On the wing: Birds, skeeters, jet planes: Same design rule applies!

On the wing: Birds, skeeters, jet planes: Same design rule applies!
The “Constructal” theory purports to show similarities in the evolution of airplanes and birds. Both must live in the air. But how much does the theory simplify a complex relationship between objects designed by people and animals that have evolved through natural selection? More »

Wave power

Wave power

The first ocean wave energy-capturing device with a permit to connect back to a public power grid will enter the Pacific next month. How much power could the U.S. potentially harness from the waves crashing into its the coastline? According to researchers, wave energy might be one of our best renewable resources. More »

Pitching the biomechanics

elbow ligaments and tendon (illustration)
The fate of baseball teams valued at hundreds of millions of dollars and followed by millions of rabid fans can come down to the elbow ligaments of a handful of young men who can throw a ball nearly 100 mph. But that doesn’t mean the best science guides their training. More »

Dunewatching, Martian style

Dunewatching, Martian style

New pix from Mars show sand dunes on the move. Mars has been dry for 1.5 billion years; could massive erosion be due to wind? Yes, says a new report that tracked dunes with precise new images. Surprise: dunes move as fast on Mars as on Earth! More »

Breaking the bubble!

Breaking the bubble!
High-speed movies of popping bubbles show a ring of “daughter” bubbles forming around the edge. A close look reveals a third generation of “granddaughter” bubbles. How does this happen? Does this matter to real-world medicine and climatology? And can we get paid to play with bubbles? More »

Electric eye learns from animal eye!

Lenses cannot project a perfect image on the flat back of a camera, so images are distorted at the edges. A revolutionary camera solves this problem by curving the light detector. More »

Dig the latest top tech tricks

What you can’t see can still interest you. Archeologists use radar, magnetic, electrical gizmos to see through the ground, find places to dig. More »

The sounds of sax

New study shows that controlling throat shape helps pro players hit the high notes that elude amateurs. More »

It’s snow-time! Dig into our all-flake, no fake feature!

Frosty questions: Are some snowflakes identical? How do flakes form, and how does weather affect their shape? How does ice in the atmosphere affect weather and climate? And where does the jet stream fit in this picture? More »

Science Meets Sports

Science Meets Sports

The Why Files looks at kinesiology, sports medicine, psychology and some ancient Olympic history, brought to life. More »

Understanding Volcanoes

How do volcanoes work (p. 2)? How do we predict them (p. 3)? How do they change the landscape (p. 4)? How does life return after the eruption (p. 6)? More »