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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Nuclear Physics on the Wall
4 May 1998 7:30 pm
Tired of that old Matisse print? Try the spiffy new nuclear physics poster. The giant chart aims to bring the world of nuclear energy, radioactive decay, and quark-gluon plasma to high school classrooms.
The project got going after scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California had some eye-opening discussions with area high school students. "They had almost no knowledge of things we were doing," says LBNL physicist Howard Matis. So with the help of the Contemporary Physics Education Project (a nonprofit group that promotes science literacy), Matis and some 50 other physicists, chemists, and educators sat down to devise a chart and accompanying guidebook for teachers. The group labored for 3 years to achieve wording that they feel is both simple and accurate. "It was a long, long project," Matis says.
The chart describes, among other things, how a primordial soup of quarks and other particles cooled to form protons and neutrons, lists all the ways to stick protons and neutrons together to make atomic nuclei, and discusses how the principles of nuclear physics are used in power plants and smoke detectors. The group showed draft versions of the chart to students in some 250 schools worldwide before settling on a final design.
The large version of the chart goes for $20. Matis hopes it will become a permanent fixture in classrooms, if not in scientists' homes. Matis has hung a chart in a place of honor above his family's ping-pong table. "My wife wouldn't allow it in the living room," he concedes.