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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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