Archive for Science

Most Downloaded Documents from the National Academies Press

The NAP is the publishing arm of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. It annually issues hundreds of reports, studies, and analyses on a wide variety of topics. Here is a list of the top twenty downloaded documents ranging from information technology to fostering student success. And they are all free to read!


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How Would Alien Life Forms Develop?

This article, Darwin’s Aliens, uses both theoretical and mechanical models to explain how aliens might evolve. And with some interesting results. The article concludes that “Combining both approaches is the best way to make predictions about the many hundreds, thousands or millions of hypothetical aliens. Now we just need to find them.”

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Feynman Lectures on Physics Online

Richard Feynman, winner of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics, author of Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: The Adventures of a Curious Character (excerpts here), and a key member of the Rogers Commission investigating the Challenger explosion whose very simple and direct demonstration of the effect of cold temperatures on the O-rings showed him at his brilliant best, compiled a three-volumes opus of his lecture notes; they are now available online for perusal.

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Read Stephen Hawking’s Dissertation Online

Stephen Hawking is just not a character on Big Bang Theory, he is well-known for his far-flung research in the area of physics. His dissertation – Properties of Expanding Universes – has been online for a two days now; it is the most heavily accessed document in Cambridge University’s open access collection, crashing the system intermittently as demand for this item is intense. Here is an article from The Guardian that further elucidates this development, and here is one from the BBC.

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The Moon Once Had an Atmosphere

It may not have been breathable, but it was once surrounded by a blanket of gas. That is according to this recent article – Lunar volcanism produced a transient atmosphere around the ancient Moon – from Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

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Free Online Science Encyclopedia

National Geographic hosts an online encyclopedia touching on many scientific disciplines. What is different about this work is that you can filter the articles by grade level, starting at grade three and extending past high school. The entries have vocabulary lists, embedded links, suggestions for other entries of relevance, and many graphical supplements. An informative and worthwhile site.

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Scientific Definitions

ScienceDirect has released its Topic Index that contains thousands of definitions and supporting material in the form of excerpted book chapters. Many scientific disciplines are included here – biology, chemistry, physics, etc.

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