×Pending Replies will be live across Kinja on Thursday, August 21. Read more.

Why Julius Robert von Mayer was one of the unluckiest men in science

It's a truism of science that concepts and inventions are rarely attributed to the person who actually came up with them. Most concepts and inventions have several creators, from the Pythagorean theorem to the radio. But one particular concept — the first law of thermodynamics — has two creators who came up with it… » 2/22/13 8:00am 2/22/13 8:00am

The world's tiniest steam engine uses lasers instead of coal

Steam engines run because of statistics — the particles in the machine have a predictable overall behavior, which drives the engine's piston up and down. But if you shrink the engine down to micrometer size, it'll contain far fewer particles, few enough that the behavior of each individual particle could potentially… » 12/16/11 12:27pm 12/16/11 12:27pm