Posted: January 12th, 2012 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Wiki | Tags: definition, proto-science, protoscience, Wiki | No Comments »
Protoscience or Proto-science: In the philosophy of science, a protoscience is a new science trying to establish its legitimacy. Protoscience is distinguished from pseudoscience by its standard practices of good science, such as a willingness to be disproven by new evidence, or to be replaced by a more predictive theory.
Compare fringe science, which is considered highly speculative or even strongly refuted. Some protosciences go on to become an accepted part of mainstream science.
All sciences would have qualified as protosciences before the Age of Enlightenment, since the scientific method still hadn’t been developed, and there was no structured way to prove legitimacy.
A standard example is alchemy, which from the 18th century became chemistry, or pre-modern astrology which from the 17th century became astronomy :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: July 7th, 2011 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Applied Science, Astronomy, Blip, Cankler, Michael Courtenay, Protoscience | Tags: astronomy, Cankler, Erich Karkoschka, Michael Courtenay, neptune, protoscience, science, University of Arizona | Comments Off
For some of us the working week is a real hardship, Mondayitis, 8 hour days and a fatiguing stretch to Friday. Spare a thought for those poor Neptunian workers, where Monday to Friday takes a little over 2 Earth years to get through. On the upside a long weekend would stretch to 18 months!? Next week, Neptune will complete its very first full orbit of the Sun since it’s discovery in 1846. 165 years to make a complete orbit, now that puts a whole new spin on leap years.
Astronomers had pegged Neptune days – the farthest planet in our solar system – at 16 hours and 6 minutes. A in a new paper published in Icarus, Erich Karkoschka, a planetary scientist with the University of Arizona, now predicts a Neptune day at 15 hours, 57 minutes and 59 seconds. Calculating day lengths for neighboring planets like Mars is an ease, scientists simply look at their surfaces, in photos or radar images, and track the motion of identifiable geographic features. Unfortunately Neptune is made up mostly of dense gas cloud, there is no visible surface. The only visible features are storms. Until now, the best estimate of the planet’s day length came from radio signals measured during a 1989 passing of NASA’s Voyager 2. This method has proven to be almost completely inaccurate and intil recently was observed as a best guestimation.
“The best analogue is clouds moving over a mountain, each cloud moves, so if you track them you don’t get the rotation. But the feature as a whole remains stable“ Karkoschka. Calculating a planetary rotation-rate to such precision isn’t just interesting information, there are definite practical applications. “It constrains models of Neptune’s interior,if you know how fast the planet rotates, you can determine the mass distribution inside” Read the full article »»»»
Posted: July 3rd, 2011 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Applied Science, Funkinwagnill, Michael Courtenay, Protoscience | Tags: Funkinwagnill, Michael Courtenay, philosophy of science, protoscience | Comments Off
Protoscience: In the philosophy of science, a protoscience is an area of scientific endeavor that is in the process of becoming established. Protoscience is distinguished from pseudoscience by its standard practices of good science, such as a willingness to be disproven by new evidence, or to be replaced by a more predictive theory. Sometimes scientific skeptics refer to protoscience as “pathological sciences”. “Protoscience” is a term sometimes used to describe a hypothesis which has not yet been tested adequately by the scientific method, but which is otherwise consistent with existing science or which, where inconsistent, offers reasonable account of the inconsistency. Some protosciences go on to become an accepted part of mainstream science, for example; astrology and alchemy – at a time before invention of the scientific method – might be called “protosciences” by historians of science, but after the invention of the scientific method, when some practitioners refused to adopt the scientific method, the fields were then labeled “pseudoscience”. Several sciences started as branches of philosophy: mathematics, natural philosophy, economics, psychology, sociology, and the same may end up, historically, being the case for some cultural, traditional, or ancient practices. A “protoscience” may be a field where the hypothesis presented may or may not be in accordance with the known evidence at that time, and a body of associated predictions have been made, but the predictions have not yet been tested, or cannot be tested, due to current technological limitations. Such was the case for general relativity at the time of its proposal, which is now considered science, and the case for string theory, which at the time of this article writing is a protoscience. So why do we mention this – protoscience - because we’ve added it as a category.
Posted: July 1st, 2011 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Engineered Life, Favorite New Thought, M.Aaron Silverman, Protoscience, Science, Science of Green, Solar Stars | Tags: Bio21 Institute, Brandon MacDonald, Cankler, CSIRO, DSC, DSSC, Dye Densitised Sollar Cell, Dye Solar Cell, Dyesol, M.Aaron silverman, nano-crystals, protoscience, quantum dots, science, Science of Green, Tata Stee, titania, University of Melbourne | Comments Off
Printable, flexible solar cells that could dramatically decrease the cost of renewable energy have been developed by PhD student Brandon MacDonald in collaboration with his colleagues from CSIRO’s Future Manufacturing Flagship and the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute.
Australian researchers have developed solar panels which can be painted or printed directly onto a surface. With help from the CSIRO, University of Melbourne PhD student Brandon MacDonald has produced solar cells so small they can be suspended in liquid, such as ink or paint. MacDonald hopes the new technology will be two to three times cheaper than solar cells currently on the market, Macdonald says he expects the cells to hit the market within 5 years. These solar panels will be made of nano-crystals with a diameter of just a few millionths of a millimetre. MacDonald says they will use just 1 per cent of the materials needed to make traditional solar panels.
“Using nano-crystal inks, they can be manufactured in a continuous manner, which increases throughput and should make the cells much cheaper to produce, we can then apply this ink onto a surface, so this could be glass or plastics or metals” Read the full article »»»»
Posted: June 29th, 2011 | Author: Buster Cookson | Filed under: Astronomy, Cankler, Protoscience, Science | Tags: astronomy, Cankler, Genesis, Genesis spacecraft, highpants, Isotope, Legrange Point L1, Loneliest stars, NASA, Nebula, Nitrogen, Nuetrons, Oxygen, protoscience, science, Sun | Comments Off
After much number crunching and analysis NASA boffins have announced the Sun is not our Father. Data returned by NASA’s Genesis space craft and analysed around the world suggests that Sun and Earth were formed separately. Like a giant paternity test scientists studied matter collected from the oldest part of the Sun and compared it to samples from the Earth. Sorry Sun you ARE NOT the Father, time for some more tests.
“We found that Earth, the moon, as well as Martian and other meteorites which are samples of asteroids, have a lower concentration of the O-16 than does the sun,” said Kevin McKeegan, “The implication is that we did not form out of the same solar nebula materials that created the sun — just how and why remains to be discovered.”
Planets like people have various markers that can be used to establish heritage, similar to the way we use DNA. In two separate studies Oxygen and Nitrogen were used in just this way. In the tiny world of atoms there are different flavours, or isotopes of common atoms. Just the slightest variation in the building blocks is enough. O-16 is a flavour of Oxygen that has 16 neutrons – neutrons are atom building blocks, – a sub-atomic particle – and the most common isotope of oxygen, nearly 100% of oxygen is of the O-16 kind. There is also a very small amount of O-17 and O-18, again the variation being caused by a different number of neutrons. Nitrogen is the same with N-14 being the most common and N-15 being very rare. When studying the ratio’s of these atoms present in the sun and planets scientists found the ratio’s of the Sun varied from those of the Earth, Mars and asteroids.
The Sun’s corona is thought to be completely unchanged from its original chemical make-up, when it was still a dusty nebulas. This is the perfect place to find a parents DNA sample or scientific baseline. NASA sent the Genesis spacecraft to do its bidding on August 8, 2001. Launched from Cape Canaveral Genesis was placed into halo orbit around the sun. Placed at just the right distance between the sun and the earth where the gravity of both is cancelled out. This equilibrium point is the Legrange Point L1. From this orbit satellites can sit indefinitely collecting data and samples blasted off by the suns fiery corona. Between 2001 and 2004 Genesis sat patiently collecting matter from the sun as it’s blasted free. The samples were then sent back to Earth in a return capsule, which unfortunately crashed into the Utah desert after the parachute failed. The surviving samples along with others samples collected from the Earth, Moon, Mars and meteorites, were divided up and sent to various groups around the world for study.
Nebula’s are great clouds of matter in deep space that are the birth place of sun’s and solar systems. In these clouds gravity works its wonders and solar systems are formed. After millions of years a ball of matter and gas emerges from the Nebula, Gravity will slowly draw it together untill the sun begins to burn – fusion reactions begin,. Planets form once the remaining matter condenses into a disk around the sun, looking like Saturn’s rings. This ring will eventually form the planets. This is just one form of Nebula – Latin for cloud - of which some are remnants of Supernova. New discoveries won’t really effect our understanding of Nebula, the discoveries relates to what happens when they leave home.
Recently there have been a number of other discoveries that also point to the fact that planets are mobile and their attachment to stars is fluid. While it may be easy to think of a planet and sun being locked in orbit, a permanent thing seems to be incorrect. The recent discovery of large numbers of free roaming – Loneliest Planets – suggests that planets are often knocked out of their original orbits. Blue straggler stars known for looking much younger than other surrounding stars were recently found to line the central bulge of the Milky Way. While the title ‘Alien Invader Stars’ is a headline grabber the story itself relates to the fact that there are star clusters from other galaxies in the Milky Way. All of these things are highlighting the very dynamic nature of planets, stars and galaxies.
While we are probably not related to the Sun it is after all the only one we have. Evidence is suggesting the Earth has been through some interesting events in its deep past, bouncing round the galaxy like a gap year student, what adventures did we get up to ? Unfortunately this is one of those discoveries that raises more questions than it answers. Where did we start off? Did we steal someone’s seat here at the Suns table ?. A curious mind could very easily get carried away with this train of thought, it is very primal after all.
Posted: June 26th, 2011 | Author: Buster Cookson | Filed under: Cankler, Protoscience, Science | Tags: artificial leaf, electrolysis, fuel cell, mit, Photocatalytic water splitting, protoscience | Comments Off
Scientists at MIT have demonstrated the first practical artificial leaf. This doesn’t mean the oak tree out the front of your house should be worried, these leaves will never hang from a branch.
Nor do they look like a leaf, with a silicon cell immersed in a cylinder of bubbling water they are more laboratory ready than they are garden ready. Instead of simply using the solar cell to produce electricity the cells use a special coating on the silicon along with the power from the cell to split the water into its hydrogen and oxygen components.
Being able to directly convert water and sunlight into storable gas provides solutions to the biggest problems with solar power, no light no power. At night the gas could be fed to a fuel cell to convert the gases back into electricity and water. The holy grail of renewable power just got one step closer.
Based on a silicon solar cell with a special catalyst coated on the surface, professor Daniel Nocera developed the catalyst three years ago. The catalyst and electricity interact to cause the water to split into hydrogen and oxygen ready to be stored :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: June 22nd, 2011 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Cankler, M.Aaron Silverman, Protoscience, Science | Tags: Advanced Functional Materials, Cankler, Dr Madhu Bhaskaran, M.Aaron silverman, piezoelectric, piezoelectric film, Piezoelectricity, protoscience, rmit, science, scientific discovery | Comments Off
According to results of new research by Australian scientists from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology – RMIT - self-powered electronics have come one step closer to reality. RMIT researchers have successfully measured a piezoelectric film’s capacity for turning mechanical pressure into electricity. It may sound like an idea from the realm of science fiction, the discovery could eventually allow laptops to be powered through their typing.
“The concept of energy harvesting using piezoelectric nanomaterials has been demonstrated but the realisation of these structures can be complex and they are poorly suited to mass fabrication” said RMIT’s Dr. Bhaskaran
In a crucial step towards the development of self-powering portable electronics, RMIT University researchers have for the first time characterised the ability of piezoelectric thin films to turn mechanical pressure into electricity. Lead co-author Dr Madhu Bhaskaran said the research combined the potential of piezoelectrics – materials capable of converting pressure into electrical energy – and the cornerstone of microchip manufacturing, thin film technology.
“The power of piezoelectrics could be integrated into running shoes to charge mobile phones, enable laptops to be powered through typing or even used to convert blood pressure into a power source for pacemakers – essentially creating an everlasting battery,” Dr Bhaskaran said. Read the full article »»»»