Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2018
By Kadri
The History and Science of the Manhattan Project by Bruce Cameron Reed


The History and Science of the Manhattan Project is a book about the historical background and science of the development of the atomic bomb. It's accessible and easy to read but covers all the interesting aspects of the Manhattan Project starting with the fascinating scientists and other people that were involved in the project and continuing with the physics and engineering that were required for the successful development of such an important and devastating invention.

Having read some biographies and more general histories of some or other aspect of the project or the people involved, I found this book delightfully inclusive and very detailed and as such a perfect book to read if you're interested in the Manhattan Project in general. It is very straightforward though, to-the-point and there isn't any unnecessary veering off the topic at hand, so the book has a very different feel to it compared to a biography where the author might try and show different aspects of the person's life and the possible reasons for behaving in a specific way or doing something, but in this book it's more about delivering facts.

The extent to which the book covers the related and connected topics is slightly astonishing, as you can read about the aftereffects of the deployed bombs having read about the different methods that were used for enriching uranium and how fission and radioactivity were discovered - all in the same place!

I'd say that if you're interested in the history of the Manhattan Project and you're not scared off by a little physics, then this is a great book to read.

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Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2018
By Karthik VJ
Learn about the features of the ionosphere! This little-explored region exists between space and Earth. It is home to the aurora, the international space station, a variety of satellites, and radio communication waves. We know it is sensitive to weather from Earth and conditions in space, called space weather. Join us as we venture to this interface to space!



Music credit: Foxy Trot by Luis Enriquez Bacalov
Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

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Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2018
By Karthik VJ


This video is available for download from NASA's Image and Video Library: Click here

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Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2018
By Karthik VJ
COSMOS second season is announced. The new season is named as "COSMOS: Possible Worlds", will again delve into the cosmic revolution, profound scientific concepts and how we found our coordinates in space and time.

Here is the teaser video, enjoy!



Neil deGrasse Tyson also tweeted about the "COSMOS: Possible Worlds"



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Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2018
By Karthik VJ
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is a civilization scale mission, set to look back to the first galaxies formed after the Big Bang and help answer the question "are we alone in the universe?" After passing a key test at Johnson Space Center designed to simulate the cold vacuum of space, Webb is ready for the next step ahead of a launch in 2019.



This video is available for download from NASA's Image and Video Library: Click here!

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Posted on Saturday, January 13, 2018
By Karthik VJ


By combining the visible and infrared capabilities of the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, astronomers and visualization specialists from NASA’s Universe of Learning program have created a spectacular, three-dimensional, fly-through movie of the magnificent Orion nebula, a nearby stellar nursery. Using actual scientific data along with Hollywood techniques, a team at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Caltech/IPAC in Pasadena, California, has produced the best and most detailed multi-wavelength visualization yet of the Orion nebula.

Credits: Space Telescope Science Institute

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Posted on Monday, December 11, 2017
By Kadri

Advancing Women in Science: An International Perspective.
Edited by Willie Pearson, Jr, Lisa M. Frehill, Connie L. McNeely

The collection of articles in this book presents a variety of approaches to what might be the reasons that there's a relative lack of women in certain fields of science. In addition it gives some insight about why even when women are quite well represented in the field, the scientific field itself might still be dominated at the highest reaches by men for a variety of reasons.

The focus of the articles is varied from attitudes, culture, education and many other sometimes even surprising aspects. Some of the articles are more general, whilst some present specific situations from different countries. I found those the most illuminating and very valuable because of the international reach.

Some of the issues that women who'd like to work in a STEM field might sound simpler and easier to solve than they really are. Depending on the culture it's not always easy or even acceptable for a woman to even study long enough to get a higher education, not to even mention striving for achievements in science or technology.

All in all the collection gives the impression that the reasons why women might not study science, mathematics or informatics as often as men are very different from country to country depending on the country's recent history, the cultural and religious background. While in some cases it might seem as if it is easy to point a finger at specific causes for lack of women in science, it is much more complex.

Some of the solutions and various policies that might improve and already have improved the situation are also presented. I found it fascinating, especially since improving women's participation in STEM fields would also help other minorities participation in those fields or at least show the way to it.

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