Vera Rubin

October 16th: Angular One of my favourite thing about science is that when scientists discover something new, often more questions arise than the ones that get answered. It might sound depressing, but it quite exciting instead. It means that there is always something new to learn and understand. We are always, and always will be,…

Read More

Enrico Fermi

October 15th: Weak There are four forces that govern the Universe: Gravitation, that acts on mass/energy; Electromagnetic force, that bounds together atoms and molecules and dictates the law of light; Strong Interaction, that makes atomic nuclei and hadrons; Weak Interaction, that describes beta decay and the life of sub-atomic particles called left-handed fermions. The last sentence…

Read More

Richard Feynman

October 14th: Clock Want to learn some physics? Go watch/read Richard Feynman’s Lectures. Want to be inspired? Feynman’s Lectures. Want to have some fun? Feynman’s Lectures. Feynman is one of the most loved scientists of all times. And for good reasons. He was awarded the Nobel prize for Quantum Electrodynamics, he collaborated in the Manhattan…

Read More

Tim Berners-Lee

October 13th: Guarded You are reading this blog page. This means you have opened a browser (or an app, these days) and you typed newoldscience.com or you clicked on a link someone shared; this action triggered your computer to send a request to find “newoldscience.com” on the web; domain name servers (DNS) will redirect your…

Read More

Charles Darwin

October 11: Cruel Survival of the fittest: the cruel rule essential to natural selection. It is funny, however, how much antipathy Darwin itself, father of this evolutionary theory, had toward cruelty. Animal cruelty the most. Darwin studied lizards and birds in the Galapagos, but only by comparison or dissection of already deceased animals. Always trying…

Read More

Carl Sagan

October 12th: Whale Carl Sagan’s legacy is overwhelming. He was a great physicist: he theorised about Venus’ atmospheric conditions and helped NASA’s Mariner expedition to confirm them. He was a visionary astrobiologist: he researched the possibilities of extraterrestrial life, even producing amino acids by mixing chemicals and radiation. He was an outstanding communicator: Cosmos, that he presented, was…

Read More

Carlo Rovelli

October 10: Flowing I stop and do nothing. Nothing happens. I am thinking about nothing. I listen to the passing of time. This is time, familiar and intimate. We are taken by it. The rush of seconds, hours, years that hurls us towards life then drags us towards nothingness … We inhabit time as fish…

Read More

Andre Geim

October 9th: Precious If someone gives you a diamond proclaiming it symbolises how their love will last forever, be ready to reply: “Liar!” The precious diamonds are a material made exclusively of carbon. There is another material with the same exact composition: graphite (i.e. the lead in pencils). The only difference is their atomic and…

Read More

Hedy Lamarr

October 8th: Star Movie star Hedy Lamarr was regarded as the most beautiful woman in the world. But she was more than that. She was creative and curious. She invented an improved traffic stoplight, helped aviator Howard Hughes to speed aeroplanes by inspiring their design on fast fishes and birds, devised a dissolvable tablet to make…

Read More

Ettore Majorana

October 7th: Exhausted “There are several categories of scientists in the world; those of second or third rank do their best but never get very far. Then there is the first rank, those who make important discoveries, fundamental to scientific progress. But then there are the geniuses, like Galilei and Newton. Majorana was one of…

Read More

Arthur Ashkin

October 6th: Drooling Did you know that you can push stuff with light? More than that, you can use light to trap objects and move them around. Ok, the stuff has to be small, micrometric small. And the light better be a laser. And you need a lens. But this is pretty much all you…

Read More

Rita Levi Montalcini

October 5th: Chicken Memories. Thoughts. The precious skills required to make a delicious frittata. All stored and processed in the brain. An intricate net of nerves growing around and interconnecting of which we know a lot and yet still too little. What regulates nerves growth was only discovered in the 1950s when Rita Levi Montalcini…

Read More

Erwin Schroedinger

October 4th: Spell The internet is populated with quirky geeky t-shirts. And great deal of them read “Physicist – noun, someone who solved a problem you didn’t know you had in a way you didn’t understand. See also wizard, magician.” Except physics had nothing to do with magic. It is much more powerful. Every physicist…

Read More

Samantha Cristoforetti

October 3rd: Roasted Every Italian knows the importance of well-roasted beans to make the perfect coffee. Samantha Cristoforetti is no different. Except she takes her espresso in space. She has been often renamed as a woman of records: the first Italian woman in space, the longest uninterrupted flight for a European astronaut, the first to…

Read More

Neil Armstrong

October 2nd: Tranquil  B.A. “Contact light.” N.A. “Shutdown.” B.A. “Okay. Engine stop” C.D. “We copy you down, Eagle.” N.A. “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” C.D. “Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.” This is the transcript of Buzz Aldrin, Neil…

Read More

Marie Skłodowska Curie

October 1st: Poisonous Marie Skłodowska Curie was a fighter. During the course of her life: she struggled with depression just after high school; attended a clandestine institution for higher education because women were not allowed at regular institutions; she gave up education to sustain her sister studies; once she had enough fundings to move to…

Read More

Inking science

The people that know me in real life, also know that I have many –way too many– hobbies. This is a big problem because I often get very excited about a new idea, plan every detail, start the project, only to dreadfully remain stranded half way when a new idea from a different hobby of…

Read More

Rock Chicken Rock!

The Last Jedi is on the big screens, Christmas carols are all around the streets, kids have already looked secretly at their presents.. and while the festive atmosphere fills the air, I am writing my PhD thesis. In the search for the best dissertation title, I have shortlisted: What Bobafett and a chick have in common?…

Read More

Let’s kick the Quantum Beat

As a newbie in the field of biophysics, I had to take some course in biology. In my case, the course, luckily, was addressed to physicists, and one of the suggested reading was Schroedinger’s “What is life?”. I did not know that Schroedinger wrote about this topic and, of course, I was curious and puzzled.…

Read More

Getting things done!

Ok, I admit it. The title is kind of ironic! Given that I haven’t written anything in a long time I am not the most appropriate person to talk about commitment. And I will also try to explain you why, and “justify” myself. It seems like my way of dealing with ToDOs is quite peculiar, and…

Read More

Once upon a time in a lab…

awesome (ˈɔːsəm ) , adjective Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring awe: the awesome power of the atomic bomb informal Extremely good; excellent: the band is truly awesome! This is the definition of awesome from the Oxford Online Dictionary. I have my own: awesome (ˈɔːsəm ) , adjective Containing at least three of the following: a good friend, geekery, beer, beautiful landscapes, bits of…

Read More

Travelling, geek science way

This morning I woke up staring at the skyline of Quebec city on my phone. A nice reminder of why I am doing this job. Science is closely related to travelling, and be staring at beautiful landscapes. If you are a scientist, you probably know about those moments in which none of your experiments is working…

Read More