Science Fun Facts #2

Science Fun Facts #2

A new set of scientific fun facts. For the #1, head here: http://allyouneedisscience.net/science-fun-facts-1/

Mathematics

The movement of a runner’s ponytail acts as a pendulum and follows the equation:

\theta_{tt} + \frac{2}{L}(g + a_{tt}) \sin \theta = 0

Joseph B. Keller; “Ponytail motion”, SIAM J. Appl. Math., 70(7), 2667–2672; doi: 10.1137/090760477

Computer science

It takes two neurons for an AI to learn how to ride a bike.

Matthew Cook; “It Takes Two Neurons To Ride a Bicycle”; http://paradise.caltech.edu/~cook/papers/TwoNeurons.pdf

Physics

Ketchup is a non-newtonian fluid which has a decreased viscosity when you apply stress while custard becomes has an increased viscosity.

Rao, M. A. (2007). “Rheology of Fluid and Semisolid Foods: Principles and Applications” (2nd ed.). Springer. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-387-70929-1

Chemistry

All Alkali metal, such as Lithium or Sodium, react with water, melting and creating heat which can cause fire or explosion [http://allyouneedisscience.net/what-triggers-explosion/]. Higher the atomic number, stronger the reaction.

Information on Alkali Metals – Stanford Environmental Health & Safety, https://ehs.stanford.edu/reference/information-alkali-metals

Geology

The maximum energy deployed in the Himalayan collision, forming the chain mountain and occurred between 25 and 45 Ma. It was estimated at 7.5 × 1012 J/m2. Now, the energy is estimated at 4 × 1012 J/m2. As a figure of comparison, the Hiroshima nuclear bomb had an energy of 6.3 × 1013 J.

Mike Sandiford, David D. Coblentz, Randall M. Richardson; “Ridge torques and continental collision in the Indian-Australian plate”; Geology; July 1995; v. 23; no. 7; p. 653–656; doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1995)023<0653:RTACCI>2.3.CO;2

Astronomy

The observable universe is the part of the universe that can be observable from our perspective. It is a sphere with a diameter of 8.8×1026 meters (93 billion light-years) with the Earth at its center.

Itzhak Bars, John Terning; “Extra Dimensions in Space and Time”; Springer Science & Business Media, 4 déc. 2009 – 218 pages; doi:10.1007/978-0-387-77638-5_3

Biology

The most important living representatives are plants with 450 Gigatons of carbon (82.54%). Animals represents 0.37% with 2 Gigatons of carbon. In the zoomass (animal biomass), humans represents only 2.51% with 0.06 Gigatons of carbon.

Bar-On, Yinon M., Rob Phillips, and Ron Milo. “The biomass distribution on Earth.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115.25 (2018): 6506-6511; doi:10.1073/pnas.1711842115

Medicine

HeLa is the name of an immortal cell line coming from the American Henrietta Lacks that continued to grow after being extracted from Henrietta’s cancerous tissues. More than 60,000 scientific articles used her cells for their studies, in virology, oncology, genetics.

Skloot, Rebecca (2010). The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. New York: Crown/Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-5217-2.

Psychology

Capgras delusion is a psychological disorder in which someone recognise faces of their relatives but isn’t linked to the corresponding emotional memory. It results in the belief that the relatives are substituted by look-alike doppelgängers.

Ellis, Hadyn D.; Lewis, Michael B. (2001-04-01). “Capgras delusion: a window on face recognition”. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 5 (4): 149–156. doi:10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01620-X. PMID 11287268

Sociology

Breaching experiments in sociology study the behaviour and reactions of people when social norms are violated such as intruding in a waiting line.

Rafalovich, Adam (2006). “Making sociology relevant: The assignment and application of breaching experiments”. Teaching Sociology. 34 (2): 156–163. doi:10.1177/0092055X0603400206

History

The shortest war is the entire History was the Anglo-Zanzibar War. It occurred on 27 August 1896 and lasted 38 minutes. United Kingdom won.

Patience, Kevin (1994), Zanzibar and the Shortest War in History, Bahrain: Kevin Patience, OCLC 37843635

Archaeology

Ötzi the iceman is a mummy discovered in the Ötzal Alps and who died in 3300 BC. He is the first allegedly murder victim with an arrow injury in the back and cerebral trauma from a head injury.

Murphy, William A., Jr.; zur Nedden, Dieter; Gostner, Paul; Knapp, Rudolf; Recheis, Wolfgang; Seidler, Horst (24 January 2003), “The Iceman: Discovery and imaging”, Radiology, 226 (3): 614–629, doi:10.1148/radiol.2263020338, ISSN 0033-8419, PMID 12601185

Geography

26% of Netherlands’ territory (with an area of 41 528 km2) is below the sea level, including Amsterdam.

Schiermeier, Quirin (5 July 2010). “Few fishy facts found in climate report”. Nature. 466 (170): 170. doi:10.1038/466170a. PMID 20613812.

Linguistic

The quantity of information transmitted in languages is approximatively 39 bits/s in average.

Christophe Coupé, Yoon Mi Oh, Dan Dediu, François Pellegrino; “Different languages, similar encoding efficiency: Comparable information rates across the human communicative niche”; Science Advances 04 Sep 2019: Vol. 5, no. 9, eaaw2594; doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaw2594

 

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