Facts of the Matter Archives | Page 2 of 8 | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
  • Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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Facts of the Matter


Research hints at healing potential of bioelectricity

Luigi Galvani discovered bioelectricity in the late 1770s when he began to experiment with muscular contraction of frog’s legs by electrical stimulation. Read More

Asteroid’s unusual orbit hints at new type of heavenly object

Asteroids are common in our solar system, but astronomers have never seen one from outside the solar system, until now. Read More

Crystals show multifaceted qualities of inorganic solids

Crystals are everywhere. With few exceptions the solid inorganic substances that make up our world are crystalline. This includes rocks, minerals, ceramics and metals. Read More

Excellent view of total solar eclipse is worth the trip

My wife and I recently returned from watching the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. Having been aware of the event and seeking ideal viewing sites since summer of 2016, we made arrangements and reservations that would have been impossible at a later time. Read More

Gravitational waves offer astronomical revelations

In Einstein’s theory of general relativity, gravity is not a force as it was in Newton’s description. In Newton’s view, gravity was due to the attraction of two masses according to the size of the masses and the distance between them. Read More

The creation and shapes of proteins are still unknown

Proteins are the most important of all biochemicals. They are involved in nearly all bodily processes in one way or another. Read More

Smell works more like a sixth sense sometimes

To humans, the sense of smell has a direct link to emotions. Who among us has not, at one time or another, had a memory and its associated feelings come rushing at us when catching a whiff of a perfume, theater popcorn or one of thousands of smells that we associate with events from our past? Read More

Recent ‘king tides’ caused by a combination of factors

‘King tides” is a colloquial term for the highest occurring tides. They are a type of spring tides, which have nothing to do with spring, but rather the position of the sun and moon. Read More

Seeing the smallest objects requires humongous energy

It is an interesting aspect of the universe and an ironic sense of unity that it requires more energy to see smaller objects. This is the result of the properties of waves in general and specifically the nature of electromagnetic waves. Read More

Magnetic ‘magic’ offers a cool way to charge, cook

Charging a cellphone on an induction pad seems like magic, and in a way it is. Induction is a feature of electromagnetism that Michael Faraday stated in 1831, now known as Faraday’s law. It is the basis for much of modern electrical and electronic technology. Read More

Machines can be intelligent but they will never be human

Thinking machines are here, or not. The debate continues while developments in artificial intelligence create more and more sophisticated machines that are becoming more and more humanlike. Read More

Evaporation, not wind chill, leaves us cold on blustery days

The blustery winds over the past month have made us feel as if winter has set in for real. It is Hawaii, and the temperature rarely drops into the 60s, but we have “thin” blood and feel the cold more than our temperate-climate counterparts who might welcome 70 degrees in February as a cause for celebration. Read More

Radiation can cause harm, but it also has myriad uses

Most radiation is not harmful; in fact, most of it is useful. People discover new uses and new methods every day for use in health, industry, business, entertainment and scientific research. Read More

Twice-yearly solstice marks sun’s switch in direction

The December solstice occurs at 12:44 a.m. Hawaii time Wednesday. At this instant the sun will reach its southernmost point on the ecliptic and start northward again. Read More

Many factors affect moon’s trip around Earth

Just about everyone knows that the moon orbits Earth once every month. What we do not commonly know is that the moon’s orbit is not circular; it is elliptical. Read More

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