SVConnections May 2016
April 2020
We hope this issue of SVConnections finds you well. The cancellation of the 2020 TechCon was a necessary step in keeping the SVC community safe. Our focus has now turned to planning for the 2021 TechCon. Click here or the banner below to view the 2021 Call for Papers.

In Locked Down Spain, a Physicist's Disease Model Research Turns Strikingly Real

By Catherine Meyers, Inside Science

Yamir Moreno studies how human networks spread COVID-19 and other diseases. Yamir Moreno is a physicist at the University of Zaragoza in Spain, where he is also director of the Institute for Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems. For about 20 years, he has applied the tools of physics to improve models of disease spread. He was among the pioneering researchers who first incorporated knowledge about humans’ contact networks and everyday movements to make epidemic models more realistic. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Image courtesy of Yamir Moreno.
Combatting Coronavirus, AI Helps Make Good Antibiotics, And The Sun’s Surface

 By Alistair Jennings, Inside Science

A month worth of cool science stories, summed up.   In this monthly science recap, Alistair Jennings from Inside Science sums up some of the most interesting science topics from the past month. Scientists sequence the coronavirus genome, which will help develop treatments for the disease. Also, researchers from MIT trained a neural network to recognize molecules that might make good antibiotics. And a new telescope, 10,000 feet up in the mountains of Hawaii has taken the most detailed images ever of the sun’s surface. WATCH VIDEO.
What Is A Boger Fluid?

By Karin Heineman, Inside Science

It bounces, but it breaks likes glass and can flow like a liquid. Remember Silly Putty? That thick, elastic lump of goop that you could stretch and squash every which way? For most of us, it’s a fond childhood memory. WATCH VIDEO.
Researchers Look to Improve Leak Detection for the World’s Aging Water Pipes

 By Catherine Meyers , Inside Science

In North America, water companies may lose up to 50% of water before it ever reaches customers.  Across the United States, underground labyrinths of leaky pipes lose more than a trillion gallons of water a year -- and the problem is mirrored around the world. "It’s a huge problem, especially in the cities," said Daniel Tartakovsky, a professor of energy resources engineering at Stanford University in California. Tartakovsky and his former student Abdulrahman Alawadhi from the University of California, San Diego have proposed a way to improve a traditional method of detecting these leaks. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Visualizing Twitter Echo Chambers

By Yuen Yiu, Inside Science

Researchers examined some of the oldest rocks in western Greenland to probe the beginnings of today’s continents. Scientists believe the way the Earth’s tectonic plates began shifting and crashing into each other billions of years ago played a huge role in how our planet evolved and life developed. Similar processes may also play out on other planets. For Earth, the problem is, the remaining bits of the earliest continents that would solve that primeval jigsaw puzzle lie more than 100 miles below ground.   READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits : Baumann et al. , Physical Review Letters
UAVs Fly With Bats

Scientists fly the friendly skies with unmanned aerial vehicles to study bat behavior.  Bats are most active after sundown. That’s when they start to leave their roosts -- caves, rock crevices, old buildings, bridges, mines or trees. It can be a spectacular site when bats come out at night, swarming the sky by the millions. But this nighttime ritual also comes with questions from scientists who study bats -- how do bats use their echolocation to avoid collisions with each other at high speeds, and fly so close together in such high numbers? To find some answers, researchers are sending UAVs up in the air to fly with bats and collect data on their unique behaviors. WATCH VIDEO.
Lizards in Different Cities Evolve the Same Way

By Nala Rogers , Inside Science

Genetic differences between forest lizards and city lizards show evolution can play out the same way again and again. In a famous thought experiment, the late evolutionary biologist Steven J. Gould once asked: If you could play the tape of life over again from the beginning, would it come out the same way? "It's this question about the roles of fate and chance in shaping the world that we live in," said Shane Campbell-Staton, an evolutionary biologist at UCLA . READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Robert Eastman/ Shutterstock
Bold Fish Maintain Ecosystem With Their Waste

By Nala Rogers, Inside Science

Study of fish personalities highlights the importance of wildlife as individuals, not just species.   People have unique personalities, and that's part of what makes them special and important. Aparently, the same is true of fish. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Rafael Saldaña via  Flickr
Rights information: CC BY 2.0
Weird Waves: From Wildfires to Heart Arrhythmia

By Yuen Yiu , Inside Science

What links a wildfire raging across a forest to the electric signals rippling through our hearts? Enter the world of waves in excitable media.  If you've ever tried to stick tape to a dusty surface, you know the dilemma most spiders face when trying to catch moths. Moth wings are covered in tiny scales that slough off at a touch, allowing moths to escape dangers such as spider webs. But some spiders have evolved a special glue that instantly soaks under the scales and down to the base of the wing, locking everything together into a solid mass.  READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Wkimedia Commons
Rights information: CC BY 3.0
Experts Warn That Some Marathoners May Be Pushing Themselves Too Hard

 By Yuen Yiu, Inside Science

Review study examines why people are suffering heart attacks during high intensity and endurance exercises such as marathons and triathlons. In the ancient Greek legend, the messenger Pheidippides ran from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens -- a distance of more than 20 miles -- to bring news of the Greek's victory over the Persians in the battle of Marathon. Then he collapsed and died.     READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits: Composite image by  Abigail Malate
The Hot and Cold of Growing Old

By Catherine Meyers, Inside Science

A special imaging technique takes pictures of blood flow under the skin, revealing how and why some elderly suffer poor blood flow.   In 2003, the hottest summer in more than 400 years hit Europe, killing 70,000 people. Most of the victims were elderly. People are more affected by temperature as they age -- the summers feel hotter and the winters feel colder. But why are heatwaves so dangerous to older people? And what can we do to minimize deaths from the next record-breaking summer? As global warming makes temperature extremes more likely, it's as important as ever to understand how humans beat the heat.  WATCH VIDEO.
Far Away Planets May Appear Fluffier Than They Are

By Ramin Skibba, Inside Science

Puzzling planets with the apparent density of cotton candy probably have rings, according to a new study.     Scientists have begun to spot a growing number of planets beyond our solar system. Astronomers call a portion of them "super-puffs" because they are far less dense than Saturn or any other known world. But the conundrum could be solved if the astronomers simply reconsider the planets' shapes and include rings on them, according to a new study. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image credits : Robin Dienel
Rights information : Courtesy of the Carnegie Institution for Science
The Spitzer Space Telescope Signs Off

By Abigail Malate, Inside Science

We honor the spacecraft’s 16-year journey with five beautiful images from the telescope. The telescope that  discovered the largest ring of Saturn detected the first direct evidence of an exoplanet , and  imaged remnants of the oldest documented supernova  is retiring after 16 years hard at work. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope was launched in August 2003 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It detects infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, and such vision allows it to peer through dense dust and gas to see hidden realms of the cosmos. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Striving to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of our students.

One of the SVC’s long-term goals has always been to support charitable, educational, and scientific activities. As its first initiative, the Foundation created a scholarship program aimed at supporting enterprising students and practitioners who have an interest in furthering their education in the field of vacuum coating technology. 
The Foundation also grants travel awards to students to attend and present technical papers at the annual SVC Technical Symposium. Since its inception, both programs have awarded over $250,000 in scholarships to students from the United States, Canada, China, Lithuania and Spain.
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