30 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Science of the Rainbow

The spectrum depends upon light of different colours being slowed by different amounts: the refractive index of a given substance, say glass or water, is greater for blue light than for red. You could think of blue light as being a slower swimmer than red, getting tangled up in the undergrowth of atoms in glass or water because of its short wavelength. Light of all colours gets less tangled up among the sparser atoms of air, but blue still travels more slowly than red. In a vacuum, where ther...
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30 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Unweaving the Rainbow Makes it More Beautiful

Newton's unweaving of the rainbow led on to spectroscopy, which has proved the key to much of what we know today about the cosmos. And the heart of any poet worthy of the title Romantic could not fail to leap up if he beheld the universe of Einstein, Hubble and Hawking. We read its nature through Fraunhofer lines - 'Barcodes in the Stars' - and their shifts along the spectrum. The image of barcodes carries us on to the very different, but equally intriguing, realms of sound ('Barcodes on the ...
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12 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Evolution of the Eye

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every...
Folksonomies: eye evolution
Folksonomies: eye evolution
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"Absurd," Darwin admits, but entirely possible.
16 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 The Difference Between Engineers and Scientists

The inventor and the research man are confused because they both examine results of physical or chemical operations. But they are exact opposites, mirror images of one another. The research man does something and does not care [exactly] what it is that happens, he measures whatever it is. The inventor wants something to happen, but does not care how it happens or what it is that happens if it is not what he wants.
Folksonomies: science engineerin
Folksonomies: science engineerin
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The work of both appears similar, but one does not care about the result and merely records it, the other cares about the result and cares not about the process to achieve it.