Patricia Cissell Murphy

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Element of the week: seaborgium

This week, we meet the element seaborgium, which has the atomic symbol, <b>Sg</b>, and the atomic number, <b>106</b>. This element was named in honour of Glenn Seaborg -- whilst he was still alive. Professor Seaborg co-synthesised several of these transuranium elements that we've been learning about recently.<p>Only …

Top 4 keys to mastering moon phases

The most important key is to think of the moon as a world in space, with a day and night side.<p><b>Why does the moon seem to change its shape every night?</b> …

Making New Elements

How scientists create superheavy atoms.<p>Last year, scientists in Germany set out to create the heaviest known element in the universe: element 119. For five months, they attempted to fuse the atoms of two lighter elements to form one large atom with 119 protons in its nucleus. Like other …

Evolution’s opportunists: ray-finned fish

<b>U. MICHIGAN / U. CHICAGO (US) —</b> <i>Fouldenia</i>, a shell-crushing, ray-finned fish, survived mass extinction 359 million years ago. Now, its descendants …

University of Michigan

The Odd Way Beavers Impact Climate Change

It's all in the dams.<p>When the industrious beaver scurries around being its toothy self, cutting down trees and blocking up waterways, it's not just altering the lay of the land; it's out there combating climate change, a few carbon emissions at a time.<p>When beavers build a dam, impeding the natural …

Element of the week: curium | video

This week, we meet the element curium, which has the atomic symbol <b>Cm</b> and the atomic number <b>96</b>. This element was named in honour of Marie and Pierre …

If The Sun Went Out, How Long Could Life On Earth Survive?

Don't worry, you'll have time to post your goodbye selfies to Facebook.<p>If you put a steamy cup of coffee in the refrigerator, it wouldn't immediately turn cold. Likewise, if the sun simply "turned off" (which is actually physically impossible), the Earth would stay warm—at least compared with the …

Element of the week: americium | video

This week's element is americium, which has the atomic symbol <b>Am</b> and the atomic number, <b>95</b>. This element was named for the continent, North America (or …

The Hardest Thing To Find In The Universe?

What is rarer than a shooting star?<p>Rarer than a diamond?<p>Rarer than any metal, any mineral, so rare that if you scan the entire earth, all six million billion billion kilos or 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds of our planet, you would find only one ounce of it?<p>What is so rare it has never …

5 myths about the moon

Moon myths, take that! Here are 5 of the most common myths about our moon explained.<p>We have full moons, blue moons, Harvest moons, supermoons and any …