Tech

Physicists unlock multispectral secrets of earliest color photographs

French physicist Gabriel Lippmann pioneered color photography and snagged the 1908 Nobel Prize in Physics for his efforts. But according to a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Lippmann’s technique distorted the colors of the scenes being photographed. Physicists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland […]

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That time physicist John Wheeler left classified H-bomb documents on a train

Enlarge / In 1953, the eminent physicist and H-bomb advocate took an ill-fated overnight train from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, that would indirectly lead to the Robert Oppenheimer security hearing. (credit: Michail_Petrov-96/iStock/Getty Images) In the popular science world, physicist John Wheeler is probably best known for popularizing the term “black hole,” although his research spanned […]

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“Facial profiling,” ancient DNA tell two tales of early Caribbean islanders

Enlarge / Earlier this year, researchers analyzed the skulls of early Caribbean inhabitants, using 3D facial “landmarks” as a genetic proxy for determining how closely people groups were related to one another. A follow-up study this month added ancient DNA analysis into the mix, with conflicting results. (credit: Ann Ross/North Carolina State University) There’s rarely […]

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Dark Archives: Come for the floating goat balls, stay for the fascinating science

Enlarge / These might look like your standard leather-bound texts, but they are actually bound in human skin—a practice known as “anthropodermic bibliopegy.” All five are housed in the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. (credit: Mütter Museum/College of Physicians of Philadelphia)) There’s rarely time to write about every cool science-y story that comes our way. So […]

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Famous Odd demises Receive Another Appearance in The Curious Death and Life of…

Medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris hosts the Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary show The Curious Death and Life of…. Infamous historic cold cases receive a scientific face-lift at The Curious Death and Life Of…, a brand new documentary series in the Smithsonian Channel. Hosted by writer and medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris, every one of those six episodes […]