakistan quake that has left hundreds dead.

Scott Sampson, Facebook

If you’re under age 10 or the parent of someone who is, the name “Doctor Scott” is likely a name you’ll associate with science.

bioforward.org

A report out this week offers a snapshot of an increasingly important sector of the Wisconsin economy. 

The report quantifies the economic output of the state’s bioscience sector, and how it relates to other Wisconsin industries. 

The report was commissioned by BioForward, the trade association for the bioscience industry.  It was released Wednesday, at the group’s Bioscience Summit in Madison. 

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Every month, Lake Effect's Bonnie North chats with the director of UWM’s Manfred Olson Planetarium, Jean Creighton. From viewing constellations to what it takes to land on a comet to exoplanets, they've talked about a wide range of astronomical topics.

Rather than taking place in the studio, this month's AstroChat segment was recorded at the planetarium in front of an audience of WUWM listeners.

Creighton shared her experience of traveling to the Stratosphere, spending 20 hours there to observe young and middle aged stars with an infrared telescope.

Battle Bots / http://battlebots.com

Battle Bots had a successful five season run on Comedy Central 12 years ago. Now, it has made a return to television on ABC.

The premise of Battle Bots is simple. Teams create and build self-designed robots that fight one another with a slew of weapons and self-defense mechanisms. Every week, teams are paired off with the winner moving on to the next round. The last bot standing is crowned winner.

Joe Parks

When it comes to intelligent animals, there are a handful that get a lot of attention.

Chimpanzees and other primates are thought to do a lot of things like human beings.  Dogs are considered man's best friend, capable of doing a multitude of jobs.  And in the sea, dolphins and whales are thought of as having keen intelligence.  When you think of intelligent animals, you probably don’t think of the octopus. 

Courtesy of Tim Decker & Vince Prantil / Morgan & Claypool Publishers

Generations of college students have learned from textbooks that are often large, text-heavy, expensive paperweights that can make your eyes glaze over.

But cartoonist Tim Decker and MSOE mechanical engineering professor Vince Prantil have created a unique physics book that engages students through visual learning.

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