An "Impenetrable Barrier" Protects The Earth From Killer Electrons

It appears that our planet's built-in force field is much stronger than we thought. Scientists studying the Van Allen belts have discovered the presence of a nearly impenetrable barrier that prevents some of the fastest and most powerful "ultrarelativistic" electrons from reaching the surface. » 11/27/14 1:00pm 11/27/14 1:00pm

See a recreation of the experiment that discovered the electron

Check out this awesome experiment that shows how J J Thomson began proving the existence of the electron. Thomson did this in 1897, despite the notable difficulty of electrons being much, much too small to see. (Sadly, that's still true today. And we say we've made progress.) We'll tell you how this simple… » 12/28/12 7:00am 12/28/12 7:00am

Why are electrons doomed to remain forever separated from their beloved…

We all know the story. Electrons and protons are attracted to each other. That's why a balloon rubbed on hair clings to clothes. The electrons it gained are crying out for protons and dragging the rest of the balloon along with them. But electrons and protons are right next to each other in the atom. Why don't they… » 2/24/12 7:20am 2/24/12 7:20am

Brian Cox explains the interconnectedness of the universe, explodes…

The Pauli exclusion principle is the quantum mechanical concept that no two identical particles in all the Universe may occupy the same quantum state simultaneously. What does that mean, exactly? Well, for starters, it means that the butterfly effect has nothing on the consequences of the Pauli exclusion principle. » 2/21/12 8:50am 2/21/12 8:50am

Why can we see through glass but not other solids? Let this awesome…

It seems like a simple enough question - why are some materials transparent while others are opaque? But, as this video from the University of Nottingham's Sixty Symbols project explains, a lot of the most common explanations you get are fundamentally wrong. Watch a professional scientist recoil in horror at the… » 2/20/11 7:30pm 2/20/11 7:30pm

World's Fastest Camera Catches An Electron In Motion

Here's the world's first video of an electron in motion, showing how an electron rides on a light wave after having just been pulled away from an atom. Electrons move so fast, it's almost impossible to generate a short enough burst of light to be able to see them move. But a new camera generates "attosecond pulses."… » 3/07/08 4:53pm 3/07/08 4:53pm