Mini-Science 2011 – Nuclear power: energy for the future?

Mini-Science logoAt the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. Here are questions from Dr. Ariel Fenster’s lecture “Nuclear power — energy for the future?” (April 20, 2011).
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Mini-Science 2011 – The dance of the molecules in cells

Mini-Science logoAt the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. Here are questions from Dr. Paul Wiseman’s lecture “The dance of the molecules in cells” (April 13, 2011).
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Jimi Hendrix and musical acoustics

Jimi Hendrix performs for Dutch television show Hoepla in 1967. Source: Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands license.

Jimi Hendrix performs for Dutch television show Hoepla in 1967. Source: Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands license.

Last year, I was attending a reception at a McGill event.  I was standing in the back – perhaps too far in the back – and a colleague asked me if I had ever thought about writing a book about the physics of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar sounds.  Huh, I said – just before a microphonic feedback howl announced that the reception’s speeches were about to begin.

My colleague said Hendrix’s playing must involve complex nonlinear dynamics (yes, my colleague was drinking the wine offered at the event).  The second thing I told my colleague was that, unlike most guitarists these days, Hendrix played so loud that he literally played the room, but, however that might be, room acoustics are linear, not nonlinear.  Then I stopped, because my colleague was right, there was something nonlinear going on in Hendrix’s playing.  The answer is not enough for a book, but fits a blog entry well. (more…)

Mini-Science 2011 – Biofuels: sustainable energy as the oil runs out?

Mini-Science logoAt the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. Here are questions from Dr. Donald Smith’s lecture “Biofuels — sustainable energy as the oil runs out?” (April 6, 2011).
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Mini-Science 2011 – From Jesuit’s bark to synchrotrons: the rise and fall of an antimalarial

Mini-Science logoAt the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. Here are questions from Dr. Scott Bohle’s lecture “From Jesuit’s bark to synchrotrons – the rise and fall of an antimalarial” (March 30, 2011).
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