infinity-imagined:

The Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

asapscience:

:/ :/ :/ :/ sorry, we had to. 

asapscience:

:/ :/ :/ :/ 

sorry, we had to. 

fouriestseries:

Atomic Models

Evidence-based theories on the structure of atoms have been around since the early 1800s. Dalton’s billiard ball model was the first on the map, and with further discoveries and experiments — like Thompson’s discovery of the electron and Rutherford’s gold foil experiment — improved models of atomic structure were introduced.

The first GIF above shows Rutherford’s planetary model, which was proposed in 1911. In his model, negatively-charged electrons orbit an incredibly small, dense nucleus of positive charge. Despite being a completely incorrect model, most people still think this is what atoms really look like*. This is not an atom. It’s physically impossible for electrons to stably orbit like this, and the idea of orbiting electrons was entirely replaced by 1926.

I can’t say what an atom actually looks like, but the most accurate model we have today is governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. The location of an electron is determined by a probability distribution, called an atomic orbital, which tells us the probability of an electron existing in any specific region around a nucleus. The second image shows the surface around a hydrogen nucleus on which an excited electron is most likely to exist.

Mathematica code posted here.

*Advertisements and popular science articles incorrectly represent atoms all the time. Even the US Atomic Energy Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency use the Rutherford model in their logos!

“I got a fan letter from a young lady. It was a suicide note.

So I called her, and I said, “Hey, this is Jimmy Doohan. Scotty, from Star Trek.” I said, “I’m doing a convention in Indianapolis. I wanna see you there.”

I saw her — boy, I’m telling you, I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was definitely suicide. Somebody had to help her, somehow. And obviously she wasn’t going to the right people.

I said to her, “I’m doing a convention two weeks from now in St. Louis.” And two weeks from then, in somewhere else, you know? She also came to New York - she was able to afford to got to these places. That went on for two or three years, maybe eighteen times. And all I did was talk positive things to her.

And then all of the sudden — nothing. I didn’t hear anything. I had no idea what had happened to her because I never really saved her address.

Eight years later, I get a letter saying, “I do want to thank you so much for what you did for me, because I just got my Master’s degree in electronic engineering.”

That’s…to me, the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

afro-dominicano:


The Cycle of Stars — The End

afro-dominicano:

The Cycle of Stars — The End

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

Earth is not the only planet in our solar system with auroras. As the solar wind—a stream of rarefied plasma from our sun—blows through the solar system, it interacts with the magnetic fields of other planets as well as our own. Saturn’s magnetic field second only to Jupiter’s in strength. This strong magnetosphere deflects many of the solar wind’s energetic particles, but, as on Earth, some of the particles get drawn in along Saturn’s magnetic field lines. These lines converge at the poles, where the high-energy particles interact with the gases in the upper reaches of Saturn’s atmosphere. As a result, Saturn, like Earth, has impressive and colorful light displays around its poles. (Image credit: ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser & L. Calçada, source video; via spaceplasma)

matthen:

Unrolling these circles gives fills a triangle with base 2 π r and height r (where r is the radius of the filled disk). Such a triangle has area π r2. This does not serve as a complete proof for why this is the area of a circle, but can give you some intuition for why it should be. [code]

matthen:

Unrolling these circles gives fills a triangle with base 2 π r and height r (where r is the radius of the filled disk). Such a triangle has area π r2. This does not serve as a complete proof for why this is the area of a circle, but can give you some intuition for why it should be. [code]

"If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is."